You know what they say about time – well, it sure does fly by when you’re having fun. Especially during the summer, which is all fine and dandy until you’re like me and you realize that your twins are starting preschool in less than a month and you haven’t even wrapped your head around it!
I honestly don’t feel like I have a lot to worry about. My three year old girls have been to daycare and while it was definitely an adjustment, they transitioned well aside from a few tears.
With pre-school on the horizon, I’m very excited about this new chapter. I truly think that it will be good for them. I’m just nervous and very interested to see how they will adjust to rules and instructions from other grownups, a group setting and a new routine.
Speaking of routine, I guess I’d better get them out of the habit of sleeping in until 8 AM! *Sigh* – they’ve always been great sleepers and admittedly, this is a tough pill to swallow. But, it will be good to get them moving and out the door faster, because right now we move so slowly that some days it feels like we are almost moving in reverse!
With all of these new things to think about, I reached out to my mommy friends and discovered (thankfully), that I’m not alone when it comes to feeling emotional and ill-prepared for that “first day of school”.
These mommas had some fantastic tips and advice for how to handle the transition from preschool to grade school, not just for kids, but for us parents too!
Play school: This is a great way to help kids get a sense of what school will be like. One mom said, “For kindergarten we talked about how pre-school was ‘little school’ and he was graduating to ‘big school’. We played ‘big school’ but what was different was, we used his new backpack, lunch bag and containers for practice… He was taking the bus, so we bought a school bus toy and talked all about bus safety and how exciting taking a bus is.”
Communication is key: Let little ones know what to expect. Another mom explained, “”When my oldest started preschool, we played school at home a bit and we talked a lot about mommy not being there to play, but lots of other kids will be there and nice teachers.”
Routine, routine, routine: While adjusting sleep schedules and wake times is important, one mom had some advice for caregivers about other times of the day, like when kids come home; “After school is important as well. They have a lot to say, they are tired & hungry, do give them the attention. Don’t plan things for right after school. Do your errands while they are in school. Now, to the parents or grandparents – they will be ok. It’s ok for you to feel sad, lonely, even happy and proud. You will cry, but that’s ok. One day at a time.”
DON’T hang around: As one mom said, “It’s hard not to, but in my experience the longer you hang around at drop off, the harder it is on both of you.”
Get involved: Once the dust has settled and the routine is in place, take advantage of the opportunity to participate in your child’s school activities. One mom’s advice? “Volunteer, go on field trips if you can. and make sure all school is a positive experience.”
For me, reading these tips makes me feel more at ease yet a bit more anxious. I think the reality is setting in!
Our favourite book about going to school is, Lama Lama Misses Mama. The girls get very excited reading this book and the story helps them understand how it’s all going to work. We’ve also talked a lot about school and what they will get to do there; from drawing to reading to learning letters and numbers. They seem very eager to learn.
As they say; the days can seem long, but the years become short.
It’s an exciting and nerve-racking time for all of us but in connecting with other parents, it’s a comfort to know we’re not alone!
Good luck to all parents and kids for this upcoming school year!