Going to school is a very exciting experience, but a new school can be confusing. It is important to get your children ready to start school so they can do well.
Visit the school with your child
It can be scary for your child to get ready to start school. One thing you can do to help is to visit the school with your child before the start of the year. This will make the school feel more familiar to your child on the first day.
Parents need to learn about the school too! In Italy, every level of school is different and may have a different schedule. Many schools invite parents and children to “open days.” On open days, you can learn about hours, dates, lessons, and sports and other activities.
Not all schools start their school year on the same day. On open days, you can make sure of the day and time that your child’s school starts and where they go when they arrive on the first day.
Talk to your child
Talking to your children about their new school is the best way to prepare them. Talk about what will be different in their new school and about what to expect on the first day. Ask about your child’s feelings. He or she may be worrying about something. Say, “Do you have any questions?” This will help your child feel supported and prepare them for their new beginnings.
Children usually need some supplies at the beginning of the school year. Parents usually need to get a diary (called libretto in Italy), pencils, erasers, pens, notebooks, books, and backpacks. The exact things children need depends on the school and grade. The school will give you the list of what you need to buy during the first weeks. You do not need to get materials until the school tells you.
In some schools, children also wear school uniform. A uniform is clothing that matches what all the other students wear.
If you cannot afford school supplies or uniforms, ask the school secretary about financial aid. Read about the costs of school and help with expenses from the ISEE.
Set a homework and bedtime routine
Children have long days at school. During the school year, many parents have a routine for homework, other activities, and bedtime.
Children bring homework from school every day. Having a set time to do homework in the afternoon or early in the evening will save a lot of problems!
A bedtime routine is when children always go to bed and wake up at a specific time. It is very important for children to get enough sleep so they have energy during the day to learn, play and do other activities. Children who are tired have a harder time learning and being happy.
Other services in school
Some schools have before-school and after-school activities to give working parents more time. When schools offer those services, children can arrive early and leave later than the other students.
Some schools also offer school transportation. You can get more information about school activities and transportation at the school.