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.