Worrying about getting your child ready for school? When it comes to primary preparedness, academic skills are far less important than fostering your little one’s social skills and emotional competence, plus ensuring they know the routines and rules associated with big school.
Basic day-to-day skills they’ll be using include being able to follow a routine, line up to go inside and outside, interact positively with peers, sit and listen during group time (and wait for their turn to speak), and complete table-top activities – so being able to sit relatively still and concentrate for a period of time.
Coming to school already having a grasp of those skills will allow the teacher, and your child, to focus on the academics.
Choosing the right early education program for your child is the perfect place to begin. The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has a Starting Blocks website that provides great tips.
Plus, here are 12 practical ways you can help prepare your child for school:
1. Attend a school orientation session.
2. Organise play dates with children who will be in their class over the school holiday period.
3. Consider enrolling them in early education and care if they don’t already attend.
4. Talk with your child in a positive and cheerful way about starting school.
5. Monitor your child’s response to conversations about school.
6. Address challenging behaviour with understanding.
7. Encourage positive or appropriate behavior.
8. Set up routines which help your child go to sleep and wake in time to get ready for school.
9. Help your child to use the toilet independently.
10. Teach them to take care of their things.
11. Practice playing games where people have to raise their hand to say something and wait for their turn to participate.
12. Teach your child self-calming strategies.