Friday, 16 September 2011

Starting School ,Preparing your child for school.

Whether its is because children start school to early , some have just turned 4 when they start school or whether parents or nursery are not preparing children for school. Many are coming to school nowadays without basic skills.

  • They can not dress themselves.
  • They can not cut up their own food.
  • They don't know when to ask for help by putting up their hand.
  • They have no manners.

Image courtesy of [ imagerymajestic],/

You need to prepare your child for school in conjunction with your nursery  or any one else involved in your child's care.
  • Visit the nursery or school with your child to give them an opportunity to see what the class does.
  • Explain what will happen during the school day ,: play at school children will love being the teacher!.
  • Read books about starting school.
  • Reinforce the activities that your child interests and the things they will enjoy " there's be lots of duplo to play with- you love building" or "There's a teddy you can take on holiday!."
  • Talk about the fun activities you already do at home that will be replicated in school such as painting,drawing,craft activities story time etc.
Before there first day.... well before their first day that is. You might want to check a few things with the school.

  • What's the typical school day.
  • Toilet trained our child where possible- though not a problem if your child has learning delays etc as school will have an intimate care plan in place.
And these tips are the ones that will make your life, your child life much easier at school as it is often the little things that upset them such as not being able to put on their own coat.

  • Try and mimic the timings of the school day where possible "Oh Look it's 12 o' clock the children at school are having their lunch now."

  • Practice doing up buttons and fastening shoes.... Velcro is ideal but as they get older laces are ideal especially as by the time they get to senior school : Velcros trainers  really are not cool.

  • Practise social skills, such as taking turns, following directions and making choices
  • Visit friends with children or invite other children to play
  • Teach simple  jobs that may be useful at school, such as packing away toys. The teacher doesn't want to break their neck on a stray sheep now do they?

  • Help your child to recognise his name - most children can't read or write yet, but they may be able to recognise the first letter of their name or even the whole thing
Remember, all these activities should be fun - it's important not to pressurise your child. If you're making your child in the least bit anxious, stop talking about it quite so much.

The first day

The first day of school is one of your child's biggest milestones. How they react depends on many factors up to this pint such as home life etc, personality etc. If they have never been to nursery or playgroup adjustment may be a little more hard. So hopefully if you child has been to nursery / playgroup transition will be easier.

  • Talk together about school and listen to any worries they may have.

  • Include him in shopping trips to buy their school uniform or a fun lunchbox

  • Be upbeat and positive - don't pass any of your worries to your child.

  • Be informed - find out as much as possible about how the school works
The school will almost certainly give you information on any items your child needs, such as PE kit, and what happens at break time and lunch time, but be sure you ask if you have any queries.

The first weeks

Starting school can have a huge impact on your child, as it requires them to lead a double life. At home they aredependent, secure and loved, while at school he has to be independent and work hard to make others like him and to gain the approval of the teacher. So it is very hard for children to switch hats.
Problems can occur if their school and home lives are out of harmony. Family tensions at home, for example, can lead him to be distracted and unable to concentrate at school.
During the first few months, try to avoid major changes and keep home life as calm, stable and supportive as possible. Familiar routines are particularly important. Your child's likely to want to find the house as they left it when he gets home.
They should also know who'll collect them and when. Any changes to this routine should be explained.
A warm welcome home is essential. Give them some undivided attention - sit down together and share a snack and chat about the day.
Don't be surprised if there's some deterioration in your child's behaviour or a regression to more babyish ways. It's common for children to display negative or defiant behaviour or to have tantrums. Remember, they are tired, needs attention and wants to reassert some power with you.
Some children have a positive start, then go off school once the novelty has worn off and they realise they have to keep going. If this is the case, it shouldn't last for long.
Share your concerns about this with your child's class teacher.

Common issues

  • It is only natural you may find  yourself about your child few few weeks, months at starting school. You'll probably finding your self worrying at various  points in their school life if I am honest!.

  • Your child doesn't seem to be making friends.

  • Your child is not be picked for games or teams, this is a situation more typical of the playground and not whilst your child is being taught.

  • joustled on the playground. Many school with keep reception children separate for a  while then integrated them and make sure that not too many children are on the playground at any one time.

  • Another big stresses is going to toilet at school if it was anything like my son he would not do a number 2 motion at school.

  • Also children get worried about not having enough time to eat at school .

  • What you can do.
  • You should speak to your child's teachers about any concerns you have. Listen to your child any little thing can be useful. try not to bombard them with asking them what they 've done they seldom remember that very moment. You can always ask them to draw you a picture and see what they produce- though being eaten by aliens probably did not occur during the school day.

  •  Your child , will adapt you will adapt it is perhaps their self reliance that will make you sad in a way- they still need you just because they don't need you to put on their coat or wipe their nose,. They need you to guide them through living steering them in the way of the correct life choices.
  • Don't assume your child's teacher will help them with coats/ shoes with a class of 30 its really not practical, of course they will help buts it going to take a really long time.

  • I can not stress enough how your world will change from meeting new friends yourself - to in encouraging your child in new hobbies and activities. To the wonders and pressures of the parties but that is a blog post for another time....
And please take the time to read these quality tip out parenting from The Blunt Truth 


  1. Great advice. Here in Wales children start school the term following their 3rd birthday so they're very young. When my oldest son was coming to the end of his first year in school the teacher told me that he could be quite lazy and would wait for help getting his coat on. I admitted that it was my fault as I just found it easier to do it for him, but it wasn't benefiting him. From that day on I made him start getting dressed himself. He had to learn, after all, he would have to do it for PE in school. Now, he's in year 1 and is very independent (though still lazy!)

    Thanks for the link to my blog, and as for the parties....maybe we should join forces on that post! *sigh*

  2. My son started nursery last week and your hints are great

  3. My son started school this september and your advice is spot on. I don't know who suffers more when a child starts school - I'm sure it's us mums!

  4. It's been some time now since my kids started school but I wholeheartedly agree with your advice. My kids never had any problems with school or nursery.

  5. Great advice I'm now worried I'm a pushy parent though

  6. Great advice. We made sure that we talked about school as a really positive experience before both of us started (my daughter is in Reception and my son in nursery, going to reception in September). It seems to have worked so far.

  7. I remember when I was teaching nursery school, more and more we were seeing the effect of parents expecting schools to provide even the most basic of skills - teaching manners, dressing, turn-taking, etc. This post should be recommended reading for all parents.


Everytime you comment on this blog you will be sent a kitten ... that could be a lie .. though it would make me very happy Thank You! If you are allergic to cats then wine will be sent .... * that could be a lie also.

Not connected with kittens

In line with new Data Protection legislation (GDPR) by commenting you do so in the knowledge that your name & comment are visible to all who visit this blog and thereby consent to the use of that personal information for that specific purpose.