It’s scary when you realize your child is getting ready to start school. It just doesn’t feel right, but you knew this time was inevitable. But before that school bus rolls up for your kid’s first day of school, there are many things you can do to make sure they are prepared to enter the classroom.
How To Prepare Your Child For School
A) Classroom Preparedness
From birth to age five is a prime time for your child to learn, as this is when they are most likely to absorb information given to them. Preparing them with the skills necessary to make it in kindergarten will help the teachers by giving them a foundation to build up from.
Going into kindergarten, children should at least have a start in learning in:
1) Reading: Reading to your child everyday is one major step in helping them associate sounds with words, as is singing the alphabet song to them and associating the letters with toys or recognizable objects. As the child gets older, teach them to write the letters. Also make sure they know how to spell their name before going into the classroom. Once they are ready to start learning basic words, these sight word games are fun.
2) Colors & Shapes: There are many interactive preschool games your child can play to help them learn about a variety of topics. For colors and shapes, sit down with your child and have them draw and color. Draw some shapes for them, and have them identify the shape and color. Also point out everyday objects and ask them what color it is. Consistency is the key to helping them remember these basic tools.
3) Critical Thinking: When taking your child out, ask them questions about their surroundings. Take them to museums, the zoo, and other public places and have them talk about it. Let them run and explore on their own terms so they can see what they want. Ask them how the things they see makes them feel.
B) Social Preparedness
Children need to understand basic social skills before going into the classroom. They need these in order to get along with other children, and to follow the rules as they’re told.
1) Rules: Stay consistent with the household rules, and be consistent with the punishments as well. If your child does break one of the rules, ask them if they know what rule they broke to enforce their understanding. Teachers will be doing the same, so helping them remember and understand rules will make it easier for when they are actually in the classroom.
2) Feelings: A common phrase used by parents is “Use your big boy/girl words.” This will help children understand that screaming or crying isn’t going to get them what they need or want. Teach your child to properly express his or her feelings by talking about them. Let them interact with other children in the neighborhood or at a park. Help them understand that other children have feelings, too, and that they should understand what will and will not hurt the other children’s feelings.
3) Communication: Teach your child to communicate effectively. Talk to them every day like you would want them talking; use common language, speak in a normal tone of voice (no “baby talk”), and always answer your child’s questions. The latter will enforce that it’s okay to ask questions when they aren’t sure of the answer.
4) Sharing: This is a big one that can be especially difficult for parents of only one child. Teaching them to share with other children is especially important in a classroom, where a lot of coloring and other interactive activities will be happening.
This is the hardest one of all for parents. Because your child is going into school, he or she is going to have to know some basic independence skills required for being in kindergarten.
1) Taking Care: Let your child brush his or her own teeth, dress, tie shoes, and either morning routine activities. Allowing your child this type of independence will build their self-esteem and desire to continue doing it.
2) Potty Train: Most teachers don’t deal with children using the bathroom. In fact, a lot of schools require that kids are properly potty trained before entering kindergarten. Teaching them to use the bathroom properly, wipe, and thoroughly wash their hands will save you a lot of hassle with the school.
3) Cleaning up: Teaching your kid to clean up is not only a benefit to them, it is to you as well. Enforcing good behavior for cleaning up their messes will teach them to be a self-starter in the real world, and save you the time having to clean up after them.
Though it seems like a lot to do, all of these essentials are easy to integrate into your everyday life. It may take some extra work, but it will surely benefit your child for the long run. Happy parenting!
This is a guest post that was written by Taylor Laurents…thank you so much for these fantastic tips!