Like the transition from bottle to solids or crawling to walking, entry and transitions through the educational system are milestones that might induce anxiety but more notably unearth a world rich in possibilities and a wealth of experience.
For those who have children making the transition from play school to "big school", most likely you are tying up all the loose ends and preparing bags, lunch boxes and uniforms.
Today, a majority of children have attended a play school, Naonra or Montessori setting or have otherwse been exposed to groups. Both parents and children may have attended open days at school. The groundwork in preparing for big school has already taken place.
TIPS FOR ENTRY INTO SCHOOL
- Talk to your child and let them know what thet can expect, answer any questions they might have.
- Get your child involved in their own daily preparation, you might construct a visual schedule with removable pictures. Demonstrate how to remove the pictures as each task is completed.
- Move your child's bed time back if necessary to adjust for earlier rises.
- Have uniforms ready to hand so that he/she can self dress.
- Allow plenty of time in the mornings, it's easier to manage stress levels in case of mishaps.
- Begin school with healthy snack and lunch choices, plenty of water and familiarise yor child with opening and closing containers, bottles etc.
- Review bathroom etiquette, personal hygiene, how to don/doff and hang a coat.
- Tag all of your child's possessions, so that he/she can locate them
- Promote confidence and self esteem in your child by displaying their school work where possible at home.
- ON THE DAY, smile as your child enters the classroom, even if you don't feel like it - 'fake it till you make it', find a ritual that you both can use to say goodbye to each other.
- Follow the teachers lead, he/she may have a full class of new children and a teacher's prioity is familiarising themselves with the children and establishing a relationship.
- If its not necessary, don't wait around. Overcrowing can be overwhelming for some children. Assure your child you will see them as always in a short while and leave cheerfully.
- Get a coffee, take a walk or get the newspaper. Most primary schools begin with half days, pick up time will roll around before you know it.
- Lastly, let your positivity about your child's new world and adventure be their guide.
Good luck to all our children and parents.