My daughter Miss B is fast approaching the end of her Pre School years. In just four months my little baby girl will begin her journey into big school. Now, as bitter sweet as this is, we need to be practical for a minute. There are a few things that our gorgeous little munchkins need to learn before they hit the big time. Yes I am talking about School Readiness.
Now is a great time to start preparing for what will be one of the biggest changes to their little lives so far. Most people get confused and overwhelmed about how they can help their kids prepare so here are a few tips to get you started.
Whilst knowing how to write your name and count to 10 is important before you begin school, it is not vital. However, ensuring that your child has the emotional and physical maturity to cope with the day to day experiences that school brings is.
Below is a checklist for you and your child to work towards as you prepare for primary school.
- Can I dress and undress myself including taking a jumper on and off?
- Can I put my shoes and socks on and off?
- Can I confidently go to the bathroom by myself and wash my hands?
- Can I follow 3 sequential instructions at a time? – Miss B can you please take your PJs off, choose your clothes for today and put you PJs under your pillow or Mr J Can you please set the table for dinner with cutlery, placemats and cups.
- Am I practising looking after my own property? Or am I always losing things like my hat, lunchbox or jumper?
- Am I responsible for a number of chores at home? – Taking my plate to the kitchen after dinner, Putting my dirty clothes in the washing, packing up my toys before bed, carrying by bag inside.
- Am I a good listener? – Can I sit on the mat and listen to a story for 5 minutes? Or do I listen when mummy asks me a question?
- Am I good at sharing and taking turns?
- Am I patient? – Can I wait my turn most of the time?
- When I get cranky or frustrated, I try to calm down without crying, yelling or having a tantrum.
- Am I good at using my words to communicate with others? – Can I have good chats with adults and other kids? Am I good at expressing my needs and wants using words?
- Do I have a good bedtime and morning routine?
As you can see, the checklist is written in the forms of questions that your child can ask themselves over the next few months. This will help to give more ownership and responsibility to your child.
The idea of this checklist is not for you to freak out, turn your life upside down and change everything you do overnight. That would cause A LOT more stress! No No No! The idea is to choose one item and work on adding it in to your daily routine slowly and carefully.
So how can you add this to your daily routine?
- Chat to your child and establish a big boy/girl job list together. Write it down and display it somewhere your child will see it everyday. This will form a basis for a good routine.
- Ask your child if they would like to choose their clothes for the day and ask them if they would like to dress themselves. Giving your child a little responsibility at a time will encourage them to actively look for more. (That’s where we as parents need to learn to let go a little).
- Help prepare your little ones for more structured activities by sitting on the floor together quietly for 5 minutes or more doing only one thing such as reading a book or playing a card game. Allow your child to explore this quiet time with you in a positive way. Build the time up slowly until you forget you’re even watching the clock. This will help to build their concentration and get them used to quiet, adult lead activities.
Just remember that this is only a guide to help you prepare. You know your child best and you know what will work for them.
I am currently working on the undressing task. Miss B can get her clothes on but has so much trouble getting her Tshirts off! Her arms seem to get so stuck.
Once we have mastered dressing including her swimmers (eek) I think we will move on to putting things in their place as Miss B is ALWAYS losing her things.
School mums, what did you do to help prepare your munchkin for School? What work? What didn’t? If you could give us newbies one tip for big school, what would it be?