Sending your child to primary school is a time that each parent looks forward to with mixed emotions. Your child is about to embark on a new journey, which is a very crucial one. Choosing the primary school needs to be a well-thought-out decision as it is key to shaping how your kid turns out. It is also the first time in your child’s life that they leave the comfort of their home and spend a considerable chunk of their day at school. That is why primary schooling is met with both joy and a little sadness by both children and parents alike.
Thus, it is crucial that parents prepare their kids and set some expectations before sending them to school. While the best school in Riyadh will ensure that your child has nothing to worry about and provide a nurturing environment, it is always advised to follow some preparation tips as parents.
Since you are still getting familiar with any specific areas that may require your attention, a few generic tips will ensure a smooth six years and make this adventure a memorable one.
Develop a positive mindset and encourage positivity
Do not try to instill fear about primary schooling in kids. Parents tend to use the school and its teachers as punishment. Comments like, ‘If you don’t listen or are naughty, the teacher will make you stand in a corner or scold you are threats that prevent the child from looking forward to going to school. Instead, positively encourage them and ask them to do their best. Teach them to pick up good habits and show them how teachers appreciate honesty, politeness, helpfulness, and other qualities.
Encourage Good Reading Habits Early
Parents usually worry that their kids may not be up to speed with the rest of the class and have trouble writing and reading. The best way to help them is to teach an interest in reading from a very young age. Children learn best when they read captivating stories that grab their attention. When you see a cat or a dog, try and spell it out so the kids can pick up on that – make them read easy board signs and encourage reading.
Explain the concept of a schedule and familiarize them with timetables
Since pre-schooling is about having a routine and designated classes and activities at specific times, try to build this habit beforehand. Make a timetable for your kid that they can follow at home. Waking up – 7:30 a.m., bathing time, breakfast time, reading time, afternoon nap slot, evening games, supper, and a bedtime story. This way, they will not have to adjust too much to get into a school routine. From waking up whenever they like to waking up early with an alarm is an adjustment. Explain the concept of a daily routine to them:
- They will go to school from Sunday to Thursday.
- Weekends are for family activities.
- Evenings are for games and reading.
When you make them stick to a routine, they become comfortable with it, and it also brings in structure and a balanced lifestyle.
Acquaint Your Child with the Journey to School
A few days before school starts, do a dry run of your kid’s route to school and back. It will help your child recognize the route and know the drop-off and pick-up times. This exercise aims to make the route and time involved known to them so they feel safe on day one.
Increase your child’s focus for Lengthier Periods of Time
Kids have a very short attention span and tend to get bored quickly. At home, that is ok because they can move on from one activity to another. However, in school, each period is for a specific duration and covers a particular subject or activity. Start by setting short tasks for your kid and gradually extend them over time. For instance, they can start by writing a few simple words, and then the number of words can keep increasing. Also, this focus needs to be built because they are used to one-on-one attention, but one teacher deals with 20-25 students in a class. They should not feel lost.
Train them to become independent
Apart from just focusing on academics, students must learn to become independent, take responsibility, and assume accountability for their actions and belongings. Trust them to pack their bags, check their stationery, keep an account of books borrowed from the library, finish their homework on time, and generally take charge of things. Give them responsibilities and follow through with them, this makes them feel important, and they feel they are in charge and build a sense of ownership.
Last but not least, stay calm. If this is your first encounter with primary schooling, you could feel mixed emotions. Manage your expectations and anxiety, and be calm and positive for your child. Children understand their parents’ feelings, and you don’t want to stress them out.
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