Heading to primary school for the first time is one of the most significant milestones your child will experience. It’s a big change for them and you. Your children have been set in their routines and habits for a while now, so everything they’ve known is going to be very different, very suddenly, as soon as they start school.
As a parent, you want to make the whole process easier for both your children and for yourself. To help guide you in the right direction, we have a few pieces of advice that we think will help!
Talk to Them All About School
For a few months or at least a few weeks leading up to their first day of primary school, you should start talking to your child about school, telling them what it will be like and what they can expect. Get them interested and excited about the idea of school. Whatever you do, don’t spring school onto them suddenly. The experience could be very off-putting and frightening for them if they’re not eased into it.
Your child’s outlook on going to school can be greatly influenced by you and how you talk about it. If you’re stressed and worried about it (which is completely normal for new parents) try not to let it show and always express positivity and enthusiasm for school. Ease their minds about the whole idea by telling them the fun things they will be doing and the new things they will be experiencing while at school.
Establish Their Independence
As a baby and toddler, you did practically everything for your little one. But as they get older, they slowly begin to learn how to do things on their own. It’s all part of growing up! Whether it be putting their things away, brushing their teeth or putting on their clothes by themselves, anything they can do on their own they should do on their own.
Avoid doing things for them and encourage them to do and make decisions for themselves, so their independence grows and becomes well established. The more and more your children do things on their own, the more confidence they will have in themselves and their abilities. Independence is incredibly important at school because they will need to do many things on their own here, and they won’t be able to ask someone else to do it for them.
Socialising With Others
Along with being a place for learning, school is a place for socialising and making new friends too. Childcare is an ideal place to get used to meeting, socialising and being around other children and adults outside of the family circle.
But if your child doesn’t go to childcare, they can always socialise with other children at playgrounds or in play centres. You could also set up play dates with other families with children. The more opportunities they have to be around and interact with other children, the more socially adjusted they will be heading into school.
Prepare Them for Learning
Many childcare centres have early learning programs in place to help foster an interest in learning from a young age. A structured ‘learn through play’ program like this is the ideal introduction to learning, because it makes learning enjoyable and fun. But lots of learning can be going on at home too.
There are many ways to learn, and you can find lots of toys and learning materials to help your children with letters, numbers and more from a young age. To nurture their learning and development you should:
- Read to them
- Ask them questions where they need to think or find out an answer
- Put them in scenarios where they can solve basic problems
- Get them playing sports or outdoor games to improve hand and eye coordination
- Give them fun and creative activities to do
- Most of all nourish their curiosity about the world around them
Listening and Following Instructions
School is a very structured and routine driven place. There are rules in place, teachers have to be respected and listened to, and children have to do as they are told. Being able to adjust to this environment should start at home.
Just like school, your household should have rules in place for your children to follow, and children should respect their parents and do as they are told. This all comes down to good parenting and establishing yourself as the leader of the household. If this type of environment is something you nurture at home, they will be well adjusted when school starts.
A Childcare Centre That Supports This Transition
Check to see if your childcare centre has a ‘transition to school program’ in place to help make this change easier for them. This transition program primarily focuses on reinforcing a healthy attitude towards school. At Bushkidz, we’re all about nurturing your children while in our care so that they are well prepared and ready to head to school.
Interested in enrolling your child in a childcare centre that can ease your child through this important milestone in their lives? Contact us today for more information about Bush Kidz Blacksoil and Bush Kidz Brassall.