When it time for your little person to start school at age 4 or 5, it can seem a daunting and nerve-wracking prospect, and that’s just for the parents! Help give them a head start by getting them as prepared as possible. Here are a few guidelines as to what your child should be ready for by the time they start reception:
Write their name
Many teachers of reception classes bemoan the fact that children arrive without the ability to read or write their own name. Reading and writing are the toughest things a child will learn, so spend some time in the summer before starting school playing with crayons and pencils to gently introduce them to learning how to form their own name. Make it fun by using a special dry wipe board that they can use over and over to practise. For Dry Wipe Magnetic Whiteboards for Schools, visit https://wedgewhiteboards.co.uk/
Recognise the Alphabet
Again, the whiteboard can be useful for getting your child to recognise and write letters from the alphabet. There are so many entertaining resources available to make learning fun, from electronic toys to cartoons on television. Don’t worry if they don’t know the whole alphabet but getting them used to the sounds and practising saying and writing them will give them a great start when they go to school.
Sharing and Taking Turns
One of the hardest lessons is teaching a child the need for sharing and getting on well with others. Try to encourage socialisation from a young age and congratulate them whenever they share a toy. A child will fare much better if they have an understanding of how other’s may feel. Selfish and unkind children won’t be popular, so encourage your child to show empathy and the difference between right and wrong.
Feeding and Dressing
It’s often quicker, easier and less messy when we do this for our children, but in the long run we’re not doing them any favours. A teacher will be too busy to show this level of attention to each child, so a minimum requirement would be for a child to know how to feed themselves and get changed.
Most young children have a short attention span, but at school they will often be expected to focus on one task and not get distracted. A good idea is to introduce them to painting, which a great activity for learning the skill of concentration.
Basic counting from 1 to 10 and backwards is ideal for starting reception. You could also introduce them to the concept of answering number based questions. Play counting games in the car or the supermarket. While eating dinner, ask them how many potatoes will be left if they eat two more for example.
Your child probably doesn’t need any encouragement to get active, but if they seem reluctant, try to get them out and about at the local park, soft play or swimming for example. This will help them to take PE in their stride when they start school.
Understand different foods
It’s important to talk to your child about the difference between healthy and unhealthy food. There is much emphasis in this in schools now, so it will benefit your child both physically and educationally. Let them get involved in family cooking and help them to make decisions about what to eat. This will give them the tools they need to be creative and knowledgeable about food from a young age.