The time has come to prepare your children for their primary school adventure. Finally, you have secured a spot for them in the school of your choice for the next six years of their lives, and you’re starting to wonder about the next step you will be taking.
It is perfectly normal to be concerned about your child’s transition to primary school. After all, it’s a huge step to a learning environment that is different than what your child is used to in preschool. To make the move easier on both you and your children, it is important to be equipped with the skills to help our children navigate this process.
What You Can Do to Prepare Your Child for Primary School
1. Speak and Converse with your children
A long time ago, you were in the same position as your child, feeling anxious and worried about your primary school journey.
But you survived the experience and lived to tell the tale.
Share your fun experiences with your children to entice them on the exciting journey that they are about to embark. Make it interesting for your children so they have something to look forward to – making new friends, borrowing books from their own school library, ordering food from the canteen etc.
2. Build their social skills
Entering a classroom with so many new faces can be intimidating for many children, as they gaze upon a sea of new people and a new environment.
Remind your children that they are not alone in this journey – the faces that they see are also going through the same emotions. Teach your child how to reach out to others and develop new friendships along the way. What are some phrases or questions they can use to break the ice?
Don’t forget to remind your children that chatting should take place only during break times or between classes, though!
3. Managing academic expectations
This is one of the biggest areas of interest for most parents – are you certain that your children are adequately prepared for primary school, especially if they have attended preschools in Singapore?
The answer is, yes!
While formal learning in primary school is different from what they are used to at a preschool level, the transition from K2 to P1 is not as difficult as most parents believe. Primary school teachers are aware that all children go through different types of preschool experiences, and the syllabus is specifically built to bridge the gaps between preschool and Primary 1 in the first semester.
Even if your child has a way to go to catch up, there are support programmes in place to help them.
4. Establish routines
Many new primary school children in Singapore will find it tough to adapt to the early mornings. Although many children may have attended a full day programme at preschools, they have fewer breaks and more intensive lessons in primary school, and they may find it a challenge to cope with the packed timetable. You may face resistance and meltdowns from your Primary 1 child after the first week of excitement dies down. Rest assured that you are not alone!
In preparing for their Primary 1 journey in Singapore, you can plan a timetable with your children and walk through their day with them. This is also a good opportunity to teach them how to tell time on an analogue clock, given that most primary schools use them in their classrooms. Lay out your expectations clearly – when they come home from school, they should do their homework before they can play – so that they know what is required of them.
Be prepared that your child may require a nap or an earlier bedtime, now that waking time is much earlier. It is best to ease them into this new routine as well.
5. Familiarise them with school layout
In COVID-19 times, orientation has now taken on a different look. With protocols in place to safeguard everyone, schools may move their orientation to an online interface on platforms like Zoom, to welcome parents and children.
Even if the school has moved away from face-to-face orientation programmes, fret not! Hop onto the school’s website to check out videos that showcase the layout of the school. Together, check out interesting parts of the school such as the gardens, the canteen, special rooms and other dedicated spaces. You can use the videos to do a virtual tour with your children and get them excited for their big school.
6. Work on personal responsibility
Get your children involved in labelling their belongings. This allows them to be aware of the items that they own and recognise them in case they go missing. In the first few months, these children have a lot on their mind and sometimes, caring for their belongings is the last thing they think about.
Another important area for them to be mindful of is the management of money. Provide experiences for your children to use money in real life situations like buying something from a shop with you. Guide them to count and receive change when necessary – this will help to level up their Mathematics skills as well!
7. Build up emotional support
Open communication channels between your child and you can help to alleviate a lot of worries that they feel.
Encourage your child to share their day with you. Your job is to listen to them and comfort them. Be there for them. When they know that you are there to support them regardless of what has transpired in the day, they will be more willing to discuss their issues in school.
Preschool Curriculum – why does it matter?
Preschools in Singapore are not bounded by one particular curriculum, compared to primary schools. As such, you have the luxury to shop for the best preschool in Singapore for your children based on the education approaches that they take to prepare your children for primary one.
At Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse, we promote an equal focus in English and Chinese languages. We understand the importance of cultivating a love for languages and aims to help your children be effectively bilingual.
Adopting an inquiry-based approach towards learning, children are encouraged to think critically when they are involved in play. By the end of Kindergarten 2, your children should have a strong foundation in all his/her academic skills to be ready for Primary 1.
Book a Tour with Us!
Let us journey with you in your children’s early childhood education so we can sufficiently prepare them for their transition to primary school!
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