Primary school is where most children transition towards real independence. It’s, however, the step wherein a child experience the biggest adjustments to cope with school and life.
In Primary school, most children will start learning how to count and use money, be responsible enough for activities such as homework, interaction with bigger and wider peers, negotiating timetables, and independent transport while managing multiple tasks and needs at the same time.
Since most pre-schools will need a primary school preparation program, here are some things you can do with your child to make the adjustment to primary school faster and easier.
Discuss what to expect. You can do this by getting some books about what to expect at primary school. You can also recount your own good experiences if you still remember them. Spend some time together discussing what a day in primary school can be like. Ask your child to share any concerns that they might have and work on them together.
Buy school supplies together. Shopping together for your child’s school needs will help them feel more in control over themselves as well as giving them self-confidence about their choices. Get a sturdy school bag, good shoes, books, stationeries and the required uniforms.
Go to the school orientation together. Most schools hold orientations before the actual classes start. Bring your child with you so you can tour the school and figure out how everything looks like, including the classrooms, canteen, washrooms, bus pickup and drop off points among others. Encourage your child to ask questions after the tour. If the child will attend your alma mater, you can also share some stories about your time at the school to help make the experience more relatable and interesting.
Talk about making new friends. Going to a new school means saying goodbye to old friends and building new relationships with other kids in the new school. Discuss with your child the things they can do to make new friends. Reassure them that they can still be friends with their old pals and that they can still see them. You can set up some play dates with their pre-school classmates within the first two months so that your child can continue maintaining their friendship.
Create a routine. Establish a routine that you and your child will need to keep during school weeks. Let your child be used to getting to bed early and waking up earlier. Discuss when they need to do their homework and if there will be TV restrictions. You should start following this routine about a month before the school starts.
Safety first. Parents like us worry to no end when our child is out of our sight. Goo through different situations in which your child can encounter at school, which are a threat to safety. Talk about what to do in an event where a child or another adult made them feel uncomfortable, then talk about safety measures during fire, earthquake and other dangers.
Consider enrolling your child in an international school. If you’re an expat living in Singapore, then your children will benefit best their primary school is spent in one of the top international schools in Singapore where learning support for expat’s kids are focused on. Moreover, the more holistic view of education is a welcome advantage. International schools don’t have ridiculous early start nor the relentless pressure of exams and tests. It’s a learning environment where different backgrounds are accepted, encouraged, and grown to its fullest potential.
Now that you know some parent-tested tips for preparing your child for primary school, your child will, hopefully, be better-equipped to handle this new stage in his/her life. Do you have any tips for other parents out there? Share it with us!