It’s that time of the year again. The time when most parents start frantically teaching their children their ABC’s and how to count to 20.
As a mother and teacher, I would like to offer some simple steps that are equally beneficial in setting your child up for success at school (and probably more achievable with such a limited time left). Things you as a parent can do these last couple of weeks to help them confidently step into class on that first day.
5 TIPS FOR SCHOOL READINESS
Teach Common Courtesy
A teacher will be far more impressed by a child who can greet them nicely or who can kindly ask to share a book with a fellow classmate than with a student who can sing the alphabet song. After all, a friendly greeting, kind apology or being able to share always goes a long way, even for adults, and especially on the playground.
Practice Name Recognition
This does not mean your child needs to be able to write their name perfectly in the most beautiful handwriting. If they can, good for them. If they can’t, that’s why they’re going to school right? Instead of trying to jam the whole alphabet into their memory in 1 week, rather start helping them to recognise the letters of their name.
Teach How to Put On and Take Off Shoes
Being able to put on (on the right feet) and take off their own shoes is a basic skill for this age group. You can practice tying shoe laces or fastening straps and there are so many nifty tricks on how to teach them which shoe goes on which foot. I can not tell you how many times I’ve had a student trip because they were running around with shoes on opposite feet. So this is definitely something I most often recommend to parents to practice at home.
This is such a useful skill to have, especially for children starting school. You can practice zipping and unzipping their backpack, pencil bag and jackets. Jackets are especial tricky as you have to perfectly hook the bottom stop. This is probably on of my favourite skills mastered with my daughter recently, because let’s admit, we can all do with those extra 10 minutes it takes to get the kids out of the house. Of which putting on shoes and jackets are often the main culprits.
Fine Motor Skills Development
Which is just a more technical way of saying ‘work with the hands’. Before children can write or cut (essential school stuff), they need to have hands that are strong enough to do so. Hand and finger strength as well as control is essential for writing. Any crafting activity is great for developing those fine motor skills. Other practical activities include working with playdoh, Lego, peeling fruit, and lacing.
By now I’m sure you get that school readiness does not necessarily mean they should’ve have mastered certain academic skills. Of course early literacy and numeracy is important, but readiness also goes beyond those traditional elements. School readiness is also equally about helping your children develop practical skills that in turn help them become confident and capable little learners. What are your top tips for school readiness?