There comes a time in your child’s life when they must leave the nest and attend school. For some kids, this happens when they are toddlers or younger if you decide to return back to work. For other kids, this will happen when they start attending kindergarten or prep. Whenever your child starts to attend school, keep in mind that the world of learning for your child always begins at home.
At Home Education
Many mums will choose to keep their children home with them until they are ready for kindergarten. What this means is that your child may not experience the ‘school’ setting in daycare and thus may be a little lost and a little confused when the first day of school does come. However, there are several ways to educate your child and prepare them for school without actually going to daycare.
Daycares for infants and toddlers as well as for pre-kindy students focus more on the concept of learning through play and imagination which you can achieve at home. Pick a time of the day to do a creative activity with your child, such as painting, colouring, playing with playdoh, baking a cake, playing with clay, water play or sand play. How long your child stays interested in the activity will depend on his temperament and his age.
Try to also focus on reading to your child every day, even if it is just a quick story before bedtime or naptime. Reading is an excellent learning tool and a stepping stone for literacy. Attending playgroups and other social activities can also give your child a sense of individuality and learn how to socialize with other children in a structured setting.
What Your Child Should Know Before Attending Kindergarten
When your child does go to kindergarten or prep, he needs to be ready to focus and to learn. A lot of teachers need to spend more time than they should with menial tasks that a child should have learned at home. If every child is educated on these tasks at home, then they can focus on teaching them art, science, math and writing skills instead of blowing their noses. Although every child will learn these tasks at a different rate, there is no better time than the present to start practicing and no better learning ground than home.
Some of the things your child should have mastered before attending kindy include:
- Using the toilet and flushing
- Washing and drying their hands when requested
- Putting their own lunchbox and bag away in the designated area
- Opening and closing their lunch box
- Opening and closing their water bottles
- Throwing away their rubbish
- Putting on sunscreen
- Blowing their nose and putting the tissue in the bin
- Covering their mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Dressing (putting on a coat, a hat, and shoes)
- Taking off socks and shoes (it is often best to start your child with slip-ons or velco shoes as mastering the fine art of tying shoelaces is normally not accomplished until a children is five or six)
Practice these things on a regular basis. Furthermore, get your child to help out as much as possible at home with simple tasks like clearing the table, putting away the spoons from the dishwasher, putting the laundry in the washing machine and making the bed in the morning. Getting them involved in simple tasks will help them develop and refine these skills and prepare them for the big day when they start school.