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Prepping for big school - Preschool in Cape Town

Your little one’s first day at preschool was only the beginning of his or her journey and as you prepared yourself and your child for that momentous day, you will surely benefit from preparing them for big school.

In preparing for big school, we don’t only mean the first day. Although the first day is important, what is more important is making sure your child has all the skills and knowledge necessary to ensure smooth sailing throughout the entire year.

Ensuring that your child is fully equipped for their transition into big school will result in a happy and emotionally healthy child. Starting your child off on a positive note will undoubtedly set the tone for the rest of their school career.

Important Skills to Teach Your Child

·Learning Skills

Learning skills encompasses a large number of aspects. However, some of the most important is a child’s ability to sit still and listen as well as to follow instructions from start to finish. Try simple activities such as telling your child to walk to the end of the passage, turn around and touch their toes and then walk back to where he started for example.

Teaching them basic mathematic skills such as counting to 10 or even 20. This prepares them for further number lessons. Additionally, allowing your child to draw and scribble is encouraging them to become familiar with using pens as well as learning which hand is more comfortable to use for them.

·Social Skills

Social skills are arguably the most important skills you will ever teach your child. Ensuring your child has well-developed social skills guarantees that he or she will make friends easily. Healthy social skills pave the way for overall success and a great amount of attention should be paid to developing these skills in your child.

Your child’s ability to share, wait for their turn to speak or play, cooperate and listen to instructions from authoritative figures as well as help others who need help are all healthy social skills. Furthermore, teaching your child to confidently communicate their feelings will build their overall self-esteem as well as contribute to positive conflict management.

·Independence Skills

It’s no secret that parents want to always be there for their children to support and guide them through life’s daily activities. However, doing everything with and for your child may cause more harm than good. Teaching your child independence is crucial for their overall development and self-esteem. Furthermore, you will not be there at school to help them along their way, so encouraging your child to do things on their own before going to school is of utmost importance.

Let your child start dressing themselves as well as going to the toilet alone. Allow them to make their own choices about what snacks they would like packed in for lunch or which jacket to wear. Additionally, teach them the importance of taking care of their belongings and also encourage them to pack their own bags for school.

·Emotional Skills

Emotional intelligence is crucial in developing a kind, loving and understanding human. People all too often underestimate a child’s emotional calibre. Children are intelligent and extremely impressionable. Therefore, taking the opportunity to saturate their sponge-like minds with healthy emotional skills will reap greater rewards than waiting until they are “old enough to understand.” There is some evidence which indicates that children begin to show their ability to identify between different emotions from as young as 4 months old.

Healthy emotional skills include your child’s ability to identify his or her own emotions as well as how to express and manage them and the ability to recognise and acknowledge the emotions of someone else. When a child is able to identify their own emotions and that of their peers, they are able to provide support. You can teach your child these skills by acknowledging their feelings and encouraging them to calmly talk about them.

Preparing Your Child for the First Day of Big School

Now that you have instilled in your child all the necessary skills which foster healthy development, you can do a few more things in preparation for the actual transition into big school.

·Tell your child what to expect

Giving your child information with regards to what to expect will reduce their fear of the unknown. Explaining what is generally expected of your child will help them prepare for their new routine.

·Allow your child to express his or her fears

Let your child explain what they are most afraid of when they think about their first day at school. Explain that it is absolutely normal to be scared but assure them that they will be safe and well taken care of by the teachers.

·Preparation is key

Make sure that your child is fully prepared the night before school starts. Help them make sure that their bag is fully packed, their uniform is ready and waiting and their lunchbox is packed and ready for the next morning. Additionally, instil a routine that is aligned with the school’s routine starting a few weeks in advance. This allows your child to gradually adjust to lunch times, bed times and waking up times.

·Find a way to make goodbyes a pleasant endeavor

Separation anxiety is a factor for many children. However, finding creative ways to make saying goodbye fun rather than sad may help minimise the stress involved. Maybe you could come up with a secret handshake or give your child a special trinket to take with to school so that they know you will be coming to fetch them at the end of the day.

Preschools in Cape Town – Kay-Dee Educare Centre Mowbray

At Kay-Dee we pride ourselves in being one of the best preschools in Cape Town. We contribute to building a healthy foundation for your child which prepares them to confidently attend any one of the primary schools in Cape Town.

Contact us, for more information about our preschool.