Hints & Tips for Parents to Help Children Prepare for Starting School

Tips to help your child prepare for the transition to school | Papilio Early Learning Centres

Starting school is an exciting time in a child’s lifelong learning journey, but some children and families may experience some anxiety about the transition. The following are some general hints and tips that can help children and families prepare for the milestone of starting school.

Decide what year your child will be starting school

Decide if your child will be starting school the following year. Depending on your State/Territory, some children with birthdays at or near the school cut-off dates may choose to start school the year after instead. Speak with your child’s teacher if you are unsure.

Speak with your child’s early learning teacher

Discuss your child’s learning and any questions or concerns you have with your child’s teacher. Open communication early on will assist the educator to cater for your child’s individual needs and best support them in their transition to school.

Choose a school

Choose a school for your child to attend. Depending on your location, you may have a choice of options. Visit the school and meet with the principal and junior school teachers. Choose a school that suits the needs of your child and family.

Take a tour of the school

Visit the school with your child for orientation sessions and show your child the classrooms, bathroom facilities, library, play yards and other significant areas.

Speak to other families going to the same school

Connect with other families with children going to the same school so your child can have a familiar face when they start school.

Book a hearing and sight assessment

Book your child in for a hearing and sight assessment with a health professional before they start school to ensure they can hear and see well. Consult a health professional with any language or speech concerns you may have.

Pick out a lunch box, drink bottle and bag

Allow your child to choose their own lunch box, drink bottle and school bag (where it is not part of the uniform).

Practice daily routines

Practice daily routines so children are familiar and confident with them. Try on school uniforms including socks, shoes and jumpers/jackets. Practice opening and closing school bags, lunch boxes and drink bottles. Travel the route to school.

Speak positively about school

Speak positively about school, talk about positive experiences from your own schooling and avoid sharing any negative thoughts and personal anxieties with your child.

Remember that every child is different

Remember that all children respond differently to different situations and some may require more time and support. Each child has their own temperament, personality and past experiences that shape their learning and development.

Reassure your child

Show your child that you believe in them and make them feel special and loved. Listen to them, hug them, spend time with them and enjoy them.

These tips will ease the transition

In conclusion, preparing your child for starting school is a multifaceted process that involves emotional, social, and practical readiness. By maintaining open communication with early learning teachers, carefully selecting a suitable school, and familiarising your child with the new environment through orientation sessions, you can ease the transition. Connecting with other families, ensuring your child’s health needs are met, and allowing them to choose their own school supplies can also foster excitement and independence. Practicing daily routines, speaking positively about school, and acknowledging each child’s unique needs are key steps in building their confidence. Remember, your belief in them and the time you spend reassuring and supporting them will make all the difference as they embark on this new journey.