Education is compulsory from the age of 5 years. Children legally required to attend school from the beginning of the term after their fifth birthday. Some starting school takes them earlier, either full-time or part-time.
Starting School Changes to the Child’s life
For a child, starting school is the next stage in becoming independent and building up a separate personality. Children enter a new world alone and soon come to know more about it than their parents.
They can decide what to tell them about it and what to keep to themselves. Find themselves in a large building with lots of unknown people. Join classes with other children of about the same age and they all share the attention of one adult.
They expected to keep to a time-table. New friends made. The playground shared with larger and older children. Some stay for dinner and must get used to school meals. All must abide by the rules and codes of behavior necessary for the smooth running of larger organizations.
These are great changes to a young child’s life, apart from the necessity of being away from home and mother for a large part of the day.
Preparing a Child for Starting School
How can parents help? Parents can help by talking to their child about school, and telling him what to expect, and by making it sound exciting. If the mother sad at the thought of losing her child’s companionship and of being left alone in the house, she should not show it.
It may worry about the child and make it difficult for him to settle at school. The child who is happy and secure at home is least likely to have difficulties at school.
Whatever the six of the class, the teacher will not be able to give continuous attention to one particular child. Therefore, children who have been encouraged by their parents to stand on their own feet likely to find it easier to adjust to a school than those who are used to the continuous attention of their parents.
Attending a Pre-school Group Can Help
A child who has been to a playgroup or nursery school will be used to:
- Being away from home
- being separated from his mother
- mixing with other children
- sharing the attention of an adult with other children
- The noise and movement created by a large number of children.
School Can Help
Infant teachers are well aware that all children, to a greater or lesser degree, worry about starting school. They understand the big step the child takes when he moves from the small social world of home to the much larger social world of school. At school, he has to face all sorts of new situations without the support of his parents.
Many schools try to help new children settle into school life easily and happily, and they do this in a variety of ways. For example, they may
- invite new children to; visit the school in the term before starting
- arrange staggered starts so that only a few new children start on the same day
- allow half-day schooling in the first few weeks
- let parents stay in the classroom for a while
- Encourage parents to talk to the teacher about matters which affect the child. It helps the teacher to know about the other members of the child’s family and any health or behavior problems. It is also helpful for the teacher to know if the child is left-handed.
Useful Skills for Starting School
When children starting school it helps them to fit into the new environment more easily if they have already acquired certain skills. For example, the ability to:
- Say their name and address clearly
- tie shoelaces and fasten buckles
- blow their nose
- put on clothes
- do up buttons
- go to the toilet without help
- wash their hands
- Eat with a knife, fork, etc.
Children in this age group like to be able to do the same things as others in the class. If they have already acquired the skills listed above by the time they start school, it will help them skills listed above by the time they start school, it will help them not to feel inferior or different from the other children. It also gives a degree of independence as they do not continuously have to seek the help of the teacher.
Helping Children to Do Their Best
Children do better at school when their parents:
- give them lots of love and security at home
- are interested in what they do and talk to them about it
- encourage them to enjoy all the activities
- Understand and support them when they have difficulties.
Going to play actually boosts a wide range of skills that are important to the success of the school. It not only creates an opportunity to communicate with other kids and to learn social skills and communication skills, but that also helps them to develop gross and motor skills through plays and motion.
Children experience a complete understanding of their environment as they investigate and query their surroundings. Starting school an important life change that felt by every adult and every family.
It is an experience which can be full of both good and bad feelings. Take your time because of this big change, enabling them to exercise their various skills and introduce us to a variety of experiences.
Foster your child with support and affection, above all, and you will help give your child the best start to a very significant part of their lives.