When children make the leap from pre school to school it can be a stressful time for both them and their parents. Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can get your child ready for the step up to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible for all concerned.
Introduce them to technology
In the old days technology was regarded with rather a lot of suspicion. Television was said to turn your eyeballs square, while computer games were thought to make children reclusive and unsociable. Now, however, technology, in the form of apps and computer programs, is embraced far more than ever before and can even be used to prepare your child for school. The best apps for toddlers are those that help young children to learn directly through play. Even just the act of playing a computer game is also thought to help children to learn and improve hand eye co-ordination.
You should monitor the time they spend using apps and computer game though as too much time using such tools could hamper their physical development. You can help to complement the time that they are training their intellect with physical activities. Doing so will not only help to ensure that they stay active it can help to improve their motor skills. Try playing games that help to develop co-ordination, such as catching a baseball or throwing a football at a target.
Teach basic skills
As a parent, one of your main stresses about your child’s impending jump up the educational ladder is likely to be that they may have difficulty with fitting in at school. At this stage in their life, your child may not share these concerns but you can be sure that will suffer in the future if this aspect of school does not go smoothly for them. Failure to fit in can be very distressing and frustrating for a child, which could manifest itself as extremely bad behaviour in the classroom.
You can help to ensure that they are able to make an untroubled transition by going through beforehand a few basic skills that they are likely to be introduced to at school. This will give them a head start at school, or at least ensure that their classmates do not leave them behind.
Make sure your child is able to hold a pen correctly and knows how to spell basic things, such as their name. It is also useful for a child to know how to dress themselves at this age, so you should teach them how to do up buttons and tie shoelaces.
Basic hygiene lessons should also be given before starting school – going to the toilet independently and washing hands thoroughly afterwards is a skill that is expected by school age, but often overlooked by parents.
A major change between pre school and school is the disparity in size between the two faculties. It is important that you prepare your child mentally for such changes. It is also a good idea to explain to your child how to deal with difficult and new situations that they may face at school. This can be a difficult dilemma, after all, you don’t want to scare them, but it is best that children start school with their wits about them.