Is your pre-schooler going to be starting school sometime within the next year?
Do you want to know what you can do to help make the transition as stress free as possible.
Preparing for the more formal learning days in the school system starts right from birth. And there are some specific things you as a parent can do right now to make a happy, relaxed transition to school.
The New Zealand Curriculum emphasises the importance of Key Competencies of; Thinking, Using Language, Symbols, and Texts, Managing Self, Relating to Others and Participating and Contributing. See the below link:
If you can help your child build a solid base in the Key Competence areas they will be well prepared to start and succeed at school. GrasshopperKnees has incorporated these Key Competencies into all their Activity Cards
and the Learning Leaps Programme
has been designed to guarantee children are well prepared to start the formal years of school and that there are NO big gaps in their learning.
Key Competencies/Attributes to start building in preparation for school include :
• Independent thinking – think before acting
• Transferring knowledge and applying to new situations
• Inquisitiveness, curiosity and using imagination
• Ability to ask questions and generate own ideas
• Using strategies of problem solving
• Confidence – taking risks/giving new things a go
• Communicating with others – working it out together
• Getting organised in advance
• Enjoying working and playing with others
• Independently doing chore tasks e.g dressing, feeding, carry own gear
• Persisting to complete tasks
• Taking pride and performing to the best of our ability
Schools today very much emphasise Literacy and Numeracy. The introduction of National Standards has increased the time and effort put into these subject areas.
To give your child the best possible start for the more academic side of school, focus heavily on reading to your child, talking about how a book works and building your child's vocabulary in everything that you do with them. This will give them the foundation they need for reading, writing, speaking and mathematics.
Whilst it isn’t so important to learn how to actually read words and do “sums” before school, make sure your child can listen attentively, discuss and understand what they are doing and can make special connections to their own experiences.
For more information go to http://www.minedu.govt.nz/Parents/EarlyYears/MovingOnToSchool.aspx
The most important thing you can do is give your child a solid foundation in all areas of development (social, emotional, academic and physical). The easiest way to ensure your kids are getting the solid foundation they need to start school is to check out the GrasshopperKnees Activity Cards
. You can use the cards to check you're on track with your child's development as well as use them to get loads of activities, games and tips that will help your child get that well rounded solid foundation they need.
Children who enter into school with a wide range of experiences across all areas will have more self confidence and well honed social skills to cope with the many changes they will encounter on a day to day basis at primary school level.
It is important to remember formal classes and drilling facts that push pre-schoolers to read, write words and do sums, do not help their development or make them do better in school.
In fact they can even make children feel like failures when they are pushed to do something they don't enjoy or that is beyond their readiness to learn a particular skill.