If your children are approaching the age of five and will soon be starting school, then here are some useful tips on preparing them for the educational transition.
It’s a big step for children to start school for the first time and it’s no wonder that many youngsters are nervous or anxious about the prospect. Parents, too, get a bit on edge about it and want the transition from pre-school to infant school to go well, so that their children settle in, feel comfortable and have a happy time. The happier they are being at school, the more likely they are to do well, concentrate in lessons and boost their learning and early education knowledge.
Sometimes the transition goes smoothly and you wonder what on earth you were worried about. It can help if your child has attended pre-school sessions at an infant or primary school, where they’ll later start school properly aged five, as they’ll at least be familiar with the environment. Or if they’ve got an older sibling who already goes to the school they’re attending, then they’ll have hopefully heard positive things about it already or know where the school is from having been to collect them from school with you.
Familiarising Your Child With the School
However, if your child hasn’t got into your school of choice or is a firstborn and you’ve had no previous contact with the school, then it’s a good idea to help familiarise them with it as much as possible in advance of their first day. Most schools will offer an introductory day, or session, where children go along and see how things work, meet their teacher, find out which room they’ll be based in and get a general feel for what school might be like.
You can also take them along in your own time to see the school, either by walking past or driving past, so they at least know where they’re going and where door is.
Explaining What the Day Will Be Like
Many children of this age find it quite hard to grasp that they’ll be at school all day, rather than just a few hours or half a day, as with pre-school. Some children are also under the notion that once the first day is over, they won’t have to go again for a while.
To try and avoid any confusion and help your child understand what school will be like, when they’ll have to go and what each day will typically be like, it’s a good idea to have a good chat to them about it. You may need to do this on several occasions, for them to fully or partially grasp the idea.
You might find that reading books about starting school may help the information sink in a bit more. There are both good fictional stories, where characters go to school for the first time, or some non-fiction books available for that age group to help them get to grips with starting school.