10 Tips to Get Your Child School Ready

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Is your little one about to embark on their exciting journey into Kindergarten? As a parent, you want to ensure your child is well prepared for this new chapter in their life.

Here are 10 essential tips to help your 5-year-old get school-ready, setting the foundation for a successful and confident start.

1. Develop Self-Help Skills

Encourage your child to become more independent by practicing self-help skills at home. Teach them to put on their shoes, zip up their jacket, and manage basic personal hygiene tasks, like washing hands and using the bathroom. These skills will empower them to be independent in taking care of themselves during school hours.

2. Follow Directions

Kindergarten involves following instructions from teachers. Enhance this skill by playing games that involve listening and following 2-3 part directions. Activities like “Simon Says” and treasure hunts can make learning directions fun and engaging.

3. Foster Self-Advocacy

Help your child build the confidence to ask for help when needed. Practice scenarios where they might need assistance, like asking a teacher to use the bathroom or letting the teacher know they need help or don’t understand a task. This skill empowers them to communicate their needs effectively when you are not there.

4. Phonological Awareness Activities

Phonological awareness is the ability to recognise and manipulate sounds in spoken language and it is crucial for early literacy. Engage in activities like rhyming games, identifying beginning sounds of words, and playing with sound manipulation. These activities lay the groundwork for reading and writing success. For activity ideas and to learn more about phonological awareness, visit our blog Phonological Awareness: The Building Blocks of Reading.

5. Practice Everyday Living Skills

Prepare your child for the practical aspects of school life. Teach them how to open and close their lunch box, pack their school bag, and take care of their belongings. Label their belongings with their name to foster a sense of ownership. It can be helpful to get your child their uniform ahead of time so you can practise putting it on and identify any sensory challenges your child may have.

6. Recognise Their Name

Ensure your child recognises their own written name before starting Kindergarten. Write their name on their belongings and practice identifying and tracing it. This skill helps them feel more connected to their identity in the classroom and ensures that they are able to locate their trays, bag hooks, and workbooks while at school.

7. Read Together Daily

Reading is a fantastic way to boost language development and foster a love of learning. Set aside time for daily reading sessions with your child. Choose a variety of books that explore different themes, helping them expand their vocabulary and comprehension skills. There are lots of books that focus on the theme of starting Kindergarten and going to big school. Here is a list of books you may like to have a look at https://newywithkids.com.au/kids-books-about-starting-school/. Visit your local library to find some of these books. You can read more about book reading with your child, in our blog Building Language through Book Reading.

8. Socialise and Share

Encourage playdates and social interactions with peers. Learning to share, take turns, and cooperate with others is essential for a positive classroom and playground experience. These skills contribute to building friendships and creating a supportive classroom environment.

9. Establish a Routine

Consistency is key for young children. Create a daily routine that mimics the school schedule as closely as possible. This helps your child adjust to the structure of the school day and eases their transition into the new environment. Practising the morning routine within the time frame you will have is a great way to help your child develop more independence in the mornings. You may find visual schedules helpful for your child to learn the steps to get ready for school Calm Home Visual Schedule Package (DIY Download).

10. Encourage Curiosity

Foster your child’s natural curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. Engage in activities that pique their interests, whether it’s exploring nature, conducting simple experiments, or visiting local museums. Encourage them to ask questions and let them know this is encouraged (e.g. “What a great question!”). This mindset prepares them to actively engage in classroom activities.

In conclusion, getting your 5-year-old school-ready involves a combination of practical skills, emotional preparation, and a nurturing environment. By focusing on self-help skills, following directions, self-advocacy, phonological awareness, and everyday living skills, you’ll empower your child to confidently step into the world of Kindergarten. Remember, each child’s journey is unique, so celebrate their progress and support their growth every step of the way.

For more tips and guidance on preparing your child for Kindergarten have a look at this Department of Education Resource:

Feel free to use this revised version for your blog post. If you have any more adjustments or questions, feel free to ask!

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