Helping Pre-Schoolers To Be Independent And Ready For Big School

One of the biggest steps in your child’s life is making the move from pre-school to big school and it doesn’t just affect your child either - you too will be a nervous wreck

Ensuring your child is ready is a huge thing and if they are prepared for what lies ahead it does make the whole process much easier. If you have a child in pre-school here are some tips on getting them ready with some tips here:

1. Work on the basics before pre-school.

This means getting your child working on their skills and abilities. Perhaps, practice at home with your child putting on their own shoes but also let them FIND their shoes as often kids rely on parents to hand them everything. Stop doing so and they’ll learn how to get things themselves and let’s be honest once they hit school they will need to be able to get their pencil case, take out their lunch and pick up their coat at the end of the day. These are momentous things for a young child but if you practice it will help.  

2. Make a list and put it on a whiteboard  

This list should include the things your child should do themselves every day e.g. brushing their teeth, making their bed, putting their clothes on and getting their bag ready for pre-school. Instead of using words on the whiteboard, draw (as well as you can) pictures of things they should do. For brushing their teeth, draw a toothbrush and for making a bed, draw a bed. Don’t worry if you aren’t artistically gifted and let your kiddie do it if he/she likes as it is important they understand it. As the year progresses and big school comes closer add more tasks on it and offer your child rewards for doing a good job. Don’t forget to teach your child about prioritising and show them how to do the jobs needed straight away and ones that can wait until later. This is an excellent skill to learn while transitioning from pre-school to big school.

3. Encourage your child and accept it will be messy  

If your child is learning how to make their bed, clean their room and brush their own teeth you must accept it won’t be done perfectly but that it will help them. Practice makes perfect after all. Though they may not get everything right, be mindful of their efforts and remember they just want to please you so be gentle. Give them positive criticism and mention the mistake they made while focusing on the good.  

4. Keep working on it  

As the new school year comes your child should be well able to do things for themselves and settle into the class without too many problems. Of course, it will always be tough, and your child will sometimes mess up but learning independence doesn’t stop at five years old, it continues right through until your child turns 21! So, be prepared for this and prepare your child!  

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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