Back-to-school: Tips on how to prepare your child for their first day of school

Siphesihle Duka, 6, on her first day of school. Picture: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

Siphesihle Duka, 6, on her first day of school. Picture: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

Published Jan 16, 2024


The first day of school can be daunting for both parents and children.

How the day goes can set the tone for the rest of the academic year and shape your child’s perception of school.

Therefore, their first day must run as smoothly and successfully as possible.

Here are tips on how you can navigate this crucial day.

Develop a positive mindset

Help your child develop a positive mindset about the first day of school by discussing the exciting experiences and opportunities that await them.

Encourage them to approach new challenges with enthusiasm and reassure them that they have your support every step of the way.

A positive attitude can greatly impact their overall experience.

Get a good night’s sleep

One of the most critical aspects of preparing for the first day of school is ensuring your child gets a good night's sleep.

Establishing a regular sleep routine in the days leading up to school can help ease any anxiety and ensure they are well-rested and refreshed for their first day.

Organise stationery and uniforms in advance

Before the first day arrives, ensure that your child’s stationery and uniforms are organised and ready to go.

Take inventory of what they need and make a list to avoid any last-minute rush or stress.

By having everything prepared in advance, you'll alleviate unnecessary pressure on the morning of the first day.

Familiarise yourself with the school

If your child is starting at a new school, take some time to familiarise yourself with the layout and facilities.

Many schools have orientation days. It’s important to attend those if possible. Otherwise, try and arrange a visit to the school grounds before the first day.

This will help your child feel more at ease and confident in their new environment.

Prepare a balanced breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Especially for little ones. They will not be able to focus with a hungry tummy.

Make sure your child starts their morning with a nutritious breakfast.

A well-balanced meal will provide the energy needed for a productive day at school.