As we are approaching the end of another academic year, we have just finished celebrating our little graduates who will be beginning their new journey into Big School.
This time of the year is very bittersweet for us at the nursery as it is always difficult to say goodbye to our children who we have nurtured over the years, some from as young as 6 months. We have seen them get ready to spread their wings and move on to Big School.
We feel confident we have prepared our children however transitions are never easy and I would like to share a few tips I used with my own children to help smoothen their transition to Big School.
Familiarize your child with his new environment
I visited the school with my son a couple of times before the term started and we would talk about all the fun things he would be doing while looking at all the work on the display boards. We also visited the library and talked about all the amazing books he could bring home.
Develop social skills
In order to build further on his social skills, we organized more play-dates with families to encourage sharing, taking turns and to build his confidence. It was even more helpful to get together with families whose children were going to the same school.
We also spoke about being able to do things independently and allowed him to dress himself in his new big boy uniform. He got to choose his favourite snacks he would like to pack in his lunchbox and even choose his own school bag.
Reinforce Learning skills
During the summer holidays, we continued to work on number recognition and literacy skills and played fun counting and word games like “I Spy”.
Talk to your child
In order to relieve anxiety, I would share with my son stories about my school, my best friend and explain how he could speak to the teacher anytime about anything. We also read some Starting School books together that were helpful.
Establish a routine
As school is a longer day than nursery, we made sure to get into a good routine for dinner, bath time and bedtime to ensure he got enough sleep.
Hopefully some of these personal experiences will be useful in your child’s settling in process but most importantly please stay calm through the transition process and remember as Dr. Seuss says to our children, “You’re off to great to great places. Today is your first day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”