HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL

9:09 am


Yesterday was the first day of Sophie's last year of preschool. Last night, as I was laying on my bed watching Hannibal, I felt so overcome with anxiety. I have been stuck in a panic-stricken vortex about "big school". As many moms will tell you, there is so much fearmongering about when to apply, where to apply, how to apply. We are fed horror stories of parents not being accepted to schools, who then need to make a drastic plan for their child's education on the very last minute. Most moms confessed to applying to at least 3 schools for kids. I have decided to apply to at least 5.


Anyway, I am getting away from my point, in all this panic and worry, I have totally forgotten the child at the centre of it all, the child who is also so aware that big changes are coming. I have not spent enough time savouring the "specialness" of this time. And it really is special, my sweet little girl is standing on the edge of two very different worlds. In one she is the oldest in the school, the leader, part of the group marching forward into the great unknown. In the other, she is back to being the baby of the school, needing to start from scratch, needing to make new friends, needing to figure out how to manage in a world where so much independence has been thrust on her. How do I possibly prepare her for that? How do I prepare myself?


As with most things in my life, when I am stressed and feeling overwhelmed., I make a list. I have made a list of things I need to do to prepare myself and Sophie for "big school" next year. Here are a few pointers I'd like to share (if you find yourself in the same boat as us):
  1. TALK ABOUT WHAT TO EXPECT - While I may have been Googling "coping mechanisms" and researching schools, Sophie needs a slightly gentler approach. We have shown her all the different schools we're applying for. We have explained how they are similar and how they are different. I have also started reading an incredibly special children's book to her called Garmann's Summer by Stian Hole. This book has gotten such mixed reviews but what I love is that while all the other books focus on all the things you can look forward to, this book teaches that it's absolutely fine to be a little frightened and to worry, what's important is that you move beyond your fear and embrace this wonderful new experience. 
  2. KEEP HER INVOLVED - Sophie is the kind of child that needs to feel as involved as possible when it comes to things that affect her life, weird hey? So there are a few ways we are planning on keeping her excited and in the loop: bringing her along to purchase the stationery and school supplies, take her along on a dry run to the school so we can find our new "secret shortcut" as a family, getting her to decide on what to pack in her lunchbox and doing a few practice lunchboxes and making a new morning routine to stick up in her room. 
  3. DO SOME WORK - I have downloaded so many worksheets and made so many flashcards that Soph and I can work through throughout the course of this year. Sophie loves to learn. She often pretends that she has homework, and will happily devour any kind of worksheet. My hope is that doing these worksheets will further excite her about the kind of work she will be doing in "big school". 
I know that this is going to be a scary and challenging change for us. Sophie's preschool has been a haven of love for her, a second home really, I worry so much about how she will adjust to life in primary school, I worry about peer pressure, bullies and mean girls, I worry about the control I will slowly lose and mostly I worry that she won't be happy. Why is parenting so hard? Why? 

What are some of the ways you prepared/ are preparing your little one for primary school? I would love any and all advice you could impart! 

Nikki 
Xxx

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5 comments

  1. Argh, you're handling it better than I would! Yes, I plan to dramatically cry when my daughter walks down the stairs in her school uniform. haha

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    1. Gosh I will do my fair amount of crying I promise you! No one tells you how much you'll cry when you become a mom.

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  2. You got this girl! Being so prepared means that you and Soph are going to be totally fine. In our case, we only applied to the one primary school (but due to the nature of the school and our location to it I know we'd have no problem getting in). I didn't really prep them at all and maybe that was a bit of a disservice on my part but they were fine. Usually the schools also have a pre-school party or whatever to ease them in. Maybe that will also help?

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    1. Thank you so much! I know in my heart that she will adjust like a pro. She is such a confident little girl and always makes friends so easily. This just feels like one of those enormous parenting milestones. The pre-school party sounds so rad. Hopefully whatever school we go to will have something like this.

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  3. You are doing such an incredible job of preparing both yourselves and Sophie and I think you are going to be perfectly fine. What i love the most is that you have thought about your child and what works for her. I think its so important to always remember how unique our kids are, Alex was so easy going she didn't care about being involved at all. I can't assume that Amie will be the same and taking the individual approach that you have just reminds me of this even more.

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