Getting started with a formal education ‘career’ is exciting for both parents and children. It’s the beginning of a new chapter and you want your child to be prepared to have an amazing schooling experience.
Things to support your child to know before they start school
While schooling prepares your child for many of the challenges ahead in life, there are a few things your child should know to be prepared for this new experience.
Your child should be able to verbalize wants and needs.
It’s going to be a new atmosphere with new faces around. Even though the staff at school are trained to work with young children, they may not always understand what your child may need. Encourage and teach your child to be more vocal about his/her wants and needs. This will help your child to adjust and be comfortable at school and have a better experience. It will also help your child interact with other children and make new friends .
Your child should be able to use the bathroom independently.
While it’s important for your child to be vocal about their needs, they should also be able to do some things independently. One of the most important thing that your child should do without any help – is use the bathroom. The teachers at school are not going to accompany their students to the bathroom. So the children must be able to handle themselves in the bathroom. They should be able to remove their clothing, wipe themselves, wash hands and put their clothing back on – on their own.
Your child should be able to handle being separated from you.
Young children who have never spent much time without their parents can have separation anxiety when they go to school. With the new atmosphere and people, your child may get overwhelmed. While teachers should make children feel comfortable and safe in the school environment, your child should also be able to trust them. It is important to teach your child that it’s okay to be in a new environment.
Your child should be able to handle a book.
Even if your child doesn’t know how to read a book, he/she should be able to handle it without damaging the book. Teach your child that a book is not something to be played with or torn and what is the right way to hold a book. Your childshould be able to recognise a book by its cover and locate the text.
Your child should be able to look after their belongings
As your child begins school, they will take on increasing responsibility for their belongings. Your child will be responsible for putting their bag, hat, books, lunch box etc in the appropriate place each day. They should be able to recognise their own belongings, return their belongings to the correct place and remember these tasks each day.
The first year of school will teach the basics of formal education and other social activities. While your child will learn a lot of new things for the first time during this first year of formal education, it is always good to be prepared for some of these experiences. Having the simple understanding of a few things before they start school can make this experience much easier and happier for your child.