It’s September and many of your little ones will have started big school for the first time.
Ways to help your child:
Many parents feel some anxiety about their child starting formal education. Whether its starting nursery school or reception, this jump is a big step.
Many parents ask what they can do to help prepare their child for this transition to education making it as smooth as possible for their child.
Getting prepared can help put some of the anxieties to rest. Practice the journey to school together; visit their new classroom, if you can, and many teachers will invite parents to stay for a short while with their child on the first day.
Talk with them lots about the sorts of thing they’ll be doing, so that when their first day comes it will already seem part of their lives.
It’s important to remember to emotionally prepare yourself and not just your child, for when the big day arrives. Try your best to appear happy and calm! Sometimes easier said than done!
Seeing you being positive will really reassure your child. If you have negative memories of your own time at school, try not to pass them on to your child. School has changed quite a bit!
Parents are made to feel welcome and are encouraged to play an active role in their child’s learning and you may well be pleasantly surprised how things have changed since your school days!
What will my child be doing at school?
Talking to your child about what they did at school can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle, as the classic answer is ‘nothing’!!!
Remember they are tired when they first come home, so let them have time to relax and have a drink, then instead of directly asking them questions try having a conversation with them about what did they like doing best at school that day? Who they sat next to at lunch? What games they played? Chatting to your child each day about school is the first step to an ongoing involvement in their education.
If you’re ever unsure about anything at all you can always ask their teacher. Developing good links between home and school can make a real difference to how well they get on.
Here are four top tips to practise with your child:
Encourage your child to get dressed in the morning by themselves; let them practice getting their coat and shoes on; play a game timing them how long it takes, make it fun.
Encourage play dates with friends from their class; this will help them to make new friends and mix well within a social group.
Counting steps or spotting shapes when you are out & about can be great fun and good practice; point out numbers to your child to help develop their number recognition.
Reading together is a really good way to encourage a love of books. Getting into a routine of reading with your child and letting them take ownership by holding the book and turning the pages. Reading a favourite or familiar story is a great way to help a child to fill in missing gaps, so leave off a repeated word and encourage them to say the word at the right stage in the story.
Do you feel your child needs help preparing for 4+ assessments or starting big school?
My name is Karen Langston and as a former nursery school head teacher, who taught for 20+ years within early years education, I have helped prepare children for school entry at 4+ and supported parents with this process, which can be an anxious time for both parents and children.
I aim to build confidence through one to one sessions, within your child’s own home, developing all areas of learning and support their preparation for school assessments.
These sessions will always be fun and imaginative focusing on early learning skills such as:
Good listening and communication skills