I remember the first time I escorted my firstborn to school – it was a day full of drama (shouting, kicking, pleading, waiting, etc.) It wasn’t a cakewalk for many parents who are there with me as well.
My second primary learner who I enrolled in an international transitioned better even on the first day largely because we were well-prepared.
Physical Skills Preparation
Encourage your child to dress independently. This saves time between P.E. lessons. Also, teach your kids to fasten/remove shoes on their own: if the teacher must help everyone, playtime is over before it’s begun.
It’s also crucial for your child to learn to eat with others using cutlery and staying at the table until she or everyone has finished. Eating as a family regularly eases this as well.
Independently toilet training is also necessary. Although accidents can happen, it should be fine since children adapt gradually to the new environment. Most schools expect this and are geared up for such accidents.
Encourage outdoor playing: running, jumping, swinging and playing on climbing apparatus helps the brain develop, and builds the smaller muscles necessary for writing later.
Social and Emotional Skills Preparation
Another vital social skill your child needs to learn before starting school is sharing and taking turns. This can be encouraged via activities like board games and giving your child chances to play with other children.
Give your child experiences to be away from you and in others’ company, whether at pre-school or nursery, or by being with friends and family and their children.
Moreover, talking as a family teaches a child to become confident communicators. Home conversations is essential to your children’s future success and will help them gain the necessary skills for a happy and successful life.
Make starting school a positive experience. Walk past the school regularly and talk about other children studying there and make a big deal of how much fun it will be. Don’t let your child hear your own anxieties.
Academic Skills Preparation
You can encourage a love of books through bedtime stories, discussing characters and parts of the story. Visit the library or a bookstore and choose books based on your child’s interests. Reading together will help your child learn that text runs from left to right and top to bottom and introduce him/her to the majestic world of books.
Teach correct pencil control since it is a far more crucial skill for children than learning to write their name or anything else for that matter: poor pencil grip can be hard to correct.
You can help your child build early numeracy the fun way through counting virtually anything: stairs, buttons on coats, how many steps it takes to get to the kitchen. Point out favourite numbers, on the calendar, such as your child’s age, house numbers and car plates.
There you have it. As you prepare your child for primary school, you mustn’t forget another crucial thing to consider – the school itself. If you’re an expat, particularly an Indian family in Singapore, choosing an international school like the Global Indian International School is a great option as it offers world-renowned international curriculum, quality facilities, teachers, and most of all – an environment that fosters fun, learning, and meaningful extra-curricular activities.