10 Things To Do With Your 0-5 Year Old Children To Help Them Be School-Ready .

2017-05-05
One question I’m often asked by other mums is, ‘How do I prepare my child for school?’ Below are some of my top tips.
 
Jonathan school


One question I’m often asked by other mums is, ‘How do I prepare my child for school?’ This is such a brilliant question and one that is worth considering from the time of your child’s birth. Although there is not one ‘right’ answer, taking the time to help your child develop a love of learning right from the get-go is worth its weight in educational gold! Having been a primary school teacher for 10 years it is fair to say I’ve taught hundreds of children. Now being a parent myself, I’m keenly aware of the importance and preciousness of the years prior to a child entering the school gates for the first time. Setting up a strong foundation for learning is often easier than you may have thought.

 

I have personally used the following tips with my own children and today I want to share them with you in hope you’ll have the same amazing results.


1.  Let them know how much you adore them.

Hug them and tell them you love them every day and every night. For example, ‘I love you so much, thank you for being my daughter.’ Telling them you love them just because they were born helps them realise your love is unconditional. This helps them feel safe and secure which nurtures their self esteem and this naturally impacts the way they approach their first year of school.

2. Read to them every single day.

It doesn’t always have to be a book. It could also be a shopping list, an article, a postcard, a sign, or ingredients on the back of a cereal box. Helping them develop a love of reading is a perfect platform for future literacy development.

3. Share personal experiences with them.

Children love to listen to stories. Tell them some from your past, ‘When I was little…’ and some that have happened more recently, ‘Yesterday, while I was down at the shops I noticed…’ Connecting via time immersed in storytelling is priceless. It helps children build up their storytelling, comprehension and oral language skills.

4. Teach them how to be inquisitive about the world around them.

When they are sharing a story or observation with you, ask questions that allow them to expand. ‘Wow, thanks for sharing, why do you think that happened?’ Or ‘What do you find most interesting about that?’ Encouraging them to wonder about the world around them enhances their love of learning which is a wonderful attitude to bring into Prep.

5. Build up their wellbeing vocabulary.

Helping them to effectively express themselves via their oral language is essential in their Social and Emotional development. Introduce words such as wellbeing, behaviour, choices, stress, anxiety, breathing, meditation, rest, forgiveness, compassion, presence, kindness, intention and so on into your daily conversations. When children can effectively express their emotions, they tend to problem solve and manage school friendship situations with more confidence and ease. 

6. Show them how to be a good friend.


Do this via your actions in your own relationships and talk openly about the behaviours that good friends display. Spend some time role-playing social scenarios with your children as this is a brilliant way to help them build social confidence prior to their first year of schooling.

7. Have technology-free time.

Create a special time each day where there is no TV, radio, phone, iPad or computer being used. Allow them to feel bored which will encourage them to dream, imagine or create. You may like to use this time to teach them how to do a mini meditation by sitting still and taking some mindful breaths. Encouraging children to have down time is an essential school skill which can help reduce feelings of stress, exhaustion and anxiety which they may encounter at school.

8. Teach them about choices.

Help them to tune into themselves. Empower them to know the difference between good and bad choices. Encourage them to ask themselves positive questions, for example, ‘Was that a good choice? How did it make me feel? What would have been a better response? What did I learn from that situation?’ This builds confidence, resilience and self-reflection skills which are excellent wellbeing skills to add to their wellbeing tool kit.

9. Teach them the benefits of being present.

Encourage them to live in a conscious and mindful way. Show them how to go slow and explain why rushing isn’t a nurturing choice. Help them embrace the moment and celebrate the little wins along the way. This helps children to moderate, manage and monitor their own wellbeing in a meaningful way – which is not only important for feeling successful at school but also for feeling successful in life. 

10. Nurture your wellbeing.

When you feel good, rested, happy and healthy you are more likely to emanate a beautiful energy that positively affects all those around you. Your children naturally absorb and mimic the way you take care of yourself. Wellbeing is an essential skill for children to be equipped with as they enter their schooling journey. Therefore taking the time to nurture your wellbeing not only benefits you but your precious children as well. It’s a win-win!


You may be wondering where all the academic information is and I can tell you about that, however, if their wellbeing is not at a high level it doesn’t really matter if they know their ABCs or can write their own name. If their wellbeing isn’t nurtured from a young age they are more likely to be unhappy at school, find it harder to cope with the demands of school life, lose confidence and quickly develop a dislike for school. Consequently, they may start acting out, and this is where the challenges begin!

It is so important that they enjoy their first year of school, as this is their introduction to formal education. Their Prep teacher will make a difference but what you do for the five years prior to their schooling will impact them for the rest of their school life. This time is truly priceless ... however it's never too late to start.

 

Do you have any tips you can add to this list? I’d love you to share them!

 

Rhiannon xo



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Comments


Kelly
What an utterly gorgeous list!! Agree with them all. I particularly love sharing stories of my childhood and helping them to remember that I was once a kid too and remember what it was like. 
Thanks so much Kelly. Yes, it's so true, children tend to be enthralled in the stories about us when we were young! 
By - Rhiannon

Kristy Goodwin
Rhiannon, what a brilliant post. So much resonated for me,  as both a Muma and a former teacher. I particularly loved what you wrote about the importance of boredom and building an emotional vocabulary. Thanks for sharing so many powerful insights.
Thanks so much Kristy. It's fantastic to hear that the article resonates with a fellow teacher! Boredom does tend to be underestimated these days and boosting a child's emotional literacy is such a valuable tool. 
By - Rhiannon

Justine Chine
I love this blog! As i'm going to be a new mum, and i don't have many friends in the same boat, it's really nice to have information like this to read. Keep up with the great work! 
Thanks Justine! Congratulations on being a mum-to-be. It's an exciting time with new beginnings. It's really lovely to hear that you are already preparing for your time as a mum, beyond the birth. 
By - Rhiannon

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