So this year is the year, your child is heading off to Kindergarten. First thing I want you to remember is that they will be FINE!! Early Childhood Teachers do it because they LOVE it, they love being surrounded by young children, watching them grow and nurturing them while they are in their care. I know I do and although I am out of the classroom I am certain that one day I will return, for the simple reason that I LOVE being in the classroom.
I bet you’re worried about them, are they ready, what do they need, should they know more……..all these questions and probably more going through your mind! I don’t know what you’re all thinking – I haven’t been there yet, but I have been the teacher at the door on that first morning of school greeting nervous parents and students.
Parents often worry that their child will be upset – yes, sometimes they are, but they get over it quickly, possibly a lot quicker than some parents. Yes some children suffer from separation anxiety and teachers and their aides are quite used to it and are well equipped to deal with those children.
What you can do to prepare your child for school….
OK a few simple things important things!
Have you been reading books with them? Colouring in with them? Talking with them? Then YES they are prepared for school.
It’s great when a child comes to Kindy already recognising their name, but if they don’t, it’s OK –they will do shortly. They will also soon be able to write their name and they will be proud as punch.
From a teacher’s point of view here is what you can do over the coming weeks to help your child be prepared for school:-
- Talk to them about it in a positive manner
- Drive or walk past the school point out the classrooms, the playground, tell them the sorts of things they will do there
- If they know other children attending the same school tell them that they will be there too
- If they have an older sibling at school ask them to talk about the positive things about school
- Spend time with your child selecting their school bag, lunch box, drink bottle and cushion – include them in the decisions, make the items special
- Go to the library and find books about starting school read these with your child and talk about them
- Get your child excited about school – it really is a wonderful place!
- If your child has trouble separating from you it may be time to try a few short stints leaving them with familiar family and friends, start off maybe with half hourly blocks and build from there
Don’t worry about whether they are ready academically – that’s not what Early Childhood is about. It is about building those social skills that we need for further learning – gaining confidence with other adults and their peers, engaging in learning experiences that are FUN.