How to Help a Preschool Newbie to Self-Adjust in Digestible Steps

With Axelle
Monday, April 9th, 2018

Axelle started her school 4 months before her third birthday. It was on March 2, 2018. For Korean standard, she is quite late to enter her first school, preschool. Most Korean kids usually are being sent to school between 1 ~ 1.5 years old. There is one baby of 15-month old in Axelle’s school too. Whatever the age, the first time is always difficult for kids to enjoy any fun activities at school. As parents, we have every rights to involve in helping our kids to adjust well to their school routine, especially for the first-timers.

Join her Classroom

Compared to other kids, Axelle seems so fragile and awkward as she has never been left alone without one of us. To avoid increasing a shockwave for Axelle, I asked a permission to her school teacher if I could be with Axelle in her classroom for a couple of days. They agreed to the fact that Axelle is going to have a language barrier. So, I have been volunteering myself as Axelle’s teacher’s assistant for one whole week at her school. The good point is, I saw everything that not every parent have a chance to see how it is inside. And I am going to share one ‘behind the scene’ story at a time with you.

For the whole week, I relieved this teacher from 1-less-kid to be taken care of. She only focused on the other 5 little kids that 2 of them were very difficult to manage. “Loud crying for the first few weeks from the newbies is always expected“, the teacher said.

Step Out, but Still Stay In

On the second week, I tried to remove myself out from her classroom. I got a permission as well to just wait for Axelle in the office room at school. This office is where I could watch Axelle through their CCTV live screen. Oo yeah… She cried. She cried a lot! Although from home, I already ‘warned’ her that there are no Mammas being allowed to enter into a classroom. And I promised her that I will be just staying inside that room and I am going to put my bag on the bench visible to her. She could even check my shoes still inside the building to confirm her that ‘I am not going anywhere‘. Keeping this as a promise is important to her. Our trust is on the line. She also promised me that she “…will still cry a lot”, which she did. So far, I took her home after lunch time, so she could nap at home, –not at school–, like usual.

Pick a Perfect Day toward Adding a Little More Routine

The next day, we decided to add a little ‘shockwave’ to her schedule. She needs to start taking a nap at the school like all kids there. Failed. I took her home again for napping.

The next day, a field trip to an arboretum botanical garden. This is the moment where I could use it to make her start napping at school because she will be insanely tired after that trip. Success! She napped for the first time although only for a 1-hour nap. It is better than nothing. First time napping is done. Next is just a follow-up.

Image Credits: Tanaphong Toochinda

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