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  • Getting Your Preschooler Ready for School

    Not sure what to look out for or prepare to introduce your tot to school? We give you guidelines to handle the first-day blues.
    by Giselle Santos-Elgincolin .
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    First Day Blues & Clues:
    Find Out:

    • What are the school’s policies about first day/week of classes?
    • What does the child need to bring on the first day of school?
    • Is there a staggered class schedule for children to break in slowly?

    Helpful Tips:

    • Familiarize your child with the school, classroom and teacher.
    • On her first day, say your proper goodbyes, assure her that you or a caregiver will pick her up after, then leave.
    • Trust your child’s teacher.

    The Daily Details:
    Find Out:

    • What is the class schedule?
    • What do you put inside her bag?
    • What time is her snack time?
    • What is the school policy on picking up children?
    • If your child is going to take the school bus:
    • Do you have to be the one to make arrangements with one of the school’s accredited service providers?
    • What time will she be picked up at home and brought back?

    Helpful Tips:

    • Always provide an extra set of comfortable clothes.
    • Provide healthy and varied snacks for your child in just the right amount.

    The School Supplies:
    Find Out:

    • Is there a list of materials that the school prescribes?
    • Is there a set guideline in labeling these materials or in covering books?

    Helpful Tips:

    • Shop with your child to involve her in choosing her own things to make her more excited about school.
    • Choose materials your child can handle herself

    The Emergency Toolbox:
    Find Out:

    • School’s telephone number
    • Teacher’s consultation hours
    • What is the school’s standard procedure if the child will require immediate medical attention?
    • How will parents be informed of suspension of classes due to bad weather, flooding, etc.

    Helpful Tips:

    • Store the school’s contact details on your cell phone and post it on the refrigerator door.
    • Give the teacher a summary of details about your child’s health, like food she’s allergic to, or what to do when she breaks into a rash.

    Home-School Partnership:
    Find Out:

    • How can parents give the teacher feedback or ask questions about their child’s development/activities in school?

    Helpful Tips:

    • Give your child’s teacher short notes about her little successes.
    • Make sure to reply to the teacher’s queries or concerns about your child.
    • Mark important school dates on your calendar. File leaves at the office early enough if you have to.

    The Intangible Backpack:
    Find Out:

    • What kind of assessment will the child be given? Will the teacher be discussing these with you?
    • How can the school help you fulfill your goals for your child?
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    Helpful Tips:

    • Expose your child to small group experiences with peers like birthday parties, neighborhood playdates, or home visits.
    • Chart your child’s physical growth right before the school year begins. As the year ends, celebrate her accomplishments in height, weight, and in other ways she has developed holistically.

    Photography by Tootoots Leyesa

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