Many parents think children are ready for school if they’ve learned certain academic activities, such as knowing the alphabet. In fact, school readiness means much more. It means that children start school with the basic skills they need to learn to read, write and count. It also means that children are healthy and able to get along with others.
You can help your child have a good start at school by:
- Talking about it
- Talk about what to expect at school (e.g., how they’ll get there and what they’ll do in class). Let them know what you will be doing when they are not with you.
- Starting your new routine early
- About a month before school begins, shift slowly to a regular time for getting up, having meals, and going to bed.
- Reading about it
- Read books about starting school. These books will help them understand more about what school will be like. Local libraries have books about school.
- Respecting children’s different temperaments
- Children adjust to change in different ways. Your child may adjust to school differently than other children.
- Being positive
- Be positive with your child about starting school. Share fun memories of teachers you had and things you enjoyed doing at school. They will enjoy it more if they know school is important to you.
To help support your child’s learning:
- Share your child’s interests, strengths, and challenges with their teacher. Ask what you can do to help them at home.
- Find out the best way to keep in touch with their teacher. Sending emails or notes often works well.
- Attend school events, learning celebrations, and meetings to find out how things are going for your child and the rest of their class.
- Take time to talk to your child about their day. Ask them open questions like “What was the best thing that happened at school today?” or “What did you learn about today?”
- Show them that you value their work by asking them if it’s okay to hang it on the fridge or wall so everyone can see it.
- Encourage them to tell the family and other important people in your lives about their school activities.
- Read and share stories with them every day.
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