As time gets close for the child to start school, there a number of things which parents can do to help their child settle in easily.
Here are some ideas:
Walk with your child to school so that he/she knows the way. Even if you plan to drive most days, it’s a good idea for a child to know which way to walk home.
Point out the different school buildings and playground areas.
Once school starts, make sure your child knows where to meet you.
If children are to feel secure, it is important that they are met on time.
Practice with the child what he or she should say when asked his or her name or address.
Label any clothes the child may take off, and items like lunch boxes and school bags. Show your child the label and say something like, “See, I have put your name here in blue pencil”.
Talk about how long the school day will be in a way that the child can understand. “It’s as long as kinder, but you will have your lunch after that, and perhaps some stories and then I will come and get you”.
Talk about the difference between “playtime” and “lunchtime”. Show your child what food you have packed and say when you expect it to be eaten. Make sure your child can easily open the lunch box and drink container. Individually wrapped sandwiches are easier to handle.
Choose a school bag or case that is a suitable size for your child. Bags that are too big are awkward and tiring.
Parent / School Relationships
The first day of school can mark the beginning of a clear division between home and school for a child. On the other hand, parents and the school can work together in the interest of the child.
You can help your child make this transition by:
Visiting the school to ask about enrolment well before the child is due to start.
Finding out how to contact teachers if you want to tell them something about your child or discuss his or her progress.
Asking how you may join in school affairs.
Asking if there are things that can be done at home to help the child’s progress at school.
If you don’t know what Prep classes are like, try to arrange a visit to the school and bring your child along. You could talk with the teachers about what they are teaching the children and the reasons for some of their methods.
The emphasis has been on preparing a child for school, but parents have to be prepared too; prepared for the fact that they may miss the child greatly. No longer will they be the main source of wisdom in the child’s life; the teacher will have some influence too. Most parents accept this as a part of a long-term process in helping the child move from total dependence to independence. They accept any mixed feelings about their child’s independence and may even find that they have some time for new activities.
Important Handy Hints
Children must go to bed at a regular time. Suggest 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm every night – especially in hot weather. Every child is different, however early to bed, early to rise!
Reading of class reading materials should be done every night (5 – 10 minutes is required). Some children may wish to take home two books, however, one book is adequate nightly. Don’t limit your reading time to this though – share library books and favourites also.
A clean handkerchief should be brought to school every day, although tissues are available in classrooms.
All jumpers, articles of clothing, art smock, drinking flask, lunch box, hat, swimmers, etc., to be labelled.
Articles brought to school, such as for Show and Tell, need to be labelled.
If letters are sent to school, the child should be aware of this, whether there is a lunch order in his / her bag for instance.
If you have any problems or want a chat, ring the Principal, Andrew Whatley, and we can organise a time to do so. Keep in regular contact with the child’s classroom teacher.
Remember all children are different and progress at different rates in different areas. No child of one grade can be compared with another and there is no set average, such as a child should be able to count to ten by May. Every child is different. One child may know this before coming to school!
Art smocks need to be cleaned regularly.
Ask your child to bring their lunch box home to you so you can see how much they are eating, what they like/dislike.