Junior Infants – 1st day
First Day Encourage your child to become independent by, e.g., teaching them how to take off and put on their coat, store gloves and hat, fasten shoes and buttons, open schoolbag, lunch box and drink container. Make sure the lunch box and container fit into the school bag. Choose a practical school bag – zip close type is preferable. Give lunches that they can manage easily.
Establish a good routine early. Check that all items, clothes, bag, lunch, are ready for the morning. Give plenty of time for washing, dressing, breakfast and getting to school. Children who arrive late may find it intimidating to walk into a class already in progress.
On the first day, if you are upset, try not to show it. It’s best not to stay too long. Leave, even if the child is upset: trust the teacher. The teacher is very experienced and will know how to reassure an anxious child.
It is important to collect your child on time. They may become upset if they feel they are being left behind. It can take some children longer than others to adapt to the routine of school. It’s best not to expect too much too soon: they will settle in their own time.
In the Infant classes, a lot of the work is activity based and the children are not conscious of “learning” as adults understand it. They may tell you, when asked, that they did “nothing” that day. You may have more success if you ask them what they sang, what they painted, what story they listened to, and what teacher said.
Homework is kept to a minimum in the Infant classes. In Junior infants it will usually consist of learning words for reading, and later, reading itself. They may be asked to finish a worksheet later in the year. The children are just learning to write in Junior Infants, so written homework would be out of the question. A nice bedtime story and early to bed is preferable.