The start primary school education can be exciting yet nerve-wracking for both the parent and the child
How can I support my child in his transition to primary one?
Entering primary one can be a daunting experience for you and your child due to the changes they will face. It is after all, a big milestone. However, there are ways for you to ensure that his transition is a smooth one. Research shows that a successful transition can even have a positive impact on your child’s academic performance later on in his life!
1. Help him build positive relationships
Here are ways you can support your child’s transition to primary one:
Leaving old friends in preschool to a pool of new people can be intimidating for your young child. Acknowledge your child’s fear and reassure him that he will make new friends in school in no time. As your child will be meeting new people in primary school, it is useful to practice on different scenarios of meeting new people with them.
Friendly phrases can be taught so that they can be good conversation starters. You can also role-play with your child and pretend that you are the new classmate that your child will be meeting for the first time. This will get him mentally prepared on meeting new people.
2. Allow your child to perform simple tasks
Since primary school is when your child starts to learn independence, it is good to start by allowing them to perform simple tasks on their own. Start with tasks such as managing his own toilet needs, dressing up and packing his own bag. This can teach your child responsibility and independence. Show your child that you trust him to perform simple tasks on his own. You can also help by creating a packing list for him to refer to!
3. Start a new routine
A routine creates a comfort zone for children. Stimulate sleeping time, meal times, homework time, learning time during primary school days so that your children can be mentally prepared and know what to expect.
Starting a new routine earlier will allow them to settle in better when school starts later on. It can also reduce the fear of being thrown into the unknown.
4. Familiarize scenarios
Find an opportunity to orientate the new school enrichment with your child before the start of primary one. Help them to be familiarised with important school areas such as the toilet, general office or even the pick-up point so that they know where to find you after school.
If you are not able to check out the school earlier, you can check the school website and show your child photos of the school.
5. Parent support group
The parent support group allows you to play an active role in your child’s education and it can help your child’s success in school. Research has shown that the more involved a parent is in their child’s education, the more the child is motivated to do well in school.
Parent support group goes beyond helping your own child, it also contributes to a larger pool of students in the school. It allows parents to have more insights into what is happening in the school. Parents and teachers are both the key building blocks to allow children to have a good education.
How do I know if the transition is successful?
A transition is successful if the child understands and is able to adapt to life in primary school. Such as being able to face the challenges in her life at school and making signs of progress in his learning and development.
Transition is a learning process which every child goes through. It is actually a cause for celebration as it signifies that our children are growing up well and hitting milestones! Ironically, most of the time parents are the anxious ones at every transiting point. So for parents, the best advice is, BREATHE and let go.