Do you have a child entering new school in the fall? Summer is a great time to begin the adjustment process. Here are 5 super helpful tips from Devin Zukofsky, Early Childhood Director, and the Admin team, at the Leonard and Suyril Rubin Nursery School at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades to make adjusting to a new school a little bit easier. With these tried-and-true suggestions, your child’s transition will be as seamless and easy as possible.
Visit the school. As adults, we have been through a lot and can use our past experiences to help us navigate new experiences. Young children don’t have those same life experiences and the idea of going somewhere new, where they will be without their parents, can be overwhelming. Taking your child to visit the school and their classroom before the first day of school can alleviate some of that uneasiness for them. You can even role play the first day of school with them. Establishing familiarity may alleviate the “new” factor and fill them up with confidence leading up to the big day.
Use photographs to provide comfort. Ask your school for a photo of their teacher and their classroom to show your child before the first day of school. Or when you’re visiting the classroom, ask permission to take photos. At home, you and your child can review the photos and remember where things were in the classroom, “Look, there’s the hook where you’ll hang your book bag and jacket. And there is the rug where your teacher will read you a story.” Then on the first day of school, send your child with a family photo to keep in their cubby or backpack. These pictures will be loving reminders when needed, and can also connect school to home in a special way.
Be timely and stick to a routine. Whether that is keeping your previous school morning routine or creating a new one for your new school, be consistent. Also, be on time. Consider that walking into a full, active class can be difficult for children.
Be positive and demonstrate confidence in the new environment. An upbeat message about school and the adventures your child will have there will make them excited to come to school! On the flip side, keep in mind that children can sense when you are upset and it can make them more fearful too. So stay calm even though we know it’s a big transition for you too.
Schedule playdates with other kids in your class during the summer. Familiar faces on the first day can make all the difference. Ask your school for a class list and reach out to the other parents. This is especially important if you are new to the area and looking to build new connections. Playdates can help you learn more about your town and who knows, you might make a few new friends as well. Playdates aren’t just for kids, you know!
The Leonard and Syril Rubin Nursery School at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades is a child centered program providing developmentally appropriate and experiential learning through play. Our warm and nurturing teachers are highly qualified and experienced, and provide opportunities for our students to learn, grow, and thrive each day. It is our goal for children to become independent, confident, responsible, and successful learners in our loving and secure environment.
Registration for 2019-20 school year is open. Call 201-408-1436 to schedule a tour and to meet with the program supervisor and staff. They are a wealth of knowledge and are here to help your family have the best experience. Visit jccotp.org/nursery-school to learn more about the school.