WHEN YOUR CHILD STARTS SCHOOL FOR THE FIRST TIME IT CAN BE DAUNT­ING FOR BOTH THE CHILD AND YOU AS THE PAR­ENT. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THERE ARE LOTS OF THINGS YOU CAN DO AT HOME FOR AN EASY TRAN­SI­TION.

CON­CEN­TRA­TION

Haven Magazine - - Education -

Start­ing school is an amaz­ing time in any child’s life but one that can also be fraught with nerves for both the mini schoolie and their par­ents. Be­gin Bright cen­tres on the Gold Coast have en­joyed watch­ing hun­dreds, if not thou­sands, of ea­ger and ex­cited chil­dren tran­si­tion their way through the ranks of early learn­ing up to ‘big’ school. In a spe­cial fea­ture for haven read­ers, Be­gin Bright cen­tre own­ers at Burleigh, Tu­gun, Sor­rento and Woron­gary have come to­gether to share their ex­pert tips on tran­si­tion­ing kids to school.

DE­VELOP YOUR CHILD’S IN­DE­PEN­DENCE

Make sure your child can take care of their own per­sonal hy­giene. Demon­strate and en­cour­age your child to blow their nose, go to the toi­let, wash their hands and use plenty of praise.

RECOG­NISE THEIR BE­LONG­INGS

Have your child take own­er­ship of their be­long­ings. Have them put items away where they be­long.

EAT­ING AND DRINK­ING WITH­OUT HELP

Use sep­a­rate con­tain­ers for a pic­nic meal and have your child prac­tice us­ing their own con­tainer, re­mov­ing wrap­pers and se­lect­ing items to eat.

Start with a sim­ple task (eg. colour­ing-in sheets, paint­ing, puz­zles). Have your child stay with it for 5 mins, build­ing up to 15 mins.

FOL­LOW­ING 2-OR 3-STEP DI­REC­TIONS

Eg. “Go and get your red jumper, then put it in your bag”. Be sure your child is lis­ten­ing to your in­struc­tions by mak­ing sure there is eye con­tact. Some chil­dren may need to re­peat the in­struc­tions in or­der to process what is be­ing asked.

TAKING TURNS

Chil­dren can be im­pa­tient and may need plenty of prac­tice with wait­ing for their turn. Taking-turn ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude board games, play­ing cards, team sports, lin­ing up in a queue etc.

EN­COUR­AGE CHIL­DREN TO ASK AND AN­SWER QUES­TIONS

Ask open-ended ques­tions that al­low your child to an­swer with his own in­ter­pre­ta­tion. This al­lows for qual­ity in­ter­ac­tion and shows how we are all learn­ers.

IN­STIL A LOVE OF READ­ING

Read to your child ev­ery­day. Al­low your child to select a book of his/her own choice, then look and dis­cuss the il­lus­tra­tions. Model read­ing as a par­ent. Have your child retell a story you have read and watch how he/she holds the book, turns the pages etc.

Demon­strate how to hold a pen­cil by plac­ing the pen­cil in his/her hand cor­rectly.

PROPER PEN­CIL GRIP SCISSOR SKILLS

Show your child how to hold child-safe scis­sors, mak­ing sure the fin­gers are cor­rectly placed and the thumb is fac­ing up. Start with straight lines. Cut­ting play dough helps small fin­gers ma­neu­ver the scis­sors.

RECOG­NISE AND WRITE THEIR NAME

Have your child’s name dis­played in var­i­ous places so they be­come fa­mil­iar with how it is writ­ten. Cut let­ters out and glue them on pa­per to make their name, or string let­ter beads to make a neck­lace.

Prac­tice oral count­ing up to 20 by clap­ping hands with each num­ber. As a par­ent you are your child’s first teacher and chil­dren learn so much from copy­ing and lis­ten­ing to you. By start­ing now to en­cour­age a love of learn­ing, your child will be bet­ter pre­pared for school.

LET­TERS AND NUM­BERS

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