Child School Readiness
There are many ways you can help your child get ready to start Nursery or primary school.
Preparing your child for school is an important job! As a parent, you need to know what is happening at your child’s school, what your child is learning, and what your child is expected to know. There are many ways you can help your child get ready to start nursery or primary school. Your child needs to develop social and emotional skills as well as academic skills in order to be prepared to enter a classroom setting with other children.
Your child’s school experience will be best if you work together with your child’s early educators, nursery school and primary school teachers and school staff.
Share things happening in your child’s life that might affect how your child feels and acts. Let the school know what special needs your child has before starting school.
Take your child for regular “well child checkups” and immunizations. Provide your child a variety of nutritious foods, and care for your child's teeth. Get help for any health problems or concerns about your child development.Feeling excited and comfortable about starting school
Let your child know that you’re excited that he is starting kindergarten. Give your child a chance to visit the school before he starts class. Play a game with your child to pretend that he is in school already.
Teach your child to follow directions by giving simple steps. Help your child learn how to share with other children, stand in line, wait her/his turn and sit in a circle.
Pay attention to your child and listen to your child's ideas. Help your child to feel good about all of the things your child can do. Praise your child for your child's strengths. Be patient and let your child develop at your child's own pace. Teach your child that all of your child's feelings are okay, but not all of your child's actions are okay. For example, it is okay to be upset, but it is not okay to hit others. Teach your child ways to calm himself or herself down when he gets frustrated.
Show your child ways to make new friends. Help your child to understand how your child can be a friend with children who are different from your child. Teach your child what to do when someone hurts his feelings.
Talk with your child about things that he’s interested in. Teach him how to know when it’s his turn to speak and when it is his turn to listen. Teach him words to describe his feelings and needs, and when to use them.
Give your child activities that hold their interest. Help her explore and try new activities, learning step by step. Teach her that making mistakes is part of learning.
Encourage your child to dance, sing, whistle, play instruments, paint, draw, color, build, invent and make believe. Help your child notice and talk about flowers, tress, animals, clouds, sky and water.
Show your child books and pictures of people who look like your child, as well as people from different cultures. Sing songs and tell your child stories from your child's own and other cultures. Take your child to places that will teach your child about her/his culture and other cultures. Introduce your child to foods from different cultures.
Teach your child new words. Show your child words and symbols and the sounds they make. Read to your child. Ask your child questions about the stories to help your child understand their meaning. Sing songs and teach your child rhymes.
Give your child things to sort by shape, size and color. Help your child find and name shapes and colors all around her/him.
Help your child play counting games. Let your child count things at home and in the community. Show your child how numbers are used around him/her.
Help your child practice saying her/his full name, address and phone number in her native language and in English. Teach your child to watch for cares and to not talk to strangers. Teach your who to ask for help when she needs it.
Teach your child the words to tell other grown-ups when your child needs to go to the bathroom, or is feeling sick or hurt. Help your child practice going to the bathroom, washing his/her hands, dressing, and tying his shoes. Encourage your child to try things she/he’s learned before asking for help.
Encourage your child to run, jump, climb and dance. Give her time every day to play outdoors. Help your child learn to pick-up, hold and use pencils, crayons, markers, paintbrushes and scissors. Encourage your child to make things with blocks, paper, cardboard and tape.
Make sure your child is fed, rested and dressed for the weather every day at school.