Starting school is one of the significant milestones in a child’s life. As a parent, you want to make sure your little one is prepared for this significant transition and has an enriching experience. So how can you ensure that your little one is ready for school? What types of things can you do to adequately prepare children for this new, exciting journey?
School readiness is about more than just one’s academic skills. It also encompasses a child’s social and emotional readiness for this transition. It’s important that we help children develop other critical skills that will help them be successful in school and beyond. You can help your child develop the skills needed to be ready for school with these helpful tips!
Read and tell stories
It’s important to incorporate reading into your child’s daily routine. Carve out time to read together. You can make it fun by engaging children in the story and stimulating their imaginations. You can also encourage your little one to take on different parts of the story. Invite your child to share comments and ask questions about the characters and what might happen next. This activity helps build vocabulary and comprehension skills that will help your child learn to read independently later on.
Set up playdates
You can start by scheduling playdates for your child with friends or your neighbors’ kids. It’s essential that children have opportunities to practice and sharpen their social skills. These opportunities will help them build friendships both in and out of school.
Be sure to provide your kids with ample opportunities for social interactions. In addition to playdates, you might also consider enrolling your child in after-school programs, sports, or art classes, as these can help them connect with other kids who share similar interests.
Master the ABCs
Helping your child learn the alphabet goes beyond just teaching your child letters. It’s also about learning how to write letters and recognize words, phrases, and sentences, even if children don’t know how to read yet. You can start by printing some easy puzzles or showing kids flashcards of common words, objects, and mnemonics (like the days of the week or months of the year.) Other helpful items include school supplies like magnetic letters your little one can play with on a cookie sheet or school books and magazines around your home.
Build healthy habits
You’ve probably already started teaching your child about the importance of eating healthy and choosing fruits and veggies over junk food or soda pop. Promoting school readiness also includes school-appropriate nutrition. If your child’s school serves food, encourage your little one to eat what is served at school. By doing so, children’s proper nutritional needs will be met. Make an effort to keep sugary treats out of reach in order to prevent unnecessary temptation (and cavities!)
Map out your child’s day
Another important component of preparing your child for school is becoming familiar with the layout of the school. Take your child to the school and find out if you can walk through the building together. It will help ease any worries or anxiety if you’re able to point out the location of your child’s classroom, where kids go for recess, and other important spots in the building. You may also be able to take pictures of these places so that your child can study these maps at home too.
Review the daily routine
You can help your child develop an increased sense of security by discussing the routines at school. It’s beneficial for kids to become familiar with how things work in the classroom, and what will happen at specific times of the day (such as lunch
Talk about school
Many children are excited for school to start and looking forward to playing with their friends all day long! Take time to discuss what a typical school day will look like to help prevent surprises. Engage your child in conversations about how school works, and encourage questions about school rules and classroom expectations.
Read books about school
Knowledge is power! Reading books to young children about school will help them become familiar with what to expect before the first day arrives. Kids can get an idea of what a classroom looks like, how a teacher might behave on the first day, what kinds of activities and projects they might do each day. You can also read school-themed books to help your child learn some basic school-related terms and what some typical school situations might be.
Starting school is one of the most exciting events of your child’s life. These activities will help prepare your child for this transition, and make school a happy and fun experience!
At Young Scholars Academy, we connect with our families on a deeper level than most corporate child care centers are able to. We aim to understand the needs that are most important to your family, and the developmental goals you have for your little one each day. Contact us to learn more about our center today!