Starting school is a significant milestone for both parents and child. School is the next most influential socialising agency after the home. It is important that both home and school work closely together. To help your child make a smooth transition to school, consider the following.
1. Find out as much information about the school as possible. Get the enrolment package, meet the principal, ask other parents. Most schools have a series of pre-visits for your child to become familiar with school.
2. Talk to your child about going to school. Talk about the teacher’s name, who the principal is, what they’ll be doing at school.
De-mystify the process. Talk about some of the other kids who are already there.
5. Talk about road safety and stranger danger. Try and arrange a group to walk with if they’re going to walk alone.
6. Label everything!
7. Try and teach your child to tie their own shoes or buy shoes with Velcro.
8. Label everything!
9. Try and teach your children to rote count to ten and recognise and spell their own name before they start school.
Continue the practice of reading ‘to, with and by’. Read to your child. Read with your child. Listen to reading, by your child. Show good modelling by reading yourself and it is particularly good if Dad can be part of the reading and modelling process.
10. When your child starts school, show an interest and be positive and encouraging. The scribbled screwed up piece of paper they bring home is a source of great pride to them.
11. Finally, don’t jump to conclusions! No, the teacher didn’t give the big boy a blood nose! Children come home with weird and wonderful tales. Suspend judgement. Don’t ring the neighbour. Go down and ask the teacher.