It's that time of year when we all get ready for the first day of school! At NorthPointe Christian Schools, carpets have been washed, floors waxed, windows shined, and teachers are organizing their classrooms, gearing up for a fabulous year! At home you are likely purchasing supplies and squeezing in the last summer adventures.
Preschool is a big step in your child’s life (and yours!). With this in mind, we want your child to have a positive transition into their new preschool experience!
Here are a few ideas to help ensure a smooth start to the year:
Establish a schedule
Preschoolers thrive on established routines. A regular, consistent daily schedule at home will help your child transition into the daily routines of the classroom.
Keep a consistent bedtime
Preschool is your child’s “work.” They will be extra tired, especially at the beginning of the school year. Getting a full night’s sleep is a vital part of a successful, happy day. Consider starting them on a bedtime routine the week leading up to the first day.
Establish a morning routine
A consistent morning routine provides your preschooler with a sense of reassurance and confidence. Morning time flies by when you need to be out the door by 8:00 a.m.! Plan ahead to make your mornings run smoothly. Consider laying out clothes and making lunches the night before.
Read, Read, Read!
There are many wonderful books with stories about the first day of school, what a school day looks like, and facing anxieties about this new experience. Reading these stories is a great way to spark conversations about going to school and gives your child the opportunity to talk about their fears and ask questions. At NorthPointe Christian Schools, we have some of these books in our school office available for you to borrow; just stop by and check them out!
Discuss What to Expect
Keep conversations about preschool honest and provide information. It is normal for children to be nervous about preschool. Acknowledge their fears about going to school: it is a new place with new people. But also reassure them with information about the positive things they can expect; discuss what they will bring to school each day, toys they will find in the classroom, and what they will do (gathering time, reading stories, snack, recess, etc.).
A Quick, Loving, and Confident Goodbye
Some children run into the classroom without looking back, but a lot of children have a tearful time at drop-off. It can be difficult to endure, even if you are anticipating a rough goodbye! Lots of preschoolers experience separation anxiety. You can help your child through this time with a quick hug and kiss along with a confident goodbye ("I love you, I’ll be back to pick you up, you can tell me all about your day.") Let your child borrow your confidence. And know that this anxiety is nothing new to your child’s teacher! They will provide your child with lots of loving reassurance!
Attend Preschool Orientation/Meet-the-Teacher Events
Transitions are much easier when a child is familiar with their school environment.
Teachers and staff are praying for your child too!
We are blessed to be part of your child's preschool adventure. Our NorthPointe Christian Preschool Philosophy is based on Luke 2:42, “And Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and infavor with God and man,” and we are excited to see all the ways your child grows this school year!
My job at NorthPointe Christian is to help teachers carry out our mission of “equipping students to impact the world for Christ.” As part of the job, I wander and observe our preschool on up through high school classes.
Earlier this semester, a parent alerted me to a fascinating assignment taking place in Maria Joaquin’s second grade Spanish Immersion classroom. Maria’s letter home, as the parent showed me, explained that the class was about to begin a social studies unit on “Community and Citizenship.” She then set out the goals: (a) why people live in communities, (b) what is in them, and (c) how is one different from another.
Sounds heavy for children this young, right? Maria countered that question by adding that the project would “get real” by seeking to create “our own community in 2nd grade.”
Each student needed to create a cardboard box building at home - with the help of their families - that would contribute to the making of a community and improve the community. The student creations would be hung in the hallway. But prior to that, students would present their boxes to the class, with each maker answering three thought provoking questions about his/her building:
1. Why is this building important in our community?
2. How could this building be used to impact the world for Christ?
3. How might the Spanish language be used in this building?
The individual results were captivating, the buildings together even more so, as they so perfectly captured the imagination, inviting viewers into a vibrant community, just as the project intended.
I asked Maria why she chose to do this assignment. Her response:
“I wanted to make what they were talking about in class to come alive and be relatable to their lives.”
She mentioned that the students had talked about what it meant to be a good citizen; they talked about “how it begins in family, neighborhood, city, and goes out further into all the world.”
In that discussion Maria said the students “talked about what God expects of us as Christians and how to be a good citizen in all these communities” and “finding similarities and differences among these kinds of communities.”
The parent who gave me the heads-up on the assignment also expressed why she thought it worthwhile: “I thought I would pass along how much I love this assignment Maria is doing with the Spanish Immersion 2nd graders and the questions that go along with the project. Today, I am thankful for the education my girls are getting...that Jesus is the center, and they are having to think from a very young age how Jesus can impact our community.”
As I recall all aspects of this building assignment, I see the benefits of a Christian education in deed. Indeed!