How to help your child prepare for school
School readiness isn’t just about being well prepared academically, it’s also about the emotional challenges that your child faces when they advance onto the next level of education. So many changes are taking place for your child at this time. They will be leaving the familiar surroundings of home and their early learning centre, for the much bigger world that is their first proper school. They will meet new teachers and classmates, and they will be adjusting to a whole new structure for the best part of the day, every day!
All of this, yet as parents we tend to worry more about how ready their reading, writing and maths skills are. We hope they will excel in their sums and pass their spelling tests. This is natural, we want our beloved children to succeed – but of course, we want them to be emotionally sound and happy too. Let’s face it, confidence, stability and success usually come as a package!
All children develop at their own pace, some strengths emerging before others, but the best way to bring out the best in our children is to make sure they feel loved and encouraged, rather than pressured. ‘School-readiness’ is just a term to describe a child that is academically, socially or emotionally prepared (as much as the ever can be) to start the next big chapter of their learning lives. Very few school starter-age children are ready in all of these areas, but there are certainly many things we can do to give them a head start in education!
It helps if your child can start to learn a few key skills before starting school:
- Periods of separation from parents or guardians
- The ability to listen and follow simple instructions
- Communication skills to speak to teachers, carers and classmates
- Observation skills and the ability to question situations
- Understanding kindness and playing fairly with others
- Self-awareness, knowing to ask if they need to use the toilet or feel ill etc.
- Group participation, learning to work together and share
This is a lot to ask from a tiny little learner, who is still finding their place in the big wide world. Imagine the nerves we might feel walking into a big meeting or starting a new job – then it helps us to remember that our school-ready learners have only just stopped being our babies. The little bundles that we protect from everything!
Luckily, parents can rely on pioneering early learning centres, such as the Cherry Bridge Station Early Learning Centres in NSW, which are not just basic playschools, but in-fact a service that is centred on flexible packages to suit the whole family. Accepting children from 0-5 years the CBS Centres offer a huge range of programs from sensory development for babies, to language, maths, and cognitive development for toddlers.
Cherry Bridge Station is focused on the school-readiness of your child and here, they can practise all the important skills they will need for getting a head-start in academic and emotional success.