10 tips to prepare junior for Primary 1

Textbooks? Check. Uniform? Check. Wise up to other ways you can gear your kiddo up for Primary 1…

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Your child’s entry to Primary school marks an important milestone in your child’s academic journey. From making financial decisions on her own to learning to manage her time, she will acquire numerous skills during her school years that will see her into adulthood.

Indeed, her school years establishes not only a solid foundation for learning, but also, her future success. So, to ensure that her move from kindergarten or preschool to Primary school is a positive one, you can take steps to make her leap to formal education as painless for her (and you) as possible…

1) Waking up early is an essential skill

WHY With schools making the transition to a single-session school day, the typical school day begins at 7am and lasts till midday. Your kid will need to rise early so as to get to school on time.
HOW Matthew Scott, head of preschool courses at the British Council, stresses that you should get her used to waking up early the week before school begins or earlier. Scott explains, “The preparation should start as early as possible, so that by the time school begins in January, the early starts have become second nature.” The early start will also prove a lot more challenging for those who attended afternoon preschool sessions, he points out.

2) Start him on a routine as early as possible

WHY Routines are a crucial aspect of primary school life. Besides following a timetable in school, organising a schedule after school will help her complete her assignments on time.
HOW Dr Hana Ra Adams, a psychologist at The Change Group LLP, says you can start by setting a fixed time for colouring, reading or drawing — or any activity that involves sitting down to do work. Over time, swap these simple activities for more complex ones. You will help them understand that “study time” doesn’t have to be painful, but something every student needs to engage in. “It’s a natural part of being a person who strives to learn,” Dr Adams notes.

“The preparation should start as early as possible, so that by the time school begins in January, the early starts have become second nature.”

3) Make packing bags a habit

WHY Being prepared with all that she needs will save her from having to lug around a heavy school bag, which could spell trouble for her posture over time.
HOW At home, get your child used to packing her bags independently, then get her to think about what she’ll need in school the following day. Scott states, “At the start of each day, parents can ask children, ‘What are you going to do today?’, ‘Have you remembered your pencil case?’” and other questions that encourage learner independence.”

4) Hone his listening skills

WHY Your kiddo’s Primary school class, unlike preschool, is going to have a ratio of one teacher for every 20 or 30 students. With such a big class size, she’ll need to learn how to listen carefully as repeated requests to recap instructions will only frustrate her teacher.
HOW Scott says, “One way in which parents and teachers can encourage [strong listening skills] is to avoid repeating themselves when giving instructions. If the adult only says it once, the child will know that they must listen carefully or they won’t be able to understand the task [at hand].”

5) Impart good social skills

WHY Primary school gives your child the opportunity to make life-long friends. Junior will have a more positive school experience and may even perform better if she has a supportive network of friends she can count on.
HOW Daniel Koh, a psychologist at Insights Mind Centre, stresses, “Parents need to model good social skills [by minding] how they respond to others. [And] Be aware of your child’s ability to work with others and their ability to read [the social] cues from others.” Good communication is the basis of a successful relationship ― and junior’s ability to recognising non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and gestures, eye contact, posture, and tone of voice ― will enhance her communication skills.

Five more prep junior for school strategies coming right up…