Transitioning from preschool to primary school is a major headway in your child’s educational journey. And, preparing preschoolers for a seamless transition to primary school is a facet of bringing up kids that every parent has to handle with care.
Questions like – how will the child survive longer hours, fit in larger class sizes, eat all by their own, shroud the minds of mums and dads as their delicate darlings move on to a slightly more challenging environment. But, we can be better prepared to embrace this change with excitement and minimise the discomfort that the child might undergo. To achieve this, parents should start preparing the child for the transition when they are midway through the final year of kindergarten.
Prepare your preschoolers for the transition to primary school – quick tips
Assess your child’s academic readiness – the first step is to analyse if your child is academically ready for primary one. As long as your child knows the alphabet and numbers, can read and write simple three-lettered words and can produce short 4-5 words sentences on paper, he or she is all set for P1.
Preschools are pretty much geared to prepare the students with the necessary literacy skills to start primary school. Nevertheless, as parents, you must reiterate those skills at home and even go the extra mile if your child is capable of it. Preparing children with the necessary academic skills will keep their confidence boosted and help them enjoy higher-order learning at primary school.
Work on the social skills of the child – it goes without saying that due to the bigger cohort size, preschoolers need to face a larger crowd at primary school and deal with children of various age groups. They also need to strike a relationship with their new classmates. Preparing the child to face these new social situations is key to a happy start. As part of developing kids’ social skills, we can start introducing them to new kids in the playground, arrange playdates with new sets of friends, and enrol them in activities where they meet different age groups of children.
At the same time, teach your child to share their problems with appropriate people like teachers and parents, control their anger in unwanted situations and respect their classmates who might come from diverse backgrounds.
Manage sleep and food schedules – this aspect is one of the main starting hurdles that children face when they switch from preschool to a bigger school. Early start times and longer hours disrupt the sleep cycle, napping and frequent eating habits of preschoolers, which makes them cranky and unsettled at primary school.
Why not start adapting them to the primary school schedule a few months in advance? We can make this exciting by waking them up early for outdoor fun, extending their lunchtime while keeping them engaged in interesting activities and cutting down on their munching by giving heavier main meals.
At the same time, increase the number of activities your preschooler is enrolled on so that they get into the habit of following routines.
Familiarise with primary school – preschools in Singapore do organise primary school visits to help kids familiarise themselves with the environment of a bigger school. But, if you get a chance, do take your child for school visits during open houses or simply by booking an appointment. Entice them by showing them bigger classrooms, food canteen, book store, library and school field and assure them that lots of fun await them in their primary school.
Your child will independently buy food from the canteen or stationery from the bookstore. So, teaching them basic financial literacy like handling change, and subtracting money, will add to their life skills.
Sound excited and keep the conversation on – repetitive as it may sound, but being in conversation with tots about their upcoming transition to primary school, helps in preparing them mentally over the next few months. Showing them videos of classes in action, sharing your own childhood stories of school, and talking about field trips and interesting events held at primary school will help the child look forward to going to school.
At the same time, make your child aware of issues like bullying and teasing. Children should know who the go-to person should be in case of any issues that they face. This discussion assures the children that they will be in safe hands and have the full support of parents and teachers in this new journey.
And for sure don’t be anxious as things will fall into place as your kid advances in this new journey.
All primary schools in Singapore work hand-in-hand with parents to ensure a smooth transition of kids to primary one. Read more on the MOE website on how to prepare children for the transition to primary school.
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