On a young girl’s first day of school, she eagerly skipped away with barely a wave for her anxious parents, clearly ready for her new adventure. Another child however, met the same experience with a nervous reluctance that left their parents wondering how we could have better prepared them for the transition.
While some things boil down to personality differences, most kids do need a bit extra support in getting ready to start school. Their confidence levels can soar if given the knowledge and tools they need to thrive. Parents can achieve this goal by helping their kids develop a strong sense of independence, good communication skills and social readiness.
Upon starting school, many kids spend hours at a time away from home and their parents for the very first time. This can feel jarring as they struggle to cope with their newfound independence and get used to a new school at the same time. You can prevent this overwhelming situation by fostering independence from an early age.
As soon as they are able, kids love completing new activities on their own. By encouraging that, you will see their independence flourish before your very eyes. Here are a few tasks you can give them.
Prepare Snacks: Preschool kids can chop up soft fruit with a butter knife, pour their own crackers into a bowl and get a cup of water from the sink. Keep their cups and bowls on a low shelf to promote this beneficial behavior.
Get Ready: By age three, many kids can brush their own teeth and hair, get dressed and put on their shoes without too much of a fuss. To set your child up for success, teach them simple tricks for getting ready, such as the coat flip. Also, only buy clothes, coats and shoes with easy fasteners.
Chores: Even the littlest in the family can contribute to the household by doing chores. Have them pick up their own toys, wipe dirt off the walls and help pull weeds in the garden to start them down the path of independence.
Boost Communication Abilities
Good communication and listening skills are paramount in ensuring kids make the most of their school days. With these skills, your child can better focus on the lessons at hand and learn new things. They can also better communicate with you about their day at school.
You can promote great communication by having frequent, in-depth conversations with your child. Engage in their questions and explore the topics that interest them most to jumpstart these discussions. Also, on a daily basis, introduce new words and their meanings, and then use them in conversation. Use song, dance and games to keep your child engaged and interested in building their communication skills.
Build Social Skills
Once school starts, your kids will spend much of their time interacting with their peers. So, they need to learn how to get along with the other kids or their school experience could cause immense frustration. You can help your kids build social readiness by helping them learn how to work as a team and consider the feelings of the people around them. Help your kids learn how to:
- Follow rules
- Take turns
- Share their toys
- Express their emotions in a positive manner
- Handle disagreements
- Stand up for themselves and others
As you model these behaviors and work with your child, they will learn how to confidently handle social situations both in and out of school.
By helping your kids build their communication skills, social readiness and independence, you can help ensure they are ready to start school when the time comes. You can receive help preparing your child for school from the team at Math Genie. Starting at age three, kids can come receive individualized attention to help them build a lifelong love of learning.