When children first start school there is a lot for them to get used to. Some children will adapt more easily than others. Helping children to feel confident and positive about school will give them a good start. There are many things you can do to help your child transition to school as smoothly as possible.
Becoming familiar with your child’s school
- Refer to the school as your child’s school whenever you are passing by.
- Attending school fetes, fairs or community events.
- Finding out from your preschool or day care centre which children from the centre will be attending the school. You can then organise play afternoons and get to know some other parents.
- Asking if your preschool is running a parent evening to provide information on school readiness.
- Attend the school orientation days and parent information sessions
Building your child’s confidence for school
Some children adapt very easily to school. It is important that you do not display anxiety about attending school nor speak negatively about your children not being at home. Talk about the excitement of attending school, and present school as the next interesting chapter in your child’s life.
Visit the library and borrow books about children going to school. Download stories your child may like to read and read them on a computer or tablet.
Read to your child on a regular basis and model reading to them whenever possible. Develop a love of reading, books and learning.
As a parent, reframe your questions about school, preschool and day care from, ‘What did you do today?’ to a more positive question such as ‘Tell me the best thing you did at school today’, What is one thing you learnt today? Segment the time at school and ask what did you do during the morning, after recess today? This is a useful way of talking with your child after school – not just in kindergarten, but also throughout their schooling.
- Start to get your child into regular sleep and waking hour routines. Children need to be in bed at a reasonable time to wake up refreshed. Televisions or technology (e.g. computers or tablets) should not be in the child’s room. If these items must be in the room, establish a routine, such as not allowing them to be on after dinner. This will help your child begin to relax and prepare for sleep.
- Establish packing away routines with toys and encourage your child to help with simple tasks around the home to develop responsibility.
- Label your child’s belongings for school. Set a pattern that expensive toys and treasured items are not taken to school. If they get lost or broken, this can create a lot of anxiety for you and your child.
- Help your child learn to dress themselves in their uniform and if using laces to tie up their shoes.
- Ensure your child can go to the toilet unassisted and teach them how to ask the teacher should they need to use the toilet during class time.
- Practice walking or travelling to school.
- Become familiar with the many resources available to help keep your child safe as they journey to school, for example safety town.
- Have your child help you pack their lunch. Remember schools are nut-free zones, so consider carefully what to provide in your child’s lunch box. Think about easy-to-open lunch boxes, re-useable water bottles, sandwiches, and fresh fruit and vegetables.
To read the article in its entirety go to the link below. Source: NSW Education Standards (2018, October 19). Transitioning to School Retrieved from http://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/