Starting School : Why Education Begins Before the Classroom
Starting school is a significant event and seeing one of the most precious people in your life take those first steps alone into school can bring about intense emotions for all parties involved.
It is important to put the foundations in place to make this life event go as smoothly as possible. The following are important steps parents and caregivers can do to make sure that their children are as prepared for their first day of school.
- Teach independence: The more your child can do for themselves the easier they’ll find the experience of starting school. Encourage basic tasks, such as being able to do up zips and buttons, putting their jacket on and off, using the toilet independently, putting their shoes on.
- Read, read, and read more… This is such an important skill, and the earlier you start the easier it will be for your child as teachers further advance this. Plus, sitting and reading is not just one of the biggest advantages you can give your child, it’s one of the most pleasurable aspects of looking after children. This simple action will be one of the memories of your child’s early years that will remain with you for a lifetime.
- Teach both sides of communication: It is important to encourage your child to communicate their wants and needs. At school there is also going to be times when they will be expected to sit quietly and listen without interrupting. You can begin to prepare for this, either with other members of the family or even with teddies and dolls. Sit in a circle or around the table and encourage discussion, taking it in turns to listen and to speak.
- Inspire friendships: Give your child as much opportunity as possible to socialise with other children. Invite friends with children for playdates, and motivate your child to talk to others when you’re out and about at activities such as swimming, in the playground, or at nursery. Pre-school is a great place for children to grow their socialising skills.
- Start the basics: Activities such as drawing, counting and basic letter recognition provides an excellent foundation from which to further learn. School preparation is less about what your child knows and more about being ready for education.
- Talk positively about the upcoming new experience: This can have a massive effect on how your child will approach those all-important first days at school. To reduce anxiety prior to starting school, try and visit the classroom in advance with your child.
- Talk about the tough stuff: Don’t be afraid to address more difficult issues, such as standing up for yourself, differences and even bullying. Teaching your child empowerment from a young age is one of the best gifts a parent can give. There are some great books to help with this, such as Spaghetti In A Hot Dog Bun (Maria Dismondy) and Wemberly Worried (Kevin Henkes) that both address such issues in an age-specific manner.
One of the best ways to prepare children for school is through a carefully selected pre-school. Nido Early School provide a nurturing environment staffed by a great team who are committed to the very best pre-school education that gives kids a head start into the big wide world ahead of them.