Must-read back to school tips for parents of preschoolers. These tips will help make preschoolers’ transitions to school smoother.
Heading back to school can be an overwhelming time for everyone involved – the kids, the teachers, and the parents!
In fact, I have to tell you a secret . . .
Even seasoned teachers get a little worried when it’s almost time for school to start. Especially if it’s her child starting preschool or kindergarten for the first time. Not that I’d know from first-hand experience, or anything. 😉
These back to school tips for parents of preschoolers come from years of teaching kindergarten and pre-kindergarten. But they’re also from my perspective as a parent to a child starting preschool. A double whammy, if you will.
A Preschool Teacher’s Back to School Tips for Parents
Get a school routine going early.
Summertime schedules are often different than school year schedules, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Kids do well with routines, though, so establishing a school routine early is important.
Two to four weeks before school starts, get the preschoolers used to getting up at a certain time every day and going to bed at a certain time. This will get their little bodies used to school day hours. It will also give everyone the chance to iron out any wrinkles before school starts.
KCEdventures has some tips for getting into a school routine.
Get appropriate gear for your preschooler.
I know that there are TONS of cute and fun school supplies out there! With that being said, keep in mind what your child actually needs for preschool. A tiny bug backpack might be super adorable, but it will be pointless if it won’t hold your kiddo’s lunchbox or school folder.
Your child’s school will likely have a list, so be sure to refer to that. Many preschools also have small lists of items to not bring to school. It will help the teachers and students if those lists are adhered to.
CraftWhack has some cool back to school items the kiddos might like.
Talk and read about school.
Listen to your preschooler and answer any questions she might have. Share insights into when you were in school and all the fun you had there.
Read and make books about school with your child – it’s a great bonding time, and often the books will spark a great discussion.
Check out the preschool digs, and meet the teacher.
This is oh-so-important for your preschooler! Even if your child’s been at the preschool for years, he’ll have a new teacher and a new classroom. Try your best to bring him to any preschool orientations at the preschool.
If you’re not able to, see if a grandparent or a family friend can take him. Knowing his classroom and teacher ahead of time will ease some of the beginning of the year anxieties.
While no one expects a 4-year old to do everything on her own, age-appropriate independence is important. Real tasks allow children to learn to take care of themselves. They also give kiddos a sense of true accomplishment.
Some suggestions – cleaning up after themselves after meals, choosing clothes for the day, getting themselves dressed, etc. While perfection isn’t necessary, working towards independence is the goal.
Coffee Cups and Crayons shares ideas for learning independence through play (her post is geared towards rising kindergartners, but it can be adapted for the younger set as well). Mess for Less shares ideas along those lines too!
Prepare for back-to-school emotions.
Sometimes young children deal with separation anxiety when back to school time rolls around. Honestly, some parents have trouble separating from their children too. In both cases, those feelings are totally normal!
Many of the above tips will help ease back to school anxieties. Additionally, consider reading up on separation anxiety and how to ease it. Most importantly, you know your child best and you know how to address his concerns.
Keep having fun!
While I think the above tips for parents are important, so is having fun as a family! Keep up your weekly and monthly traditions, as well as your nightly sleep rituals. Reading together, having dinner together, going swimming together — all of these things will keep you connected to your child.
Anything else you’d add to my back to school tips for parents of preschoolers? If you’re looking for more back to school ideas, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to the topic!