Posted in Guest Posts

Write for me Wednesday: Preparing Your Young Ones who are Going to School for the First Time

Preparing Your Young Ones who are Going to School for the First Time

First day of school

Your child’s early years are extremely critical in his/her development because it lays the foundation for being ready at life. And this is backed up by science. Recently, researchers have learned that the human brain develops expansively, and is most receptive to learning, between 0-3 years of age. This is why early education plays a big role.

This connection, this link between rapid brain development and peak learning receptivity has spawned many early childhood programs that incorporate books, videos, and activities to maximize this window. What’s great about this is you can now start preparing your children at home to make them successful later on, specifically for school. As a parent, there’s nothing more fulfilling than to see your child able to overcome challenges in his/her life.

Here are some practical ways to prepare yourself and your young ones to attend school for the first time.

Enrol your child to a day care or playgroup.

The closest thing to a structured and formal setting of a school is a day care or a playgroup. In that environment, your child will be able to learn new things and interact with different kinds of people—which he/she will be doing plentifully and more regularly at school.

When choosing a school, tag your child along.

A lot of uneasiness in a child stems from his/her inability to cope up with the sudden change in environment. That’s why it makes sense to let your child see which school he/she might go into before the “first day” starts. This will help your child get familiar with the place and the routine.

Share your own “first day” memories.

If your child already has a concept of “going to school” because you enrolled him or her in a day care, just keep reminding him/her what it was like. But if your child doesn’t have this frame of reference to keep him/her in check, then perhaps the best way to go at it is to share your own “first day” experiences. The very least that this could do is to help your child at setting expectations and that what he/she feels is completely normal. Dr. Diane Levin of Wheelock College said: “Talking about the basic sequence of the day will help your child make a mental movie of what to expect. Kids form pictures in their minds, and reviewing the process in detail will make things more familiar and less scary on the first day of school.”

Talk about “going to school” with your child more often.

Opening up the topic of “going to school” with your child more often can ease up the tension brought about by introducing a big shift in his/her life. Engage in conversation by question-and-answer will help your child imagine what school will be like, and this will also reveal what your child’s innermost thoughts about school are.

Start going to bed earlier.

One or two weeks before school begins, start practicing a stricter bedtime schedule with your child. This will help him/her cope up with the time demands of schooling. Begin by waking your child up 15 minutes earlier every day and going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night.

Learn about the drop-off policy.

Most schools have a drop-off policy. Find out if they allow parents to walk their children into the classroom and how long they can stay. If you think your child will need extra time to adjust, talk to the teacher or administrator before the school starts. But I suggest that you stick to their policy if it won’t cause too much trouble.

Transform their nervousness to excitement.

It’s completely normal to feel the nerves when you’re presented with something entirely new to you. The best thing you can do about this is to divert that energy to a more positive one. For example, let your child pick out what bag or lunchbox he wants. When shopping for school supplies, let your child find the items in the store and check them off on your list.

Prep yourself too.

Most first days can be emotionally charged for both mother and child. If you can’t hold it together, how much more can your child hold up on his own? Plan and play all the possible scenarios that can happen on the first day. Think about what your child needs in a goodbye. What will be most helpful — a quick goodbye, or five minutes of cuddle time with you?

You can also read books about starting school. Some good ones include “The Berenstain Bears Go to School” by Stan and Jan Berenstain, “Annabelle Swift, Kindergartner” by Amy Schwartz, “First Day Jitters” by Julie Dannenberg, “I Am Absolutely Too Small for School” by Lauren Child, and “Get Ready for Second Grade, Amber Brown” by Paula Danzinger.

About the Author

Joanna is an entrepreneur mum blessed with 3 lovely children. She lives in Dubai with her family, and loves to travel and cook healthy meals for her kids. Joanna regularly shares her parenting tips and experiences with Afterschool.ae, an online platform listing all UAE kid’s activities accessible by parents thru web and mobile.

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday – May 6th

TTT

  1. I am thrilled because it is FINALLY sunny outside today.
  2. It’s a bit cool though, but who cares, right?
  3. I made sure Charles dressed to encourage the sun to stay and coax the warm weather to come our way so today he is sporting a pair of neon orange shorts (over a pair of babylegs) and a brightly colored t-shirt.
  4. Little Dude received a small toy pickup truck from his Papi this weekend.  He carries it around with him all the time.  He’d sleep with it if I let him.
  5. I also showed Charles that his potty (which, incidentally, he is not interested in anymore, but that’s fine with me), can be used as a stool.  Now he carries it around the house proudly, happily reaching places he couldn’t reach before.
  6. I am totally hooked on the Mentalist series.  I can’t stop watching the episodes and am almost done season 2.
  7. I was both very surprised and extremely pleased when I met our new tech guy at school who, as it turns out, is one of my old students.
  8. Last Sunday, we went to my friend’s son’s first birthday party with Charles.  It was really fun to see him interact with the other children around (after he stopped being velcroed to me).
  9. Today, I got some really good news with regards to my job for the coming years!
  10. I can’t believe the school year is almost over.  I mean, everyone is doing revisions and the end of year exams are just around the corner.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: The Walking Edition

TTT

  1. The little guy spent his whole weekend with a permanent smile on his face…as he walked away.  Not that he’d walk for the camera…
  2. My drive to work this morning was absolutely beautiful.  I have a half-hour drive to work and most of it is on a road in the middle of fields.  There was a thick (read very thick) fog and because of the snow-covered fields on either side of the road, it felt like I was driving through the clouds in a fantasy land.
  3. Communication is an odd thing.  Between what you want to say, what you actually said, what you think you said, what your interlocutor heard and what s/he interpreted there is sometimes a world of difference.
  4. I would like to give something to my son’s sitter for Christmas because I’m am so happy with her in-home daycare and how happy my son is there, but I’m am at a loss as to what to give her as I don’t know her very well yet.  Any ideas?
  5. I’m currently doing a Masters-level course on effective education practices and it’s is really interesting.  I’ll probably be writing about it in more detail soonish.
  6. In less than a week, my son will have completely switched to formula.  I can’t put my finger on how I feel about this probably because I’m feeling waaaaay too many emotions at once LOL.
  7. My cluster for my dash is broken.  This means that my speedometer, my RPM meter and my gas meter aren’t working.  Soooo, I need to rely on the sound of my motor in relation to the position of my shifter (thank goodness I drive stick!) to determine my speed and my odometer to determine when I need to put gas in my car.  My mechanic told me he’d have time to fix it after the holidays…
  8. I’m really trying to figure out how I want to organize my professional life this year.  I already know that I don’t want to be teaching in a classroom and that I love teaching resource, but right now, I’m working part-time in one school, doing one evening of tutoring, another evening and half of Saturday teaching resource in a private clinic and tomorrow, I’m meeting with human resources at a private school because they’re looking for someone who can teach resource about 10 hours a week to grade 11 and 12 students!
  9. This weekend, I am making a dairy-free carob cake to celebrate my son’s birthday at my parents’.  I just need to find a recipe base I can modify 😀
  10. Started watching Dexter (I’ve only watched one episode so far) I’m not sure how I feel about it.  It’s weird yet interesting, disturbing yet refreshingly different.

Happy Tuesday everyone!