School Readiness how to set your child up for success.
Is He or Isn’t He?
That is the question and hot topic in preschools at the moment in regards to school readiness. If you have decided to send your child to school, then set your child up for success by taking on board these 5 handy hints.
Go to all Orientations so your child can establish familiar faces and places.
Try to befriend a mother so that you can organise play dates before starting, because a familiar face in the playground will be invaluable.
Talk often about school and the teachers from now on, and what will happen in the day so your child has time to process this information and ask questions.
Be sure that all activities in first term next year are put on hold. Your child will be tired, exhausted and will need some down time after school.
Set an appropriate bed time. Kindergarten children should be in bed no later than 7-30 pm (and even that is quite late). Children at this age still require 10 to 11 hours sleep. This is one thing that school teachers get very annoyed with because they can see the children who are tired and lack energy and this will inhibit your child to learn and stay focused
Your role as a parent
Don’t just think it’s your child that needs to be ready for the start of school. Now that you have made the decision to send to school, there are certain expectation and responsibilities that you will need to be aware of.
All schools are different, however I want to discuss some very simple expectations that teachers and schools discuss with us on a regularly basis.
All schools will expect children to:-
Have eaten a healthy and nutritious breakfast. In most schools the literacy and numeracy components of the day, occurs in the morning or before lunch, so breakfast is a must before school. Teachers see some children fading in energy and exhibiting fatigue as early as morning teatime. Ask the school if they have ‘fruit break ‘or ‘sip and crunch’ to keep their levels of concentrate going until lunchtime.
Dress and undress themselves. Start now and encourage some independence because it will only help them when at school. Make sure all girls are comfortable and have had practice with tights, especially going to the bathroom. Another suggestion would be to buy Velcro shoes for the first couple of years to take away the pressure of tying a shoelace. Most children will have these. I heard one mother say that she left her shoelaces untied all day in kindergarten because the teachers were too busy to tie them up.
Be on time, and in saying that, be at school before the bell sounds in a calm and orderly manner. If you are not a morning person and the mornings are always a struggle, then recognise it and do most things in the evening. Lunches can be pre made and stored in the fridge (yes bread remains fresh when unwrapped the next day), Bags can be packed and at the front door and uniforms all organised in each child’s bedroom.
Television before school can be quite calming in the house. It can also have the opposite effect with slow eaters and slow dressers, so establish a rule that TV turns off at a certain time OR TV does not go on until everything is done and all are ready to leave the house. Teachers will call a meeting with you if you are a consistent offender in tardiness as it disrupts the morning with all the other children.
When you consider the amount of time you are with your child in comparison to a school teacher, it’s no wonder that the saying “Parents are a child’s first educator” deems true. Starting school is not a time for parents to sit back and let teachers take the reins; it’s a working partnership with teachers taking on the role of the formal educator. Everything else is still up to the parent. Homework needs parents to establish a time and place, supervise and assist and check.
It is up to you as a parent to establish the routine and encourage your children to be on time and organised. Give your child some jobs to do as well as dressing and undressing themselves to increase their independence and make rules and hold firm on all electronic devices (TV included)
Your child is going to be at school for many many years and we want them to enjoy the experience and make the most of their opportunities. So let’s set our kids up for a successful future!