August and September are the months when we plan and prepare for the formal school admission! Buying forms.. enquiring about the schools.. Which school is better in terms of education or extracurricular.. which school is following which board and methodology, which one is good with safety measures and fee structure.. lot of discussion.. research, checks and rechecks.. visits and reviews and finally we zero down the one we find best suited and get the admission done and sorted!! But are we really done?? Isn’t there the biggest job waiting? Which is preparing the little one!!
You might be thinking what is there to prepare the child for? S/he is already going to preschool and all the learning happening, s/he is taught good manners and good/bad touch – that is enough!! But is that really enough??
Let me today list down things that you need to teach your little one at home or things on which you need to partner with his/her preschool!
This is important- your little one is fond of her current school/ teachers and friends- the big change s/he might not be able to accept as easily! In order to avoid that separation anxiety, start talking about the new school- good things about that school – months ahead of the transition.
This is one area where I feel parents need to focus consciously- I have seen in my experience of running a preschool and daycare many a times parents take it easy and fail to inculcate the routine and timeliness among until days left for new school beginning and then it becomes super difficult! Instead if the child is brought into the routine of timeliness months ahead of joining, the new and stricter timings do not impact them or us!
Another part of the routine is eating food on time- or finishing food on time and
Self feeding is important to learn before they join the formal school- with the kind of teacher child ratio followed in a formal school- it is not possible for the teacher to ensure if all the kids have eaten- or to feed them, on the contrary many preschools would feed kids to not let them remain hungry! It is in the child’s best interest that we teach them to each independently and finish within time- we wouldn’t want our Juniors to remain hungry!
This is another major routine we need to focus at this stage! This too comes under routine as the child needs to get into the habit of going to toilet at certain intervals!
Till the time our Juniors are in preschool, they barely get homework, then in many formal schools they start getting homework from day one! This new inclusion in their routine often kids don’t accept as easily! they would resist- best way to avoid that is to introduce study time at home- even ten minute is enough to get them into the routine!
Another very important area- health and hygiene..Whatever we start off as a best practice will remain with them forever! Talk to your junior around healthy food/ healthy eating- benefits of the same.. avoid giving junk tiffin from day one ! Hygiene is another most important area- talk about hand-hygiene , brushing n bathing.. toilet hygiene.
You might have spoken to your child on good/ bad touch but have you explained him/her safety circle? Their safety boundaries.. what kind of touch is apt for which person?? For example while kiss parents but give a high five to the friends! Also your safety circle discussion should include the new school and all possible person there who might come in contact with your little one- and how to deal with them! Teach your junior one or two phone numbers that they can call on distress!
You think it’s too early to get bullied? You might soon be proved wrong! Bullying happens from very small age, and is most common in school environment! Hence it is best to prepare them for the same. They need to also understand that even they can’t bully others because bullying hurts!
Now that roughly six months are left for the formal school , it would be surely helpful if you introduce the above mentioned, and prepare your junior well in advance for his/ her big school!