Now that the nerve-wracking Primary 1 registration is over and your child has secured a place in a local primary school in Singapore, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
However, new worries are popping up. Is your child really ready for primary school? Will they be able to cope with the new subjects and school format? Will they be able to handle their newfound independence?
Here are some skills that are important for you and your child to work on before they start Primary 1.
Skills to Pick Up For Your Child’s P1 Journey
Not all children from preschools wear school uniforms and it may feel strange to your child to wear the same thing to school every day.
Some children may need a little extra help with doing up buttons or zips, and parents can help their children by teaching them how to put on their uniform properly and in line with school regulations. This includes tying shoelaces (if they have laced shoes), and tying up hair neatly for girls.
The best preschools in Singapore give their children plenty of opportunity to practise their fine and gross motor skills. At Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse, the FIITercise programme introduces children to fundamental movement skills to hone their fine motor skills through various sports.
Reading a timetable
Being able to read a timetable or schedule may seem like a very basic skill to parents, but the format is likely unfamiliar to your child in preschool in Singapore.
Although you may not have your child’s actual class timetable before school starts, it is a good idea to help your child draw up a timetable based on their daily activities, to show and explain to them how it works.
This will give them a better idea and understanding of how their school day will be structured, and even help them look forward to rest times such as recess, breaks and the end of the school day.
Telling time is an important skill for Primary 1 students, and it goes hand in hand with reading a timetable. Most primary school classrooms have an analogue clock hung up above the whiteboard, and telling time will also help your child have a better grasp of the way their day is planned out and how to understand blocks of time.
A digital watch will come in handy for children who have yet to master telling time on a clock face.
In their preschool years, our children often have little reason to handle cash. However, it is important for children to learn how money works, especially if you intend for your child to buy meals from the school canteen.
Learning how to count coins means that children have to learn how to count to a hundred in tens. Try having your child identify the different types of coins first – which one is a fifty-cent coin, and how many of them make up a dollar?
You may want to have your child practice paying for small items on their own. Talking about how much an item costs, explaining the concept of receiving change, and letting your child interact with a cashier by themselves will help them to understand how this process works.
Lastly, teach your children to keep their wallets safe.
In primary school, the students may be asked to take on simple chores in the classroom such as sweeping the floor or cleaning the whiteboard. Teaching your child to handle a broom effectively can help ease the way for such expectations.
Teachers also say that it is important for children to learn how to tidy up their desks for lessons, as many children struggle with packing their items in a timely and neat fashion particularly if moving from location to location (for example, from the classroom to the art room, or to the music room). This can cause undue stress on children who are struggling to keep up with their classmates, or who are prone to lose items when they are not kept neatly.
How does Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse help?
Towards the end of the K2 year, our Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse teachers prepare the children with a P1 Preparation Programme. This programme covers the skills mentioned here and more, to get the children ready for the big step ahead of them.