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!
Parenting is hard. Choosing where your child attends school is certainly a hard part. This choice will likely have enormous consequences for your child’s life.
As I reflect on the proverbial advice to “raise up a child in the way he should go,” I think Christian school is the best choice because it is a partnership with parents, a child’s first teachers, in helping this child “learn the way he/she should go.”
In my years of teaching and leading in both the secular and Christian school settings, here’s what I have gleaned:
1. Christian schools provide a complete education to fully prepare students for life after high school.
In a shifting, and often fearful, culture, students need the resources, not to hide from the world, but to face challenges with confidence and a solid foundation of truth. Particularly at NorthPointe Christian Schools, your child will leave here with this biblical foundation and skills needed to discern what’s true and what isn’t.
2. Christian school teaches that “every square inch of this world belongs to God.”
Our teachers weave that into everything kids learn. We help each child understand that he/she is made in God’s image, uniquely gifted to serve others, and well-prepared to answer the big questions of life: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? Graduates here are ready to meet our school's mission: equipped to impact their world for Jesus Christ.
3. Christian school teachers here serve as mentors to students.
This is certainly true in modeling Godly living, but they also demonstrate how to think carefully and critically. They model discernment: separating the deceptive from the real, the glitter from what’s underneath, showing students how to examine life from every side. But they also demonstrate awe, freely showing their wonder at beautiful things. As one writer has said, “The best teachers show four loves: love for God, love for their students, love of their subject, and love for showing others the first three loves."
4. Christian schools are worth the cost.
You may face this hard decision of education for your children by wondering: “Sure. Sounds good. But the cost is steep.” As you dream about your child’s future, you will end up paying for things that you value the most for them. I believe a sacrificial decision to invest in Christian education is worth your investment.
I recently ran across a parent of graduates at our school. “I could have a nicer retirement home if we had chosen differently,” he told me, “but I would choose NorthPointe Christian Schools for my kids over again in a heartbeat. It’s affected who my kids have become - the type of college and career they pursued, how grounded they are in Christ, and even who they married.”
Yes, the choice is hard. Consider the long-lasting benefit to your child if you choose Christ to be the center of your home, church, and school.