Starting primary school can be as exciting for young learners as it is overwhelming for their parents.
Graduating from kindergarten and stepping into formal school is a huge milestone in a child’s development journey. While each child will respond differently to this next level of education, parents can take certain measures to give them the ideal head start and make this transition a seamless one:
Don’t miss the school orientation session
Primary school is a major leap in a child’s growth years which will play a defining role in your child’s future. Therefore, an orientation session at the school is a great opportunity for parents to get a glimpse into the world their child will be exposed to.
It is crucial to realise that the education system has evolved immensely, and even as parents, it is important to stay up to speed with the current academic trends. One-on-one interaction with the teachers will help you gain all the essential information regarding the curricular pattern, extra-curricular activities, and support expected from the parents.
Work on fine motor skills development
Waking up, brushing teeth, eating breakfast, getting dressed – all these everyday activities require fine motor skills. Primary school is that threshold where children begin to get ready for the world of work. As parents, you must encourage children to perform these real-work tasks with minimum intervention from a grown-up.
Learning to take care of themselves can boost their self-confidence and improve independent skills while also nurturing them as self-directed learners. Engaging your child in fun and exciting activities such as play-dough moulding, jigsaw puzzles, finger painting, and craftwork not only will improve hand-eye skills, coordination, and motor skills but also spark your little one’s creative side.
Help them make friends
Graduating to primary grades also means your child is going to have longer school hours than before. Your child will also connect with a wider social circle, which would make this an ideal time to teach your toddler the importance of making friends.
However, the current school year can make this slightly more challenging for you and your child. With online classes, making friends is not as easy as with face-to-face socialising during physical school. Therefore, your aim should be to assist your children in identifying at least one classmate they can feel comfortable interacting with and work together on assignments and projects.
Outside of class time, give your child a chance to call that friend to discuss their classroom assignments and talk about their hobbies and interests outside school.
Address challenging behaviour with positivity
While doing our best to enable our children to climb up the learning ladder, it is also important to see how the little ones are coping with this transition. Adjusting to longer school hours (either physical or virtual), emphasis on discipline and a more formal classroom structure can become challenging for young students.
Many children will try to express their anxiety by throwing a tantrum or show reluctance to attend school. Parents may find themselves making empty threats about punishing their children if they don’t behave well.
It’s time to change this attitude and try to address this with positive behaviour. Spend more time to understand your child’s feelings and respond with empathy. For instance, replace scolding your child for not attending school with an empathetic expression like, “I understand new school is difficult, but I am here to help you”. The use of warm, loving, and positive tonality not only helps you manage your young one’s behaviour but also builds strong emotional and social skills to adapt to the new environment.
Ask your child about school
Having a heart-to-heart more often with your children shows that you are interested in what’s going in their life. This also includes talking to them about their school.
Most of the children will be making an online transition into primary school, and they will need that extra care and attention from their parents.
Make time to ensure your child can comprehend the online content and address any learning gaps. Listening is the key to understanding your child’s problem areas. Furthermore, please encourage your children to have a positive outlook for their school, teachers, and classmates and motivate them to see the bright side.
We must understand that a child will need to act and think more independently in primary grades. Ensure your children can write and recognise their name, use the toilet on their own and eat without assistance during lunch breaks. Remember, teaching real-life skills to your little ones is more important than their academic performance at this age.