How do I ensure that my child has a good day at school?

School can be a very overwhelming and often frustrating experience, there are certain steps that a parent can take to relieve some of the stress and make their children’s schooling experience a more enjoyable one.

Below are 10 simple tips that will help your child have a good day at school

  • Be strict about a regular routine.
  • A good night’s sleep is key. A grade 1 child should be in bed by 19:30, lights out at 20:00.
  • Insist that your child eats a good breakfast, avoid sugary cereals and provide a protein-rich breakfast that will sustain your child for longer.
  • Pack water, a decent snack and a protein-based lunch. We’ll talk more about healthy eating in my next blog.
  • Pack your child’s school uniform out the night before.
  • Prepare your child’s lunch box and school bag together, put this in a designated place.
  • Make sure to set the alarm early enough so the mornings run smoothly and calmly.
  • Make sure there is sufficient time for a goodbye hug, keep in mind that a chaotic morning will lead to a chaotic day.
  • Be punctual, don’t drop your child off late for school, this models respect for others time and fosters a good work ethic.
  • Model a positive attitude towards school.

It is also important to become a part of your child’s day by asking questions; this way you will know if something is bothering your child as well as highlight good parts of their day. It is also a great way of keeping communication open with your child.

How was your day questions?

These questions will avoid “OK” and “FINE” answers.

  • Tell me about the best part of your day.
  • What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
  • Did any of your classmates do anything funny?
  • Tell me about what you read in class.
  • Who did you play with today? What did you play?
  • Do you think maths [or any subject] is too easy or too difficult?
  • What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?
  • What rules are different at school than our rules at home? Do you think they’re fair?
  • Who did you sit with at lunch?
  • Can you show me something you learned (or did) today?

At Shelanti Private Remedial School our main focus is to create a positive teaching environment for your children.

Teaching Independence And Responsibility

Teaching Your Child Independence And Responsibility

This week I want to focus on these two skills: Independence and Responsibility. Let’s look at the importance of independence. Why is this such a vital skill to master?

Independence Creates:

  • Confidence
  • A sense of self
  • A “can-do” attitude

It cultivates, patience, grit, self-drive and most importantly self-trust. Without independence, your child will not develop into the unique individual they are meant to be. As younger children take on more responsibility they begin to see themselves as being capable, this, in turn, gives them the confidence to try new things.

Responsibility is as important. Let’s look at some reasons why you should raise responsible children.

Essential Elements Of Responsible Behaviour:

  • Honesty
  • Compassion
  • Respect
  • Fairness
  • Accountability
  • Courage

With all the attributes mentioned above, your child will be able to face whatever challenges the future brings. As we all know the future, and the challenges it brings, is uncertain. What is certain, is that your child will have to be responsible and independent to succeed.

Tips On How To Raise More Responsible And Independent Children

  • Encourage your child to carry and pack their own belongings.
  • Give your child responsibilities at home i.e. set the table.
  • Teach them to tie their own shoelaces.
  • Teach them your cell number and address.
  • Give them a say in what they want to wear.
  • Teach them to blow their own noses.
  • Teach them to dress themselves.
  • They must follow simple instructions without you repeating them.
  • Allow them to make mistakes.
  • Don’t intervene when things go wrong, let them figure it out.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Create learning moments where they must make a plan or think about the solution themselves.
  • Forget perfection.
  • Stop and wait.
  • Don’t jump to accommodate every request.

Encourage independence and responsibility by teaching young children age-appropriate tasks and problem-solving skills. When they exhibit responsible behavior reward them by telling them they have done a great job. This will make them feel good and motivate them to continue learning a sense of responsibility.

At Shelanti we form an instrumental part in helping pupils through this process, providing a nurturing and supportive environment and fostering these qualities as part of our core values.

Preparing Your Child For First Grade

Preparing your child for 1st grade

Hints to parents

The transition from preschool to grade 1 is an exciting time for your children, however, this can also be a very frightening time as they leave behind the comfort of a home-like atmosphere for a more structured environment. In the first year of “big school,” your child will attain vast amounts of knowledge in a short period of time that will lay the foundation of their learning experience and ultimately shape your child’s future.

There are certain steps you can take to prepare your preschooler for the year ahead, we have taken some time to put together a list of tips and tricks to assist with this process.

Comments you should avoid prior to the first year of school

  • “Wait until you get to Grade 1.”
  • “They will sort you out next year when you go to a big school.”

These comments are unfavorable as they may cause unnecessary anxiety and hinder your child’s excitement for the year ahead. 

Remind your child of the following

  • He/she might not have the same amount of free playtime. 
  • The school day will be a little longer.
  • He/she will learn new and exciting things.
  • He/she will wear a formal uniform. (Let them wear their uniform at home to get used to the feeling.)
  • Shoes and socks can only be taken off at special times.
  • Show your child how to put their socks inside their shoes.
  • He/she can only eat at certain times of the day.
  • He/she should inform the teacher when needing the bathroom. 

It is of utmost importance to have clear communication with your children to prepare them for all the changes to come and alleviate the fear of the unknown. Encourage your child to ask questions and answer these questions in a clear and precise way.

Tips on curbing your child’s anxiety

  • If your child can’t tie shoelaces, due to e.g. poor motor planning, buy shoes with Velcro fasteners. Remember to inform the teacher of this.
  • Practice unbuttoning their pants/trousers. It will make bathroom visits easier.
  • Practice packing and unpacking the school bag.
  • Show them where the special pocket is where money/medication/notes will be packed. Always put this in an envelope. NEVER give it in their hands.
  • Let him/her assist when packing lunchboxes. 
  • Pack water.
  • Find out which extra-curricular activities the school offers. Encourage your child to commit to one activity. Let your child see it through for the term.
  • Do not cry when greeting your child.
  • The greeting should be kind but firm. Do not linger.
  • Ensure that all your child’s belongings are clearly marked.
  • Label your child’s bag clearly- with your telephone number clearly visible.
  • There should be a designated time at which you pack your child’s bag and lunch with them assisting.
  • Put school uniform out the night before.
  • Have a morning schedule clearly visible in your child’s room. Take actual photos of your child doing the morning routine e.g. brushing teeth, getting dressed, breakfast, etc.

One of the major changes in this transition is the increase of responsibility and expectations. The role the parents take is to support, guide, discuss, plan, and encourage positive engagement.

Tips to avoid chaotic mornings that will negatively influence your child’s day

  • Keep to a strict routine.
  • Encourage him/her to take responsibility for his/her belongings, e.g. pack toys away after using them.
  • No screen time at least an hour before bed.
  • Be prompt and punctual. This is a vital life skill they will learn by your example.

Ultimately first grade will be challenging both on kids and parents alike, you will grow into the new routine and make a few mistakes along the way and that’s okay. At Shelanti Private School we are here to assist every step of the way, our teachers are excited to start the first year journey with you and your child. Request a tour today and see why Shelanti is one of the top private remedial schools in the Western Cape.

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