Starting School: Top Tips

Starting school can be a difficult time for parents and little ones alike. Letting our babies go off into the big, wide world can be daunting, not to mention stressful. Getting everyone up and out early doors is no mean feat. So with a little one who has just started ‘big school’ and had a tricky beginning there, I’ve put together some top tips, with some of my favourite bloggers, that I found useful in those first few weeks.

The top tips…

Preparation is the absolute key to getting to school on time… lunches in the fridge the night before, get uniforms out and ready, school bags packed. Not the most fun thing in the world but it will make your mornings a billion times easier. Trust me.

Take photos of important invitations and school letters to keep on your phone to refer to – they’re bound to get buried under a pile of house admin and interesting art work at some point, never to be seen again so be kind to your future self!

Try to establish a routine as early as possible. For example, come home after school, have a snack, watch a little television, practise sounds/reading, have tea and then start the bedtime routine. Getting into this rhythm early on will certainly help in the long run. – Blossom Education

Do whatever it takes to make your morning routine run smoothly – whether that means getting up an hour earlier than the kids or allowing screen time. In my house, the former would mean starting my day at 3.30am, so for now I go with the latter. Needs must. – Refined Prose

Teach them to recognise their own name (even if they can’t write it) as pegs, books, drawers, clothes and lunch bags are all going to have it on so it’ll make it easier for them – and hopefully you, so you don’t lose as much uniform! – Twinderelmo

Discuss the lunch menu with them so they know what to expect and can choose what they’re having quickly. – The Mummy Bubble

Try and get them familiar with the school where possible. Obviously if older siblings attend this will be easier, but look out for fundraisers, school fetes etc. It just helps the big building look a little less scary if it’s already familiar to them. – Mighty Mama Bear

Try not to make too big a deal out of it. It gets the kids wound up and sometimes puts pressure on them. – Northumberland Family Diaries

But what if starting school doesn’t go as planned?

Be ready for school refusals on occasion. They happen but tend not to shouted about on social media and blogs like a lot of the huge parenting challenges. Develop a strategy for how you will react if your child really does not want to go to school. For us that was eventually home education but that was years later to be fair. – Kate on Thin Ice (Keep your eyes peeled for a blog post on this soon as we have had a very difficult first half term starting school but we’re getting there so I’ll be sharing our strategy!)

Head over to Changing the Tale – a hub for parents, giving plenty of ideas and activities for reading with under 10s. And don’t forget to check out our list of top books for preschoolers too.