Starting school is a huge change in a young child’s life, and a big adjustment for parents too. Being well prepared will help to make it a positive and exciting experience for them – and for you.
Play schools together, you can be teacher and they can be student along with any other family members.
Try on their new school uniform, and be sure to tell them how grown up they look.
Play Simon Says so that your child can easily follow instructions that are given by the teacher.
Get chatting together, clear communication and making sure that they are confident talking to adults as well as other children will really support them in their day to day school life.
Good toilet habits are so important. You’d be amazed at the amount of children that start school that aren’t toilet trained or know how to blow their nose in a tissue. However harsh it sounds, you will be judged for this.
Involve them in household activities, any opportunity they have to help with cutting, cooking and washing will stand them in good stead for starting school.
Make sure that they can write their name. This is very important, no matter how many times you are told that it doesn’t matter if they can’t, trust me it DOES. At the very least, they need to be able to recognise it and pick it out of a sea of coat pegs with other names on them.
And know how to count, start by singing songs like One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Once I caught a Fish Alive etc.
Social skills, this one’s obvious. But do not be fooled into thinking that their social development primarily comes from being around their peers, it doesn’t. Their social skills can be encouraged by talking to Grandpa, their siblings or even their pet dog.
Do some fact sheets on being school-ready together here