Only two more days to go until the summer holidays start here in Edinburgh, which also marks a big change for our family. After the summer, I will have not one, but two school kids! Yes, my youngest had his Primary 1 induction last week. With a birthday late in the year, he will still be 4 and among the youngest in the class when he starts school. His big brother, who started school in Germany, was a year older due to the different school systems, so I can’t help feeling a little nervous, even though I know he’s ready for it. He’s been asking every day for weeks “how many more days until I start school” so I ended up making him a countdown which he adds a star sticker to every morning. We’ve got his school bag sorted too – it wasn’t easy finding one small enough to fit him, but big enough to fit anything inside! – and are slowly starting to gather together all the bits and pieces he will need.
I asked some other bloggers who already have older kids at school, what their tips were for getting your child ready to start school, and here’s what they said:
Get them in preschool for full days if they’re not already going. It’s the easiest way to get them used to being somewhere all day including coping with lunchtimes. (Bubbablue & Me)
I focused on things like making sure my children could carry a plate to and from the table confidently, dressing themselves and going to the toilet. (Laura’s Lovely Blog)
Help them to be more independent and learn to put their own things away when arriving home. Also get them to start carrying their own bag when out and about. (Travel Vixta)
Get them used to having to get changed into their PE kit. We used to make it a game to see if they could beat their last time. (Boo Roo and Tigger Too)
Help them get used to eating a range of foods, in preparation for eating school meals. (Thimble & Twig)
I think it is important that they can write and recognise their own name and if it’s a common first name then second name too. (The Strawberry Fountain)
They constantly lose things so it’s not worth buying expensive school uniform, especially jumpers and cardis. You can get most of it cheaper in supermarkets. Make sure to label it all too, or you’ll lose even more! (Mama in Progress)
Forget learning letters and numbers. Concentrate on teaching them to be kind, how to cope in group situations when they feel overwhelmed and how to wipe their own bum. The other stuff will come easily later. (Mummy and Moose)
We walked to and from my son’s primary school over the 6 weeks holiday last year. We got to know the route, looked at all the playgrounds and got him excited about ‘his gate’.
My best tip would be keeping your little one reassured and informed. I used to always tell my little one what the plan was for the day and that I would be there waiting for him at 3. (My Silly Mummy)
We read lots of books about starting school and any TV shows that showed the school in a positive light. We then created our own starting school book and added to it during the first week with names of friends they made. (Rainy Day Mum)
Join the Facebook group if there is one for their class. Then set up a park meet before their first day so your child won’t walk into a room and not recognise anyone. (The Family Ticket)