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.
#1. Simple Motor Skills
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, these all are good for motor skill practice.
#2. Be Able To Sit Still and Pay Attention
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.
You might also enjoy reading 9 Essentials for When Your Child is Starting School
#3. Be Independent
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
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.
You might also enjoy reading When Your Child is Anxious About Starting School
#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
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.
You might also enjoy reading 13 Things They Don’t Warn You About When Your Child is Starting School
#7. Be Comfortable with Sharing
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
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.
You might also enjoy reading Dear Parent, From Teacher – A Poem for Starting School
#9. Know How to Open Their Lunch Box and Drink Bottle
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
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.
Over to you now. 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.