Starting school is an important moment in every child and parent's life. Preparing your son or daughter for the start of school will help them settle and get off to a great start.
Knox Grammar Preparatory School’s K-2 Coordinator Mrs Chris Gray provides some helpful hints for parents:
Before your son or daughter starts at school
- Talk to your child about school and that it isn’t just for a day or a week, you keep going.
- Tell your child that they come to school to learn and play. Be positive about school and learning.
- Drive past the school regularly and talk about their new school.
- Encourage your child to use the toilet independently. For boys, access public toilets so he knows how to use a urinal.
- Teach your child to ride a bike – learning how to ride a bike is a great way to learn about persistence and how to bounce back.
- Make time to go to the park and use climbing equipment. It is important to develop core strength so that they can sit at a desk for periods of time without tiring.
- Give your child simple jobs to do at home – tidy up toys, make their bed, set the table. Encourage effort and independence without a reward.
- Purchase lunch boxes and drink bottles that are easy to open and use. Label them clearly and practise using them on a picnic in the backyard or in a park.
- Get your child to practise packing their own bag so that they knows what is in each section.
- If your child has difficulty separating, encourage them to stay with family or a friend. Let your child know you will pick him/her up at a set time and keep your word so that they knows you will collect them.
- Have a set time to read with your son each night and a set time for bed.
When school begins
See that your child arrives at school on time – late arrival can be stressful for some children.
- See that your child arrives at school on time – late arrival can be stressful for some children.
- Say ‘goodbye’ brightly and cheerfully.
- Don’t let your child see you upset.
- Don’t hang around – they need to learn to be independent.
- Encourage your child by admiring the work that is brought home.
- Understand that your child will be very tired at the end of the day – school is the biggest step taken so far. There are lots of new people, new activities, things will be bewildering and the students work very hard.
- At the end of the day when your child is tired it is better to say, “You look as if you have had an interesting/tiring/busy/happy day today”, rather than “what happened at school today?”
- Don’t over-commit your child. Give them plenty of time at home to relax and re-energise.
- When preparing food, pack food that is easy to open, easy to eat and not messy. Avoid using plastic wrap and processed food because children find it hard to pull apart. Paper bags are better for the environment too. Food is fuel for the brain.
- Don’t worry if they don’t eat everything. School is a busy place and there is a lot of fun to enjoy!
Mrs Chris Gray – K-2 Co-ordinator, Knox Grammar Preparatory School