Advancing from preschool to primary 1 is an exciting time for your child. The countdown to the first day of school has already started. However, it can be hard for you to gauge whether your little one is ready to move onto the next level without any tests. So how can you help them prepare for what primary school has to offer? Here are several pointers to help get everyone ready for this new school level.
- Get familiar with the school together
New places filled with unfamiliar faces can be quite overwhelming for kids. A trip to the school beforehand will allow them to familiarize themselves with the new environment, teachers, and other adults at the school. Find out if the school runs orientations and make time to attend. Besides giving your child the time to know their new surroundings, you also get to assess the facilities and faculty. Ask about where the kids play, their schedules, the school staff’s expectations, whether they accommodate special needs, etc. for instance, ask which days the sports uniform needs to be worn? This information will help prepare both of you for what happens at school.
- Enroll them in early education
It’s all about the foundation they get. Quality early education in preschool or kindergarten supports all areas in a kid’s development and provides them with the self-confidence and skills needed to easily transition into school. For instance, even before going to primary school, kids can already be skilled at sitting and listening, sharing, or creative arts and crafts skills such as modeling.
- Read with your little one
Among the many concerns, parents have about their children joining primary 1, is whether they will have difficulty reading and writing. And while it’s among the first things they learn at school, it doesn’t hurt to expose them to books beforehand. Reading with them helps kids develop active listening skills and learn how to pay attention. It’s not crucial that your little one learns how to read by themselves, but this allows them to enjoy reading and learning how to pronounce words and what they mean.
- Get them excited about starting school
Going to school is a new thing for them, so it’s important to let your child get excited about it as it helps prepare them emotionally. Take note of how they react about conversations about school. Are they happy, confused, or anxious? Follow their lead and encourage them to ask any questions they may have. Listen intently and answer them as honestly as you can. To get them excited about school, you can read children’s books about going to school in the weeks before school starts. This serves as an aid in getting them used to the idea of going to school.
- Adjust routines to sleep and wake up in time for school
Since you are about to start going to school, expect a completely new routine. From early mornings to different lunch and nap times. Since they’re going to have days full of activities, getting enough sleep is crucial for them to behave and concentrate. The early days of going to school can be exhausting, so make the right adjustments to their sleep schedules. The same goes for you too; you don’t want to wake up cranky every morning. So while setting up these routines, remember it for the both of you.
- Teach them independence
Other than focusing on the academic side of things, throw in some life skills into the mix. It’s imperative that your little one learns how to be independent because you won’t be around whenever they need you. They also need to assume some responsibility and accountability by learning how to take care of their belongings. Let your child help you in choosing and labeling their school belongings, so they get familiar with what’s theirs. Help them do simple tasks such as packing and unpacking their backpacks, or eating lunch from a lunch box at recess.
- Help them learn how to use the bathroom
Another important independence skull your little toddler needs to learn by the time school starts is how to use the bathroom by themselves. Think of it as next-level potty training. Practice using public restrooms to explain how the toilets at school might be like. Explain that girls and boys use different bathrooms and also show them practical skills such as opening and shutting toilet doors, pulling up pants after finishing their business, and teaching boys how to use a urinal.
Giving your toddler the best start to their school life can have a positive impact that ripples all through their education. So getting it right is important. With these tips, your little one will be prepared and have an easier time settling at school.