Starting school is a big step for children and their families.
At Coomera Rivers State School, we believe that a partnership with the parents can make the transition to school a relaxed and happy one. One of the predictors of success for children academically is seeing learning as fun and a belief in their own abilities. Here are some ideas on interactions you can have with your child to bolster their school confidence. Remember to praise their efforts.
· Play games to see if your child can hear the first sounds in words and other words that start with the same initial sound (e.e. m, b, s…) I Spy and Sound Hunts are tested
· Clap syllables in words
· Recite the alphabet.
· Play with rhyming words.
· Sing nursery rhymes and recite poems (e.g. 5 Little Ducks, Old Macdonald had a farm etc.)
· Allow your child to attempt to form some letters.
· Have fun spelling out their first name in different mediums – sand, crayon, foam etc
· Assign meaning to their writing – ask them to tell you what their 'writing' means.
· Practise writing (or pretend writing) for a purpose such as writing a shopping list.
· Count objects and point out/read numerals around the house and out and about.
· Match and name colours.
· Discuss concepts such as more, less, night, day, big, little, small, tall, near, far, under, over etc. using real life references.
· Draw a person with the basic elements of a body and help them name body parts.
· Enjoy colouring together and using pencils.
· Practise using scissors by cutting different shapes and straight lines for craft activities.
· Allow students to dress up in their uniforms before school starts – particularly doing up and undoing buttons and putting shoes on their correct feet.
· Let them play with packing and unpacking their lunchbox.
· Encourage and praise independent toilet and hygiene habits such as washing hands.
Language and Reading
· The more conversations you can have with your child the better! It doesn't matter what the topic is – try to engage your child in conversation everyday.
· Engage in back and forth conversations with your child contributing to the discussion.
· Point out interesting things in the environment and narrate the things that you are doing for your child. The more language they hear the more vocabulary they will be able to speak an understand.
· When reading chat about the story. Show curiousity and ask lots of questions and be
prepared to answer them too!
· Read with enthusiasm. Don't be embarrassed to try out different voices.
· Alllow stories to be read over and over again. Children love to learn their favourites and they build confidence in being able to recite them themselves.
· Link stories to your own experience – "Oh this reminds me of…"
· Always thank children for reading and praise their reading efforts.
· Take the opportunity to join in with school workshops on reading on offer at Coomera Rivers such as on Read, Write Inc. and Conversational Reading.
Social and Emotional Skills
· Organise play dates with other prep students to build friendships and familiarity.
Talk about emotions. Pointing out emotions of characters in books is one way, or talk about how you may feel in different situations and strategies for dealing with emotions.
· Model that making mistakes is okay and a way of working.
· Speak to your kindy about giving consent for your child's transition statement to be passed on to the school. This will help their new teacher learn about them.
· Talk about the transition to school in a positive way. It should be exciting for your child.
· Prepare your child for saying short positive goodbyes when they reach the classroom. They will be in good hands!