Little Fox Run 2014
Laura Lavin, Editor of the Oak Bay News,
contacted our ECE Amy for advice on
how to handle 'first day of school' jitters:
Back to school: Parents’ positive attitude goes a long way to happy school days
First day of school jitters are a normal right of passage, but for kids experiencing their first day of school ever, parents can do a lot to set the tone for years of happy school days ahead.
“Send the message that you’re confident,” said Oak Bay Parent Owned Preschool teacher Amy Grbavec. “If you exude an air of confidence about preschool or school, your child will feel that and they will have the same confidence about school.”
As an early childhood educator for 23 years, Grbavec has some experience with ensuring a smooth transition to school.
“As parents, we’re excited about this new stage in our child’s life. But it’s very abstract to children,” she said.
She lists a variety of ways to ease your child into a new learning environment. “Read books about it, ***Maisie Goes to Preschool is a good one, ask the librarian for suggestions.”
She also advises moving bedtime back, so your child is well rested for school.
“About two weeks prior, start tapering your bedtime routine. Most people are in summer mode so you need to transition to an earlier time, just five or 10 minutes a day. A rested mind is a rational mind,” she said.
Having a well thought out bedtime routine is also helpful for young children. “It’s important for their security, they have a bath, maybe you read them a book and they know what comes next.”
Planning the morning routine is just as important. “Try to make it as stress-free as possible. Having things ready the night before is a big help.”
Parents can help by promoting self care as well, that means letting kids choose new shoes and snack kits for school. “They feel empowered and a sense of freedom when they can untie or unvelcro their own shoes. … Make extra time for those kind of things that they may need to do at school. If your school has indoor shoes and outdoor shoes, let them choose a new pair of shoes – how exciting is that?”
Those few small things will help them feel empowered and special during their time away from their parents.
Be prepared for pick up time as well. “Have a snack and a drink ready. They may have had snack time at school, but that doesn’t mean they ate anything. And don’t plan too many new things. Wait a month until you put them in swimming lessons or soccer, or keep it to Saturdays.”
Be patient and keep a positive attitude toward school yourself and your kids should follow suit.
What B.C.’s Parent-Participation Schools Can Teach Us About Our Kids
FEB 3, 2014 AT 5:23 PM
Oak Bay co-op preschool encourages parent participation
Image Credit: Sharon Tiffin/News Staff
Parents in the classroom is not just the norm but expected at Oak Bay’s parent-owned preschool.
The co-op preschool is holding its annual fundraiser this Saturday (Nov. 16), with proceeds going towards maintaining this unique and affordable educational model.
Parents are expected to volunteer for various jobs and assist with classroom activities, under the guidance of a paid early childhood educator.
Kirsten Pite, preschool president and a mother of two, said the fundraiser is critical.
“We rely on it a lot,” she said. “It’s one way for us to keep tuition cost low. Everybody should be able to get an awesome education for their children, regardless of their income.”
Parental involvement in a child’s early education and the ability to get to know other kids and parents appealed to Roy Brooke, whose son Nathan, 3, is enrolled.
“Next to homeschooling, there is no other hands-on way to be part of his (educational) life,” he said. “With this model, we own the school, in effect, through our work and effort.”
Brooke is co-ordinating the fundraiser, while his wife participates in three “duty days” a month, in which she volunteers as a teacher’s aide.
Having parental involvement in the school’s operations creates a close-knit community, Pite said.
“You are suddenly in a community of like-minded people who are in a similar stage of life with young children. All of a sudden you have a new group of friends and people you can rely on.”
The preschool, one of 14 similarly run schools on the Island, has operated in St. Mary’s Church for more than 40 years and offers options for children aged two to four.
The preschool’s goal is to raise $10,000 at the fundraiser to help cover operating expenses.The festive event will have live music, appetizers and a cash bar. Some of the items up for bidding include luxury hotel stays, framed artwork and gift certificates for restaurants, various events, services and travel.
The silent auction happens from 7 to 10 p.m. in the upper hall at St. Mary’s Church, 1701 Elgin Rd. Tickets are $10 and available in advance only at silentauction.oakbaypreschool.com.
The preschool also runs a Christmas tree sale fundraiser in December. For more information visitoakbaypreschool.com.