Preparing a future first-grader for school is a responsible task that any parent wants to do perfectly well. Basically, everything is known about spelling and erudition — each school prescribes a number of requirements and rules for admitting children to the first grade. But getting ready for school isn’t all about letters and numbers. We’ve put together eight practical steps to help both parents and children be fully equipped by September 1st.
Step number 1: Accustom to independence and regime
Before the start of the school year, it is recommended to gradually accustom the child to the regimen and to the implementation of small assignments. All this develops independence in him, which will certainly help in the process of adaptation to school. Shift the bedtime schedule a little: the child should fall asleep earlier in order to get up in the morning without a long “rocking”.
It can be helpful to ask children to make their bed when they wake up, do their exercises, set the table for breakfast, or collect their toys and stationery from the evening. By the beginning of the school year, a young student will do many things automatically (get up and go to bed at the same time, wash, have breakfast), so getting used to the first grade will be less painful.
Step #2: Teach Personal Hygiene
Make sure your child is familiar with the basic rules of personal hygiene. It is worth not only to teach the baby to wash his hands before eating and after going to the toilet, but also to use wet wipes and handkerchiefs. This also includes the rule to cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing and use only your water bottle. By the way, we wrote a separate article on how to teach a child to brush their teeth.
Step #3: Reinforce the rules of conduct
Every child knows the elementary rules of behavior in society. But what exactly will be useful to him at school? They need to be repeated and fixed very carefully.
For example, it is necessary to talk with a child about perseverance and politeness. You can’t shout from a place in the classroom — you need to raise your hand, you can’t use a textbook as a weapon of revenge and physical violence, you can’t interrupt a teacher. Explain that it’s also not worth being late for school, but if this happens, you first need to knock and ask for permission to enter. And of course, you should always say “thank you”, “please” and say hello to teachers. It is not allowed to damage school property (draw on desks, jump on chairs).
Step 4: Develop fine motor skills
Before the start of school, parents are advised to pay special attention to children’s fine motor skills. At school, the child will have to constantly use his hands: writing, modeling, applications, designing. Therefore, it is important that by September the fingers and hands of the first grader are already sufficiently “warmed up”. There are many exercises for the development of fine motor skills, we wrote about them recently.
You should show your child how to properly hold a pen, pencil, scissors, ruler — and all this with the correct even posture. It is best to master these skills during games or developmental activities.
Step #5: Learn to navigate in time and space
A skill necessary for a newly minted schoolchild is orientation in time and space.
Many children find it easier to navigate by electronic watches, so make sure that they are always on hand. However, the child must be able to determine the mechanical time. You can hang a large clock in the nursery or in a conspicuous place and explain to the child how to find out what time it is by looking at the hands. Watches allow the student to control their time and feel confident.
In addition, moms and dads need to make sure that the future student is well versed in space (right-left, back-front, around the corner, horizontally-vertically): this will be required to remember the location of their place in the classroom, office, restroom, dining room, libraries, etc.
Step #6: Physical preparation
The child will have to wake up early and spend almost a quarter of the day at school. For an unprepared little organism, this can be difficult. What to do? Study!
Enter mandatory morning exercises into the regime, spend more outdoor games in the fresh air, instill in your child a love for sports and hardening (only without fanaticism!), Take him to the pool or play badminton. If the school is within walking distance (for example, a couple of kilometers), arrange walking trips back and forth to it — this way the child will remember the road and get stronger.
Step #7: Be Careful with New Information
If the child has already been accepted to school, he has already “surrendered” his mandatory minimum. And this means that you should not study textbooks in advance or learn what first-graders usually go through with a teacher only after six months of diligent study.
Together with the child, you can simply consolidate the knowledge that he already has, read his favorite books and sometimes repeat colors, numbers, letters and syllables in a playful way. Everything else will be taught in school.
Step #8: Create a Positive Attitude
What child wants to go to school if parents are constantly horrified by the modern education system, groan all day and behave as if they are sending their son or daughter to war? The child will think that something unimaginably terrible awaits him.
Of course, the school is not always a heavenly place. It can be difficult, incomprehensible, and boring. But the right attitude will help children see the educational institution not as an enemy, but as a friend — this place can be fun and interesting! Tell your children what good things await them at school — new friends, answers to a lot of questions, a school library, various clubs and many opportunities to learn about themselves. You can read books and poems about first graders, compose your own fairy tales about going to school, play school, watch funny cartoons about schoolchildren and even share interesting stories from your school life.