What Should My Child Know Before Starting School

Jill Holtz

August 3, 2018

starting school

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Do you have a preschooler about to start school or kindergarten? Have you been wondering “What should my child know before starting school“? Here are some essential skills your child should have before starting school.

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If you have a preschooler who is just about to start school, then you may be wondering how best to prepare them for big school. It’s not essential that they have academics under the belt yet but they should have some practical skills to help them adjust to school life.

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What Should My Child Know Before Starting School

#1. Simple Motor Skills

child at school

Your child may have been doing this at nursery or crèche but it’s also good to have them practice their motor skills at home. Activities such as

  • cutting with scissors
  • baking with you where they measure out ingredients
  • glueing
  • working with beads
  • LEGO

are all good for motor skill practice.

#2. Be Able To Sit Still and Pay Attention

starting school

They are going to have to get used to sitting still and paying attention. A good way of building this habit is to read books together. While you read, discuss the story and the characters, get them to point things out in the book.

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#3. Be Independent

starting school

By this we mean being able to do things on their own. If there’s something that your child is struggling with, then practice with them before school starts. E.g. Sit down with your child for lunch when she or he can practice eating from their lunch box themselves.

#4. Go To The Toilet Themselves

child washing hands

If your child has been a bit reliant on your help with the toilet, now’s the time to get them comfortable with wiping their own bottom and making sure they know how to properly wash their hands.

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#5. Put On and Take Off Their Coat or Jacket

Does your child know how to get their own coat on and zip or button it up?

They might like the jacket flip if this is not a skill they are good at yet:

#6. Be Able to Take Turns

starting school

Try to make sure your child is comfortable and able to take turns as this is something that happens in school.

At home or on a playdate, you could use a timer on your phone to help kids know that it’s time for their turn or now it’s time for them to hand over a toy.

Simple board games are also a good way of teaching your child to take a turn.

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#7. Be Comfortable with Sharing

starting school

On play dates over the summer, observe them and reinforce sharing skills so that they are happy to do this when they start school.

Ask your child if he or she would mind sharing certain toys with a friend. If your child says no, explain why they should be willing to share. If they say yes, praise them for being kind and considerate.

#8. Recognise Their Name

name labels

Even if your child can’t read yet, it’s good for them to be able to recognise their name on their lunchbox or coat or other belonging.

So practice their name with them so they can start to recognise those letters.

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#9. Know How to Open Their Lunch Box and Drink Bottle

School Boy Eating Lunch

An easy one to practice in the run up to school, can they open their lunch box and drink bottle?

#10. Be Able To Tell a Teacher if They Need Something

Schoolboy with Hand Raised

Talk to your child about being confident to tell a teacher when they need something, e.g. to use the bathroom or when they’re having trouble understanding a lesson. If your child is very shy then work with them on putting their hand up so they know how to do that.

Have your say! Have you got any other tips for to help other parents with what should my child know before starting school? Tell us in the comments below. 

What Should My Child Know Before Starting School

Like this? Share it with your network!

Like this? Share it with your network!


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