FOR MANY four and five year olds, this week marks a major milestone in their short lives.
Or CLICK FOR ADVERT QUOTE
They will be starting Kindergarten, their first year of primary school, or ‘big school’ as so many of them call it.
Starting at St Peter’s Primary School, Stockton this year will be Medowie student Xander Miller.
With a big sister already at school, Xander is familiar with the school routine.
He says he is looking forward to starting school because “I can see my friends and eat lunches.”
Xander also understands the learning side of Kindergarten, telling News Of The Area that in Kindergarten he will, “Have some playtime, learn to read, I’ll listen, and sometimes have excursions.”
Supporting Xander are his parents, and his mother, Mrs Jenny Miller is herself a preschool teacher so understands the need to prepare children for primary school.
Speaking as a teacher, News Of The Area sat down with Mrs Miller to understand how to prepare children for this significant life event.
Mrs Miller said, “It is important to keep positive about going to school even if you’re a little apprehensive.”
“Setting a consistent routine so your child knows where and when they’re doing things is really helpful.”
“Uncertainty makes for anxious children.”
“Good bedtimes and healthy breakfasts so they’re ready for learning, are also key to ensuring a successful start to school.”
Speaking as a parent is slightly different and Mrs Miller noted that as Xander is her last child to start primary school, “I’m feeling a little sad that my firsts are coming to an end with my little man going to big school.”
“But, he is ready for the routines and stimulation it will provide.”
Her tip from parent to parent for new parents on how to survive big school is, “Make sure you check your kids’ bags to keep on top of notes!”
“There is nothing worse than being clueless about what’s going on at school.”
Wirreanda Public School parent, Ms Zoe Jones had a child start Kindergarten last year.
Her advice to new parents is to say, “I wish I was truly aware of how quickly they learnt and how extremely fast they grow once they start school.”
“I was a first time school mum last year and I feel like I blinked and missed it.”
Harvard Health has a list of seven things to do to prepare your child for school, including talking about what to expect at school, ideas such as planning lunches together, shopping together for school supplies, establishing a school-friendly sleep routine, plan ahead for changes to routine, not over-scheduling, and getting to know the school community.
More information for first time and experienced parents can be found at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/7-tips-to-help-your-child-start-school-for-the-first-time-2017081512202
By Heather SHARP