Transitioning into School at Concordia
By Paige Waterous
April 8, 2021
Tips for a smoother transition:
- If possible, Zoom with your child’s teacher before their first day, so your child can meet them! You can also discuss with the center’s directors to set up a playdate to meet your child’s teachers and classmates in person, with safety precautions in place.
- Talk to your child about going to school! You can use their teacher’s names and talk about some of the toys in the classroom they will get to play with. If you live near the school, walk by so your child can start to see what the school looks like and think more about going to school there soon! Depending on the child’s age, talking about school the week or even weekend before is likely enough time for them to start thinking about it.
- Create a goodbye routine. This routine can start before you even get to school. Keeping your morning routine as similar as possible will help your child anticipate what is going to happen next. See the below for more information on routines.
- Talk through the transition. This may seem more appropriate for older kids, but talking through the transition to school is important for any age. Children get a sense of reassurance from your voice, even if they cannot understand everything you are saying!
- Expect some tears! These could be your child’s or yours! Their first experience with child care can be hard. Your child may cry for a few days to a few weeks or even a few months at drop-off. They can sense your feelings, so if you are feeling sad or anxious about the transition, try to minimize it in front of your child.
At Concordia, your center’s directors would love to talk to you more about your child’s first day of school and transitioning into our program. We are here to support you and make this transition as smooth as possible. Please reach out to us to discuss your specific situation or any questions you have about your child’s first day!
Routines benefit both children and parents!
Routines create predictability. This makes children (and adults!) feel safer and secure when they know what is going to happen next. Creating a morning routine can help you slow down to spend some quality time with your child before heading out to a busy day at work.
A few transition ideas:
- Spend 15 minutes eating breakfast together before school
- Sing a special song on the way to school
- Play together or read a book at home before school
Books to help your child understand saying goodbye:
All these books are available at the Chicago Public Library! You can also watch the stories on YouTube!