Starting school is an exciting time for young children and their parents. It can be a daunting time, too. Chat with your child about starting school. What do they think it will be like? What are they most looking forward to? Is there anything they’re unsure or worried about? Be sure to listen to their concerns and help them to overcome them.
Here are a few ways parents can prepare their children for school:
- Children should have had a recent developmental check, including an eye and hearing test.
- Children should be prepared to be separated from their parent or main carer and have had prior experience of this.
- Children should be able to use the bathroom as independently as possible. Support your child to be confident about getting to the bathroom in time and using toilet paper.
- Chat to your child about the importance of hand washing with soap and water, especially after going to the toilet.
- Children should be able to vocalise their needs such as toileting, thirst, hunger, illness etc.
- Introduce your child to using a tissue, nose-blowing and washing their hands afterwards.
- Children should have had experience of opening and closing containers in preparation for snack/ lunch times, be able to feed themselves and be used to eating a widening range of healthy foods.
- Children should have had some swimming pool experience prior to joining school.
- Encourage your child to practise putting on their school clothes and taking them off.
- Children should be read to everyday. This will help develop a love of books, understanding of words and language, listening skills and increase their ability to focus and concentrate.
With a little preparation and encouragement, most children will settle in easily at school. And you have any concerns be sure to ask to teacher about them too!