Loi went for trial at her childcare in the last week of November and was formally enrolled since December 2013. This implies that she has been in school for over a month and she seems to be coping well thus far.
Having send two kids to childcare at a young age of 20 and 25 months. Here are some of my own views and tips with regards to easing them into school.
1. Go for the trial
If the school offers trial classes always go for it, even if you are familiar with the school cause your elder kid is there. Because you may be familiar with everyone but the kid doesn’t. If the school allows the parents to stay with the kid during the trial, like Loi’s school does, it’s the best opportunity. You not only get to know the teachers, more importantly you help the kid get use to her teachers. She will learn that teachers are safe people to be with as they sees Daddy/Mummy there and encouraging her to join in with the teachers activities.
If parents aren’t allowed during trial, it may get a little tricky. You can only base on the “state” of your child when you pick her up. For example, is she still in tears? Or her eyes is so swollen from all the crying? Does she allow the teacher to carry her or calm her? All these are tell tale signs of her adaptability in class.
(We are fortunate that the CC the kids attend does not believe in the “cold turkey” method. I know a lot of kids survived that but I think it’s a little brutal to the young toddlers. Just imagine as adults we get uncomfortable in a group setting of all strangers, so how can we expect our young toddler to do it?)
2. Don’t introduce too much change at a time
It may sound like a tempting idea to start a fresh new year. So the kid got enrolled into school, enrichment classes or even a drastic change in normal routine. This will put the kid under unnecessary stress and increase her sense of insecurities. For example, you send away your domestic helper because the kid is now in school. The kid will get upset when she reaches home and couldn’t find the familiar face. She will resist going to school more and become unsettled. Do introduce changed gradually.
3. Talk to the Teachers
Where else can you get 1st hand information about the kid? Besides seeing you interact with the teachers might put your kid at ease as it may appear to her the the teacher is your “friend” and she is harmless.
4. Get the older sibling to help
If the older sibling is in the same school, it definitely will help the kid feel more secure. You can get the elder sibling to help bring the kid to her classroom. And kids at this stage are good at modeling after their siblings. Seeing their GorGor or JieJie enjoying his or her class may inspire her to do the same.
5. Ask about her day in school
I find this helps. It shows her you are still concern about her. But asking does not stop there, after learning about what she do, try to do the same thing at home. Especially those that she enjoys. For Loi, she loves music and movement, so I sang and dance with her the songs that the teachers were teaching. This not only refreshes her learning, it help her feel that school is a fun place. She may also become eager to learn more so that she can come back and do it with you.
Actually, at the end of the day, a lot of things will come naturally when you imagine yourself in the position of the kid. And blow the thought up by another 200% you will probably understand the impact it has on them.