Top tips to help your child make the transition to school
Making the move from early learning to school is a big step for both children and parents. It’s exciting and it’s daunting. But with the right preparation, you can help ensure the experience is positive and fun for everyone.
But parents also have a big impact on early school success. Here are our top tips for things you can do at home to get your child - and yourself - ready for the transition.
Recognise the change
It is important to recognise and normalise your feelings and your child’s in the lead up to the transition. It’s okay for children (and parents!) to feel nervous or unsure, but focus attention on the positives - like growing up, making new friends, and learning new things.
Support their developing social-emotional skills
Emotionally intelligent children can self-regulate and more easily build other important skills.
You can support your child’s emotional development by helping them recognise the emotions they’re feeling, negotiate with other children, and self-regulate in socially acceptable ways.
Encourage exploration and play
Children learn through play, so encourage your child to explore the world around them by:
- playing outdoors and in natural environments
- suggesting playing dress ups and doing art
- asking them open-ended questions about what they are doing or what they’ve observed
- introducing new words or perspectives that relate to their play.
Build on early literacy and numeracy skills
Reading books to your child promotes literacy skills and a love of learning. Books are a fun and engaging way to develop vocabulary, knowledge, creativity, concentration, empathy and imagination.
Numeracy skills can be developed by counting, sorting items into larger or smaller, measuring ingredients during cooking, or dividing food into equal shares.
Establish familiarity with the concept of school
Consistency builds confidence. Children feel secure when they know what to expect, so use preschool years to gently introduce the idea of school and the environment, behaviours and routines they’ll encounter.
- Talking and reading about school
- Letting them dress up in their school uniform
- Arranging playdates with children who’ll be attending the same school
- Practicing the routine of getting ready and packing lunch
Preparing your child for their next learning step will reinforce what their preschool or kindergarten teacher is doing, and can really help them make a successful transition to school.