When a child is starting at a new school, or starting school for the first time, they may feel a range of emotions. Some kids will feel a sense of anxiety (possibly mixed with other emotions, like excitement). For kids who are anxious to start school, preparation is key. If possible, visit the school before the year starts (most schools have a back-to-school night, and if not, you may be able to schedule a visit after teachers return for the year, before the first day of school.) During this visit, try to meet the child’s teacher, get a glimpse of their classroom, and even a general sense of the flow of their day. In addition to visiting the school, practice the route they’ll take to school, whether it is the route you’ll drive, the streets you’ll walk/bike, or the spot where they’ll stand to catch the bus. Lastly, practice the morning routine, including waking up at the right time, getting dressed, brushing teeth and eating breakfast.
You can use this template to create a little book. Writing or drawing about the experience will help a child solidify what they’ve learned during this preparation period. Have the child look through the book in the week leading up to the first day to give them a sense of comfort that they know what to expect.