I’m not talking about being school ready academically! Whether your child can write their name or not when they start reception isn’t that important, well I don’t think so anyway. You hear the term ‘school readiness’ a lot these days, but i’m talking about what things us parents can do to help the transition into school. To make the move as easy as possible for our children. There’s plenty of things we can do as a family to enable a happier transition to school.
Talk Positively About School
We talk a lot about how my youngest (twins Oscar and Isla) will be starting school in September. We call it ‘big school’ but they are just so excited to be going to the same school as their big brother. The more you talk about school, playtime, the classroom etc, the more they will know what to expect. I try to always be positive about school life, saying how much fun it would be. If you have older children in school already, perhaps ask them to talk about what they like about school.
Visit The School/Classroom
When possible, attend any taster days. I remember with my youngest before he started, we were invited to come into the classroom for the afternoon. First we had lunch together in the hall, it was lovely to walk him and watch up pick up a tray and queue for his dinner! He looked so small, but it was a lovely experience to share with him. Plus he was so excited he talked about it for weeks, making it easier to talk about school life as he knew what to expect.
Get To Know The School
If it’s a brand new school to you all, then get to know it. As well as taster days, perhaps find out when any events are on before your child starts school such as a summer fair. At the weekend you could maybe walk or drive past the school, point and encourage your child to say ‘look, it’s my school.’
Encourage More Independance
It’s so easy to see your own children as babies (mine aren’t four years old yet) but encouraging them to be more independent will definitely help them when transitioning into school. Get them to take their own shoes off and put them away, ask them to bring their own plates and cups into the kitchen. Practise putting any difficult shoes on or zipping their coats. These are all things that they may do at school and already knowing how to do things themselves will be less stressful for them. Let them take some control.
Fully Bathroom Ready
Parents all hope that their children will be fully toilet trained before they start school. I’m also meaning basic hygiene. Making sure your child can go to the toilet alone and wash their hands is essential for starting school.
Whenever you can, read together. Reading is essential to a child’s development. Even before your child can read independently, reading helps your child get to know words, sounds and language. It also can help children learn to look after books, stimulate curiosity and imagination plus develop so many skills. Studies have shown that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to your child’s educational performance. Just 5 minutes before bed perhaps, enhancing good habits now will make it easier as they get older. My eldest is 7 years old and he loves to read.
For us, the countdown until big school has begun. I plan on making the most of the next few months before I’m dropping off all three children at school!