The transition from home or childcare to big school is a momentous step for both the child and the parents. Taking the time to prepare your child in the lead-up can relieve any apprehensions about learning in a new environment.
Not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place because here, we will share our top tips to help you to prepare your child for school.
8 Tips To Prepare Your Child For School
1. If they aren’t already, enrol them in a pre-kindy program
Pre-kindy programs have been designed to prepare preschoolers for school. It teaches them the academic and social skills they need to move into the next phase of their lives. It can also support them in areas that they need extra help with.
In primary school, there are learning expectations that all children at this age should have an understanding of or are working towards reaching these goals. Some basics your child will be taught are to follow directions, listen, share, and socialize.
2. Have a chat with other parents whose children are going to the same school
Your child has likely made some friends in their time at daycare (if they go), and you may have spoken to other parents or made friends with them.
Organize catch-ups over the Christmas break before school starts if you can. This can make your child’s relationships with their peers stronger, and seeing friendly and familiar faces can help to alleviate any first-day jitters.
3. Go to the orientation day if possible
Every school runs orientation days for the new prep/kindergarteners and if you can attend, this a great way for you to learn the whereabouts of your child’s classroom and amenities as well as meet their teacher.
Your child will have the opportunity to interact with their teacher and peers. The teacher will show your child where everything is in the classroom, what they need for their first day and let them know of some of the school’s rules and expectations.
Going to see the school, classroom and teacher beforehand avoids uncertainty on the first day and can help to prevent your child from getting overwhelmed.
4. Talk to your child about school in a light and positive way
Heading into primary school is a leading conversation for many families with preschoolers, and it should be spoken about with excitement.
Shining a positive light onto going to school rather than planting seeds of doubt by not talking about it, gives them time to accept that they will be in a new environment.
It will be fun, and they are going to make new friends. You will be able to get a gauge on how your child is feeling about going to school by their responses.
5. Get your child into a routine
You may already have a set routine for your child, and if you do, that’s great, you should continue with this moving into primary school. If you don’t, now is the perfect time to start one.
School is a stimulating environment, and your child will be on the go, so they need adequate rest to recharge them for the day ahead. Having a set schedule can make your mornings easier as your child will know what they have to do to get out the door on time.
6. Master toilet training
By this time, your child will likely know how to go to the toilet with little support. If they still need your assistance, this is something they should be aiming to do themselves before primary school begins.
Teach your child how to turn on and off taps by themselves, the correct handwashing technique, how to close and open lockable toilet doors.
Remind them to only pull their pants down once they are in the toilet cubicle and it’s locked. The same applies when exiting the toilet.
7. Practice some prep/kindergarten basic learning skills
While your child is at home, you can help them master their learning by practicing with them. Some basic skills can include learning their ABCs, counting to 10 or more, writing their name, and recognizing their name.
If your child has already mastered these skills, step it up a notch to challenge them further. You can do this by teaching them to recognize letters and numbers through reading and writing.
8. Teach them to take care of their things
Looking after belongings isn’t a strong point for many children. When starting primary school, your child will need to take extra stuff they may not have had to be responsible for before at home or daycare.
The biggest thing you can teach your child in the lead up to primary school is putting their belongings back in their school bag as soon as they are done with them.
Some items that commonly get misplaced are drink bottles, jumpers, hats, lunchboxes, and pencil cases. So, prepare your child for this as well.
How do I know whether child care or home is better for my child?
Every family is different, and ultimately it comes down to what works best for your child and family. Only you as the caregiver can decide what is the better option.
If you are considering daycare for your child and are looking for a center on the southern end of the Gold Coast, get in touch with our friendly team here at Little Saints.
We offer an exceptional pre-kindy program that will help you to prepare your child to go once they start primary school. Contact us today for more information.