Can you believe that this year has almost come to an end ?! Before you know it, you’re going to be taking a picture of your child on the first day of school trying to keep back all of those tears!
Your children have been working so hard learning life skills that have them all prepared to be successful in school. They have learned to be curious, how to explore, take risks, how to “fail” and try again, how to make new friends, how to ask for help, share their thoughts and so so much more! That doesn’t always help our nerves go away though. So, while you’re trying to embrace the last few days of your preschooler and prep for school, we have a few helpful tips as you navigate this new transition.
1)Self help skills : Self- help skills are so valuable, not only because a teacher is limited in how they can support your child at school but the level of self-help skills you child has can impact their confidence!
Can your child:
– put on their own shoes, get dressed (including pull up pants, zippers, buttons on pants) When shopping for clothes/shoe, think about your child’s ability to put them on independently.
- feed themselves – see our eating tips below!
- toilet training – can they wipe themselves and properly wash hands. (if your child is not toilet trained, we can help you let the school know so they can have a teacher’s aid)
2) Eating: lunches and snacks can be challenging for children at school, especially for primaries. Some of the reasons for this is because they get busy and forget to eat, the time limit is only 15 mins to eat lunch and lastly- they are anxious and don’t feel like eating. Pro tip : if you can have some food prepped and allow your child to make choices when building their lunch box, they may feel empowered and more likely to eat it. Start to menu plan together- go on picnics and practice building a lunch box together.
*think about easy to open containers and packaging
3)Read: interactive reading includes looking at pictures to describe what is happening, asking questions about what has happened and what they think will happen next. One of the first steps to reading is predictive reading: reading pictures and noticing patterns.
4)Art and drawing – this is an important step to pre-literacy as they are putting their thoughts on to paper! Allow your children to create but ask open ended questions and encourage more details. As an example:
child “ Here is me on a walk”
caregiver :” Where are you on your walk?”
child :“ In the forest.”
caregiver : “what did you see in the forest? can you add that to your picture?”
5)Practice asking your children about their day. We as parents get spoiled with updates from educators, unfortunately we don’t always get the same updates from teachers. Practice talking with your children about their day, build it into your routine; our favourite times: at the supper table, before bed or in the car on a drive!
6) Shopping for supplies: if you haven’t received a list from your school yet, most school websites will have a list available for you to print. Also for your convenience, Staples has supply lists available at their store! When you go shopping, take your little to help them get excited and feel involved. Before you pack that school bag, make sure you label label label!! * Check out our Mabel’s labels account https://mabelslabels.ca/en_CA/fundraising/support/ , search Allegro.
7) Talk to you your children about the new routine. Where will your child be going before school and after school, how will they get to school and get home, who will help the child get to school and pick them up? For our families we have developed a social story, check out our classroom resources section of our webpage. https://allegrochildcare.ca/classroom-resources/
8) Encourage your child to be responsible for their own belongings. At school they are responsible for packing up their lunch box and school bags to bring everything home and trust us- you will probably end up missing a shoe, some snow pants or that perfect bento box. Have your children be responsible for taking things home from preschool each day, have them help clean up their toys and the table- really this is a win-win for everyone!
9) Feel and support all of the emotions. Going to school can evoke a lot of emotions, some may be excited, some may be nervous, sad, anxious and scared. Talk about emotions, how they make you feel both physically and mentally and what you can do when you feel that emotion. Some of our favourite books to explore emotions are “In my Heart” by Jo Witek and “Color Monster” by Anna Llenas
10) Start to practice your bed time/evening routines. Prepare yourselves, at the end of the school day, your child will be emotionally and physically tired and hangry! Having some built in down time or outside time may be beneficial to help shift that energy. Bed time will be so important to ensuring your child is set up for success!