4 Ways to Prepare Your Toddler for the New School Year
By: Sandra Andrade
It’s that time of the year again! To us adults, back-to-school adjustments might seem small, but for a young child, they are big growth moments. Sandra Andrade — a Pre-K4 teacher at CCA — shares four practical ways you can equip and guide your toddler through this transition. Happy 2021-22!
It’s that time of the year again! For some children, this fall will be their very first time at school. For others, it will be a continuation of their schooling journey. Regardless of the situation, preparing for a new school year is always a transition for both parents and children, alike.
To us, these “adjustments” might seem small, but for a young child, they are big growth moments.
As a Pre-K teacher, I see every child in my classroom go through an adjustment period during the beginning of the school year. Some students need extra hugs during nap time or one-on-one prayer when they get a boo-boo. Some even need a few weeks to open up to their new teachers and friends. To us, these “adjustments” might seem small, but for a young child, they are big growth moments.
To better prepare for the changes that are to come, here are four practical ways you can equip and guide your toddler:
Parents, Prepare Your Hearts
Mom and Dad — it all starts with you! At this precious preschool age, your child will look to you to determine their thoughts and attitudes toward school. They will hear what you have to say about their teachers, their peers, and their schedule.
Just like in other areas of life, toddlers will follow their parents’ example, so ask God to prepare you for the new school year first. Ask Him to give you the right heart toward your child’s new teacher. Ask Him to help you be a blessing to other parents throughout the year. Ask Him to help you trust Him with your child, and to speak life over them, their school, and their education.
At this precious preschool age, your child will look to you to determine their thoughts and attitudes toward school.
It’s okay to cry and to give extra hugs — after all, it might seem like your baby is growing up so fast!
Talk About It
Talk to your child about school. Talking about what is to come may remove some of the mystery of starting a new school year. This is a good time to keep things positive and to highlight the blessings that school offers.
Tell your child that they will get to learn new things — things about God’s world and all that He has made. Talk to them about the excitement found in new friends to play with, an awesome playground, teachers that love them, and all the fun they will get to experience.
Talking about what is to come may remove some of the mystery of starting a new school year.
Also, make an effort to answer their questions as best you can. This may ease many of your child’s concerns or simply offer an outlook of excitement about a new school year.
Pray with Your Child
Is your child anxious or fearful about school? Pray with them! Teach your child to pray for his/her school, teacher, and anything else on their mind. Remind them that they can pray to God at any time in the day, no matter where they are, even at school. This will be something your child can do throughout the school year when you’re not in class with them, so encourage them in this.
Teach your child to pray for his/her school, teacher, and anything else on their mind.
Show the “Cool” in “School”
Get your child seeing the “cool side” of school by getting them involved in back-to-school preparations. Let your child pick a fun backpack or lunchbox, or take them shopping for some cool new shoes! Find some of their required school supplies but make sure to pick their favorite color/pattern and involve them in the selection process if you’re able. They can even help you come up with some creative snack ideas and act as your taster (a yummy and FUN activity!).
God has a special plan for each child, parent, and teacher that He brings together each school year. This means that God will handpick your child’s teacher and your child’s classmates, just like He’s handpicked you to be his/her parent. If God is that intentional and purposeful before the school year even begins, how much more should we be intentional about preparing our hearts (and our littles) for a new school year?
God is going to do a beautiful work in your child’s life this coming school year, so be expectant of His wonder-working power and enjoy the ride. Happy 2021-22!
We want to hear from you! Do you have any other helpful tips to help prepare a toddler for a new school year? Comment below!
Sandra Andrade is a Pre-K4 teacher at CCA’s Fort Lauderdale campus where she loves to teach her students about how much Jesus loves them. She’s had the opportunity to serve in kids and worship ministries (currently at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale), as well as teach the Bible to women at a local study called Bible Study Fellowship. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing with her dog Ranger, and writing on her personal blog titled Grasp Love.
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