Learning is a process that takes forever. Do we ever stop learning? We learn every day from the people around us, our experiences, and the challenges that we face. But for kids, it will take a long time before they appreciate the process of learning new things and preparing themselves for adulthood. At age 4 or 5, your kids will join a big school. This is so different from their lessons about drawing lines, counting numbers, and listening to phonetics.
While the transition is not always smooth, there’s a way to make it easier for your kids. If they’re already attending childcare centers or early childhood education classes, then they are more familiar with the concept of learning. Don’t fret if you decided not to have your kids attend school early. You’ll have plenty of time to prepare them. Remember that kids are like sponges. They absorb millions of information and are able to retain them with minimal effort.
Attend the Orientation Together
Schools will have an orientation day where the parents and kids are going to be taken around the campus. They can see the different facilities and amenities that students can use. This is a chance for the kids to be familiar with their new second home. As for the parents, you can envision the kind of student life this school will provide your kids.
During the orientation, you will learn about policies that you can start practicing at home. You can also ask the teachers and administrators any questions and clarify concerns you might still have. Attending the orientation with your kids helps them see that you are with them on this journey.
Role-play at Home
Can you do role-playing at home? Start by preparing them to wake up early. What time should they get to school? Make sure that they’re already washed and dressed by the time “school” starts. This will create a new routine for them. They won’t have a hard time doing this when school starts because you’ve already prepared them.
You can also create a makeshift classroom so you can start teaching your kids some basic manners in the classroom. For example, they should learn how to fix their own things. They should also be responsible enough to clean their areas after they have their snacks.
Talk to Your Children about School
Communication is critical in all phases of your kids’ lives. The most important strategy in preparing your kids for the big leagues is to talk with them. What do they expect from their schooling? What are their fears? Let them know that a school is a fun place where they can meet friends and experience new things. Make school an adventure that they can look forward to. If your kids fear going to school, read them books about it. You can even allow them to watch a video of kids going to school. There are tons of these on the internet.
Practice Saying Goodbye
Children suffer from separation anxiety because they are in an unfamiliar situation. Is this going to be a problem for your kids? Do you have a hard time leaving them when you have to go to the bank or the supermarket? If this is a regular occurrence, then start leaving them for short periods of time. Try to do this every day until they are comfortable with longer periods. Give them rewards when they don’t cry after you leave.
Encourage Positive Behavior
Attending school will put your kids in different situations. Make sure to encourage positive behavior in them. They should follow instructions and prepare for school activities. They have to be responsible for themselves. Also, you have to teach them to care about their classmates and friends. They need to learn how to share food and toys.
Talk about Safety with Them
Although the school is a learning ground, your kids are going to encounter other things, too, such as bullying and harassment. How should they respond to a bully? First, teach them how to react to these situations. Second, let them know that they can come to you when they need help. Lastly, talk to them about what to do when someone tries to pick them up from school. Tell them explicitly that you’ll be the one to pick them up and that they shouldn’t go with anyone else.
These pointers will help prepare your kids for the big school. Adjustment is necessary during this transitional phase. Although the first weeks will be overwhelming, trust that your kids can handle it as well as you can.