Picture this: In a matter of weeks, your Primary 1 child will be carrying a brand new schoolbag and shuffling into a new school. Fighting back the tears that are welling up in your eyes, you watch as your little one enters this brand new world: wide-eyed and smartly attired in a neatly pressed school uniform. This change from kindergarten to primary school can be quite daunting for your 6-year-old: new teachers, new classmates, and a whole new environment!
Undoubtedly, you may be feeling the butterflies in your stomach about this new stage in your child’s learning journey (yes, it isn’t just the children who are affected). To help you out, here are 5 tips for you and your child to help ease this transition to primary school.
Aside from the orientation procedures that your child’s primary school conducts, “remind” your child about him or her having to attend a new educational institution in January.
At the end of the first day of school, you might see some Primary 1 pupils with tears streaming down their cheeks as they step out of the school compound. This is probably happening because they were not prepared for this new environment. Any child can feel emotional when he or she is overwhelmed with that much uncertainty. This December, you can focus on reducing any anxiety triggers or fears of the unknown for your child.
Children feed off the energy of those around them. To excite your child about this change, speak about your child’s upcoming primary school education with excitement in your voice. With such positivity, your child will look upon this change as a fascinating adventure.
To start, ask your child about his or her thoughts/feelings about entering a new school and acknowledge these concerns. Then, share with your child some positive experiences you had in primary school. These can be experiences such as making new friends or wolfing down delicious canteen food. Hearing about your positive experiences can help your child view entering a new school positively.
To introduce your child to the concept of entering a new school, books are a familiar yet great tool. Some helpful titles include:
If you live near your child’s primary school, make a casual family “trip”. Before January comes around, stroll past the school at least two to three times while on your morning/evening walk. Point out to your child the various sections of the school that you can see—classrooms, assembly area, basketball court, etc.
To avoid anxiety triggers, get your child to put on his or her new school uniform. You can say that you wish to take a photo of your child in his/her uniform, or that you want to see if your child’s uniform fits. Bear in mind that 6- to 7-year-old children are creatures of habit. Putting on their school uniform at least twice before going to a new school would help them get used to wearing it.
Routines can help your child get used to how he or she should go about his/her day. With routines, your child is less likely to be triggered by anxiety. At the age of 6 to 7, they are at the ideal age to learn and stick to routines if it can be followed-through at home.
If your child is self-reliant, he or she can learn to face any challenge bravely. A self-reliant child takes pride in completing his or her goals independently. When your child is able to accomplish this, he or she will realise how to be responsible for himself or herself. With that in mind, your child will then learn to adapt and adjust to the elements in his or her environment.
To do this, encourage your child to:
When entering primary school, one of the newest changes for your child is having to manage an allowance. In addition to learning how to save and spend wisely, your child’s numeracy skills will also improve when learning about money management.
If you are unsure about how much to give your child, consider giving just a little more than the cost of a school meal. This will help to introduce the concept of saving to your child. To start, set up a coin bank at home so that your child can deposit the remaining amount of his/her daily or weekly allowance. After some time, show your child that the money saved can be used to buy snacks or something special.
In preschool, your child should have learned some essential literacy skills (like reading and writing). He or she should also have acquired some numeracy skills (like learning to count, identifying numbers, and comparing and manipulating quantities). To settle into Primary 1 comfortably, your child should also be able to read and follow written instructions.
LiteracyPlus’ Enhancing English Language Skills (EELS) programme can help build a strong English foundation for your child. In our programme, our Primary 1s build content knowledge about the world, learn to read for understanding, and to write confidently so that they can take on the challenges in primary school bravely. To find out how LiteracyPlus can give your child the skills and confidence he/she needs to be successful in Primary 1, click here.
If you have any questions about our programmes, contact us by filling up our contact form or using one of the contact points below and we will be happy to assist you.
Whatsapp: 9612 8696
Phone: 6777 2468