When it was time for your child to enter primary school you may have felt almost as excited as your child. You’ll have wanted to make sure that your child’s school life is successful and joyful. The first steps can often be really difficult physically, socially, emotionally and mentally. Everything is new, from the routines to the new environment.
Meeting the teacher:
For many children at the age they first enter the school, the parents are the centre of their universe. They are surprised to meet other adults who are as important as mum and dad. You can help your children to feel comfortable with their new teacher so that they shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or permission to go to the bathroom.
Sometimes they can demand too much attention, trying to get it by being naughty, complaining of aches or crying about not wanting to go to school. There are also some pupils who may be unable to find their place in the group without teacher’s help.
Reading stories about school life before it starts can help to ease them in gently as it helps children to understand what it will be like, you can pay attention to the role of teachers while reading, and discuss it together.
Visiting the school before the term starts and meeting the teacher together will also help to put your child’s mind at rest. Then when the term starts, ask your child about their teacher, and talk with the teacher about your child regularly, raising any worries or concerns.
One of the greatest experiences is making first friends at school. Sometimes such “best friendship” ends in a few months, but this is normal for young children.
Children learn to communicate and to build relationships, however these are fragile at this age and can end over the simplest things but they can also make-up and forget just as quickly. For this reason it is best to avoid being overprotective. Ask your child about the relationships at school, find out in which groups he or she is in, with whom they play. Sometimes, they try to compensate the anxiety of the school day, being more childish and moody at home. Don’t panic and think that it is an environment problem or a friend is a bad influence – they can just be tired, hungry or still finding their feet.
Getting plenty of new information and tasks:
Your child should be taught simple everyday life skills which will be needed at school, such as table manners, dressing themselves and wiping their own bottoms. The success at this time mostly depends on the ability to sit still and listen and by setting a good example at home will further help your child.
Talk about the rules at school and try to run through the routine. Sometimes it can be more important than the basics of practical skills like reading and writing.
Life at home should be organised so that everything helps this process. Children that get enough sleep, healthy foods, organised space and attention at home are better prepared to learn.
Sometimes you can’t be quite sure that your child understands schoolwork. Maybe, they are just trying to follow instructions and to them it doesn’t make sense just yet. You can help encourage them to ask for help when needed. Sometimes they will just pretend to understand or are too afraid to admit to a teacher that a task is too difficult. If previous homework was missed, you can help assist them with it. Invite them to ask questions, show examples, and help to show them where to find the information they need. But don’t do the homework for your child yourself as they do need to understand it! And of course when they get older you may hear “Please, write my assignment” if you’ve always ‘helped’ a little too much!
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