Preparing you & your child for school
Starting school is an exciting time for you and your child and you’ll naturally want to help them to best prepare for the adventure ahead. While it may be normal for you to feel a little nervous about your child starting school, remember that they’ll pick up on your emotions and take your lead, so it’s important that you’re relaxed and feeling positive about the change.
Prepare in advance
Remember also that your child doesn’t need to be able to read, write or do sums before starting school. Children start school with a wide range of abilities, and their teacher will be used to this. What’s most important in those special preschool months and years is that you and your child have fun when you’re together. All of those hours sharing stories, singing songs, playing games, chatting and encouraging them, helps to build their confidence.
Here are some tips to help you prepare your child for starting school so that you both start school with a smile!
Chat with your child about starting school. What do they think it will be like? What are they most looking forward to? Is there anything they’re unsure or worried about? Look at the school’s prospectus or the website together and talk about the pictures.
Find photos of you and other family members at school, and chat about happy memories from your own school days. If possible, visit the school with your child before they start – either on formal open days, or fêtes, plays and other events.
And some things to avoid…..
Try not to overload your child with endless talk about school – treating it in a matter-of-fact way rather than focusing on the ‘big step ahead’ will help soothe an anxious child. Don’t over-hype school as your little one may feel let down or upset if it doesn’t live up to expectations, find a balance that feels right to you.
At Giraffe we help prepare children for school. By reading storybooks about starting school and introducing lunchbox Wednesdays in the summer term, children become familiar with the idea of school and packed lunches. In our book corner, we keep a scrap book of pictures of ‘big’ school and there are also a couple of school uniforms in the dressing up area so that children are familiar with them. Read more about our Preschool Graduations.
Promoting your child’s independence in toileting in preparation for school is also important. Working alongside your approach at home, at giraffe we help children become confident about getting to the loo in time, wiping properly, using toilet paper rather than wipes, flushing the toilet and washing their hands. You can also remind your child to ask the teacher if they need the toilet and reassure them that it’s ok if they don’t get there in time. Remember to pack some spare underwear and clothes as well, accidents will happen.
If your child has already spent time in a crèche or pre-school setting, they’ll be used to spending time apart from you, mixing with other children, communicating with other adults and taking some responsibility for tidying up after themselves and looking after their own belongings. But don’t worry if your child hasn’t attended a childcare setting or pre-school. Playing with other children, whether friends and family members, or other children at the park, comes naturally and is good practice for forming friendships with classmates at school.
Children that don’t know one another will usually make friends very easily. If your child does struggle with the change however, teach them some useful phrases such as ‘can I play with you or can I join in? or ‘do you want to share?’ If you already know some other children who will be in your child’s class, organise a play date or outing together before the start of the school term.
Get to know their teacher
It’s also a good idea to establish an open, friendly relationship with your child’s class teacher, ask them when you first meet what are their preferred times and means of communication. Your childs teacher will be an expert at helping young children to settle in and thrive at school, and will be able to reassure you about most issues that come up. If you do have any concerns, raise them early to prevent them from developing into bigger problems.
If there’s anything you think might help your child to feel settled, be sure to suggest it to their class teacher. Remember, you know your own child best.
Halloween is the time when scary skeletons, spooky ghosts and wicked witches roam the world. All of the Giraffe centres enjoyed the build up to Halloween last week, and the children and staff certainly got into the spirit of the festivities! The children were delighted to dress up for the whole day for their Halloween parties. For […]
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016Read More
Summer is festival time in Giraffe! The children look forward to the Summer Festivals every year, and every Giraffe Centre hosts different events through the summer months. This year, we saw Teddy Bear Picnics, Jungle Days, Magic Shows & Magicians, Beach days, Family BBQs and much much more! We have as many fun outdoor activities […]
Monday, August 29th, 2016Read More
If you’re a parent, then you know it’s a constant challenge to balance keeping the kids both healthy and entertained at the same time! That’s why we at Giraffe Childcare have come up with a clever, informative and adorable infographic, titled The A-Z of Getting Fit with Your Children. From Football to Yoga, Playgrounds to […]
Wednesday, February 11th, 2015Read More
Today we are smiling from ear to ear after receiving this very special letter to our Pre-school Liffey Valley teachers… so nice to hear, thank you Ewan x Thanks to Giraffe Childcare. My name is Ewan and I am nearly seven. I went to Giraffe Childcare. My favourite class was the Pre-school class. I loved […]
Thursday, September 18th, 2014Read More
10 ways to foster your child’s creativity
Wednesday, July 9th, 2014Read More
There’s nothing quite like your child’s first introduction to the educational world. It’s an emotional time for all concerned ג she may be nervous, reluctant to leave you and uncertain what to expect, and hey, you probably feel much the same! Here are a few tips to help ease the transition for both of you. […]