Get off to a good start at “Big School”

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Giving your child some skills will help the transition to big school

I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

It’s tempting to pave the way for our children and protect them from anything and everything that could hurt or upset them. But, as parents and carers, the truth is the best thing we can do for our children is to equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate their way through life and its challenges so that they can live life to the full. Having a full life involves stepping outside your comfort zone and reaching new milestones. Our job as parents is to empower our children to do it all.

As we get ready to bid farewell to 2018, we can never fully anticipate what might come of the year ahead. But for some children, 2019 will be all about finding their feet in a completely new environment, which could lead to some interesting and exciting challenges. Next year will be particularly memorable and special for our little ones who start “big school” and if you have a child who is preparing to start Kindergarten in 2019, there are some skills you can promote to help make the transition easier for them.

Some children will be excited to start school and will settle in well, quickly adapt to the school routine and rules and make new friends almost immediately. Others will likely experience a few teething problems. You might think you know your child well enough to anticipate what their transition to Kindergarten will be like, but sometimes children do the unexpected, so helping them to be as prepared as possible is always the best approach.

Before Term 1 arrives, consider how you can support your child’s:

• social skills – such as taking turns in games and activities, following some directions and understanding some rules, expressing emotions and dealing with conflict appropriately, expressing their needs and wants appropriately and participating in group activities
• cognitive skills – showing natural curiosity and interest in learning new things, having confidence in learning and being interested in solving some problems
• language skills – using language to ask questions and communicate their thoughts and ideas, listening to others and enjoying books and being read to
• independence – coping with a small amount of supervision in a variety of situations, going to the toilet and being able to dress themselves independently, unpacking their lunch box and using a drink bottle and dealing with a structured environment
• physical skills – using pencils, crayons, and scissors, being able to balance, run, jump, and using equipment such as balls and climbing apparatus.

You can find more useful information on the http://partners4learning.edu.au/ homepage under ‘Featured resources’.

You can also visit https://raisingchildren.net.au/ for an interesting article on ‘Starting school: preparing your child’.

We wish all those who are starting Kindergarten a wonderful first year at “big school”!