For young learners, moving from Reception to Standard 1 is a big step. It’s a new phase in their learning journey where they grow closer to becoming “big kids”. However, while most kids are eager to return to school, some may have apprehensions due to uncertainties brought about by the recent pandemic.
Schools will certainly have new measures set in place to ensure that all pupils learn in a safe environment. They will balance health and educational benefits, with the learners’ well-being as a priority. You can also do your part for a smoother transition by preparing your children for school. Here are some ways you can employ as your children get ready for Standard 1.
5 Ways to Prepare Your Children for The Coming School Year
#1. Prepare them mentally and emotionally
The learning experience in school today will definitely be different from previous years. Schools will likely implement new protocols such as limiting class sizes, putting kids in small groups, placing barriers in rooms and corridors, and staggering break times. They will continue to enforce physical distancing and reduce contact among pupils and staff.
All these changes can make your children feel confused or anxious. Reduce anxiety by talking to them about what changes to expect when they go back to school. Explain to them beforehand why they can’t share their snacks with their friends or why they have to stay a couple of metres apart at all times. Do so in a positive and calming way, so they feel reassured.
#2. Boost their health and physical protection
Whether coronavirus, seasonal flu, or any infectious bacteria, your children can be exposed to these pathogens anywhere they are. To reduce their chances of falling ill, boost their immune system by teaching them the importance of having a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
Before they go to school, teach them also how to practice proper hand hygiene, general cleanliness, and wearing of masks. Young children are not required by the government to wear masks in public places, but it can provide them added protection from viruses. So consider teaching them how to use and dispose of masks properly.
#3. Communicate with their school
Before classes begin, schools hold orientations for parents and students. Make sure to attend these orientations, so you know better how you can work with the school in equipping your children for their future. During the rest of the school year, stay in regular contact with your children’s school to stay up to date with what they are doing and to know how your children are coping in their new learning environment.
#4. Ensure content readiness
Help your children recall what they have learned during their Reception or Preparatory year. This will get them ready for new concepts that build on their basic knowledge. Make it fun by incorporating it into your daily activities. It could be something as simple as counting the pancakes you made for breakfast or asking some questions about the book you read during bedtime the previous night.
#5. Enhance their social skills.
A big part of the school learning experience is socialisation. It creates plenty of opportunities for children to interact with others, be it fellow pupils or school staff. Enhance your children’s social skills by teaching them proper social behaviour and etiquette.
Model Resilience for Your Children to Emulate
As a parent, it is but natural for you to worry about your child’s safety. Nonetheless, it is important for us to help create a semblance of normality for our children. This includes allowing them to go back to school for learning continuity. Indeed, it is our duty as parents and educators to help them safely adapt to the new norms and to guide them in the new responsibilities they will face in school.
And just as you prepare your children for school, you must also equip yourself in guiding them throughout their journey. Be committed to supporting your children in all aspects and to working together with the school. Develop a mindset that cultivates a love for learning and espouses resilience. This mindset is what your children will emulate and eventually empower them to live good lives.