Preparing Your Child for School
Sending your child to school for the first time is learning for both you and your child. It will be for the first time that the child will be amongst unknown people and that too for a long period. It will be easier for your child to settle at pre-school if you’ve gradually got her used to being left with other care givers, such as grandparents, relatives, maids and friends. Leaving her for short periods and then gradually building it up until your child is happy to be left without you will make it easier for her and reduce the separation anxiety.
Visit the pre-school
You can involve your child in the preparation process by asking her to be with you while you arrange for her school supplies. She can accompany you on your first visit to school, which would enable you to understand how she responds to the environment and watch how the care givers, teachers and the support staff (ayahs) interact with her.” Reassure her, talk positively about the school, all the fun activities such as playing outside in the park, painting pictures, playing with sand and water, singing songs, and building with blocks that go on, the other children and the staff.
Teaching a few self help skills will help the child to be more self sufficient. Some parents are anxious about potty training. However, all pre-school staff is prepared for occasional accidents and won’t expect children to ask every time they need the toilet – they’ll get plenty of gentle reminders. Pack spare pants and a change of clothes in your child’s bag just in case and tell him that no-one will be angry if they do have an accident.
Although it is healthy to start with a breakfast, avoid forcing the child to have a heavy breakfast. Pack something which your child likes and is easy to eat and is not messy. Help her practise eating at home on her own to enable her to be more independent. Make sure you tell the school staff about any food allergies or intolerances.
On the first day
Your child may not be prepared for you to just drop her off and leave on the first day, so be prepared to hang around until she’s settled. Tell her honestly when you will be back instead of fooling her off with false statements such as “Mummy’s just going to the washroom” when you make your exit. Tell her you’ll be back after lunch/drink and biscuit me/story time. In most cases your child will be enjoying their exciting new experience. You could still leave your number with the staff so that if required, you can be contacted.
Problems settling in?
Just accept that children are all individuals and your child will eventually settle down. Some children find the experience of starting pre-school stressful and take a little longer. Try staying with your
child for the session and move away once she becomes engaged with an activity but do not
leave the room. Some chi Id ren will settle better if you keep your good byes brief.
Don’t worry about letters and numbers
“Children learn by playing and therefore optimal learning means being encouraged to play.” “It’s easy to confuse what you want from early year’s education with what you will later want from a school,”. A good pre-school will provide a balanced agenda of directed activities that are suitable for your child’s level of development and will help them to learn through playing.