The adjustment from staying home with Dad or Mum every day to being in an institutionalised setting is one that your child will cope with better with some preparation. When we think about preparing our child for the first day of kindergarten we understand the importance of mastering some basic academics. But there is also the social aspect of integration that needs to be addressed with your child. Some helpful activities you can do at home can give her some additional skills to make her transition a lot smoother.
Develop your Child’s Independence:
The more independent your child becomes before starting kindergarten, the less stress they will feel on their first day. In the year preceding that big day, you should begin to work on some skills at home that can foster self-reliance. Teach your child some basics around the house, like picking up their toys, dressing themselves, brushing their own teeth and styling their hair. In order to prepare them for lunch in the school cafeteria, go out to eat at a buffet-style restaurant and let your child carry his/her own tray. The more you let them take the reins, the more confident they will feel.
Basic student tasks like holding a writing instrument, drawing the basic shapes, coloring a picture and answering questions without mumbling are things that can be worked on well before the first day of kindergarten. Additionally, you should make sure your child has a grasp of the alphabet, numbers and vocabulary. It’s important to equip the child with this knowledge to avoid the need for remedial help in the classroom. Your child’s comfort with these skills will make the first day smoother for the teacher as well as the child.
Socialising Your Child
Including your child in family banter will help in the development of your child’s personality. With your guidance, they will learn to listen for understanding. They will learn to ask intelligent questions and even learn to understand humor. Your child may even make simple jokes once they start to learn these higher functioning skills.
You should observe and guide your child’s development of simple social skills. Introduce them to new people often, adults as well as children. This will come in handy when meeting a classroom of strangers with your child first arrives at kindergarten. Understanding authority and obeying rules is also important. The more interaction your child has with others, the better their social skills will be. Without these skills, your child will have unnecessary stress in social situations. Making sure they feel comfortable in social environments will ensure their making friends easily and enjoying a happy social life.
Give Them Strength
Kindergarten is the beginning of a child’s education and it sets the tone for his/her attitude towards school for the rest of school careers. By teaching your child some basic life skills, you can facilitate a more positive, creative and enjoyable learning environment for them.