Anyone have a child starting school next year? I do.
And I always wonder how he is going to go – is he advanced enough to actually sit through six hours of school five days a week? Does he know enough? Where should he be at mentally? Dr. Google led me to an interesting article featured in The Mirror UK. And while the list can look a little intimidating, it was nice to see that my Master 4 is actually almost there…almost. Sure he spells his name with a 4 and he usually misses half of the ‘teens’ when counting to 20, but, meh, small steps.
But this got me thinking – there is so much more to starting your children on the road to a well-rounded education and preparing them for school, apart from the basics in ABC’s and nursery rhymes. So, here are some additional things to teach your kids before they start school. And, if the whole prospect of your baby starting big kid school next year is sending you into a bit of a panic, be sure to check out our Five Things to Tell My Son Before He Turns Five – guaranteed to help calm the nerves.
According to Janine Spencer of Brunel University, before starting school, parents should focus on teaching their children the following:
1. How to write their name.
This may be a lot easier for some children. For example, Anna is probably going to learn how to write her name a lot sooner than Dominique.
2. All (or most) of the alphabet.
LMNOP may come out as “MandMIPee” but close enough.
3. How to use a computer.
Isn’t this crazy that this is a requirement for five-year-olds now? See, letting the iPad babysit my son for all of these years has paid off. Winning!
4. Dress and feed themselves.
They may not be able to cut up a decent-sized steak just yet, but the basics in fork and spoon etiquette should be mastered by now.
5. How to make up stories.
But also the difference between a made-up story and the truth.
6. Count and answer number-based questions.
They don’t need to know how to do long division, but they should be able to count up to 20 and have some number recognition.
7. Do a jigsaw puzzle.
The number of pieces will depend on your child, but essentially, if they can put puzzle pieces together, you are golden.
8. To ask questions.
Engaging in everyday conversation is essential for teaching your children how to ask questions and how to answer one. Some kids are shyer than others and thus, it might take them some time to get the courage to ask someone new a question or to reply with an answer. But engaging in conversation every day will help. So talk, talk, talk.
9. Know the difference between past and future.
A good way to check this is to discuss your child’s birthday. Ask them about their past birthday (what did you do) and about an upcoming birthday (what would you like to do).