Most Important Lessons Kids Need Before Starting School
Starting school is a big step for both your child and yourself too. Every parent feels the same about their child starting school. Even though it’s an exciting time, it’s very much normal for your child to feel a little worried about it. Your child is likely to need your help and support when the school starts. Children need to know a bit more than their ABCs and 123s, but there are a few lessons kids need before starting school that can make the transition much easier.
Lessons Kids Need Before Starting School – Infographic
Lessons Kids Need Before Starting School – Bathroom Skills
The toilet training should always be initiated based on the child’s developmental level. Initiating toilet training before the child is ready can create stress and for the child and the family, and thus increases the length of training time. It is important for the child to begin toilet training when they show signs of readiness. Readiness signs includes the below –
The child can imitate their parents’ behavior.
Able to understand and keep things back to where they belong.
The child shows his independence by saying “no,” when needed.
Able to walk and sit down on their own.
Able to communicate their need to urinate/defecate.
The child can change clothing of their own.
If the child has not been toilet trained by the time they joined preschool, suggest the parents seek the help of a specialist for an evaluation. The pediatrician will assist the parents about toilet training methods and techniques.
Lessons Kids Need Before Starting School – Making Friends
When children are very young, they are very happy to play with the other kids around them, rather than choosing a best friend. Some of the toddlers are naturally more sociable and can manage more friends. But others are comfortable with a smaller group of friends. Toddlers are more likely to start telling you who they like to be friends with.
Most toddlers will be able to distinguish between ‘a friend’ and rest of the children they know. It takes time for the children in learning to share, take turns and solve disputes, etc. You can help prepare your toddler by showing them how to be a good friend and sharing with others. Toddlers learn critical values through making friends, such as sharing, caring, patience and adapting to different situations.
A simple step towards starting friendships is arranging play-dates, where other parents visit with children of the same age group.
Lessons Kids Need Before Starting School – Dining Basics
Your child isn’t ready for the well-mannered dining, but he’s old enough to start learning and even perform the basics. Dining time is a great opportunity for your child to polish his communication skills, so be sure to include him in discussions. Some behaviors to teach and at this age are listed below –
Hand washing before coming to the table
No throwing or grabbing food.
No spitting food out.
Allow no shouting or running around the room while others are eating.
Saying “please” and “thank you.”
Using utensils when appropriate.
You want the lunch to be yummy, fun, and familiar. Avoid sending something that your child has never tasted before. Mix and match as you like for your little one, try to include fresh veggies and fruit when possible. Most importantly, make sure that the containers can be easily opened independently by the child himself.
Lessons Kids Need Before Starting School – School Bus Travel basics
Waiting for the Bus
Arrive at the bus stop before the scheduled school bus time.
Stand in a safe place away from the street, at least ten feet away from the edge of the road, while waiting for the bus.
Wait until the school bus stops, the door gets opened, and the driver says okay to get on the bus.
Riding the Bus
Avoid reckless behavior when getting inside the bus.
When the bus is moving, stay seated and sit quietly. Avoid making loud noises which may distract the driver.
Remember to keep your head, hands and arms out of the window.
Never fight with other children inside the school bus.
Leaving the Bus
Wait for the bus to stop completely, for getting up from the seat.
Check both sides of the roads for other vehicles before stepping off the bus.
Wait for the driver’s signal to getting down and cross the road in front of the bus rather than to cross behind the bus.
Limiting the After-School Activities for First Term
Get your child to try on the uniform and shoes before the first day, just to make sure everything fits. Let the child practice with the lunch box to make sure your child can take the lid off independently. You could even do this before buying the box. It’s helpful to talk to other parents; they might also have helpful tips for preparing and starting school. Your child is likely to be exhausted after school for the first few weeks. Suggest to limit after-school activities and stick to a bedtime routine if you can.
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