How do I prepare my child for school?
This is a question that I am most commonly asked.
This early learning, school readiness blog gives my top five pieces of advice for things you can do at home to help prepare your child for their first year of school.
1. Help your child learn how to write their name independently. To begin with, this can be a challenge for this age group – but like anything, practice makes perfect. Start by getting your child to trace over their name – use coloured pencils, whiteboards and markers, chalk and mini blackboards – Make it fun and engaging! On a side note, Early Learning Centres would (should) do this as a daily routine for school readiness in the year before they begin school.
2. Purchase a scrapbook for them to use as their ‘learning book.’ Here they can do all sorts of activities. There are plenty of Literacy and Numeracy activities online which you could print off. I recommend finding things that involved letters and their associated sounds as well as numbers 1-10. Your child would benefit from being exposed to these so they have some familiarity with these concepts when they are taught in the classroom. Certainly do not feel pressure for your child to recite every letter and sound before they begin school. These 'learning' activities need to be fun experiences - certainly do not pressure your child to perform when the circumstances are not right.
3. Use scissors and glue! Some might say this is a simple skill….The Prep teachers would love some great scissor and glue skills to begin the year. Demonstrate to your child, how to take a glue lid off and on, how to glue a sheet in (using your workbook), how to work on the next available page in the workbook (not in the middle of the book or wherever they turn to). Allow your child to practice these skills. They are important.
4. Health – My other passion and belief in life! Nutrition, sleep/rest, exercise, sunshine and water are fuel for our children’s bodies (parents too!). This is so important. All of these things aid in better concentration and engagement in the day to day activities. It is important not to overcrowd the extra curricular activities during the week. This will ensure plenty of family time for relationships to bloom further.
5. The most important preparation tool you can use and do – READ BOOKS. I will have to write a whole other blog on this topic. I can’t stress the importance of reading to your child and encouraging a love for reading. Even after the most manic days working or staying home with the children, this is the most lovely way to end the day. Children love being read to and the benefits are crucial to their development.
The early years matter! If you are interested in more information about early learning and school readiness activities, please contact us at Step to Prep for a private parent consultation where we offer information and learning packs to utilise at home.