We all want our kids to shine in the school environment. We want them to take up the challenge of their school career enthusiastically - and parents can play their part in this preparation for the start of school.
1. Make sure that they have the skills they need to do well when they return to school.
Children who have a strong base to move ahead from, tend to do well at school. There's substantial research to show that kids who enjoy school are going to succeed academically.
And to enjoy school, they need a bank of skills that will set them along the right road. These same skills will give them a foundation for success all their way through life.
It's not something that you can hand over to the teachers and the school. It's up to parents, grandparents and care-givers to take on the role of preparing children for school. It's more than just buying the right school supplies. It's about doing the appropriate school prep that makes all the difference.
So, what I'm saying is that we want to make sure that our kids get the best start possible in life. And it starts with us as parents!
2. Give Kids a solid foundation in using these key skills:
These are some of the skills that are easy to give your child and create the opportunity for them to be successful as they enter school or transition to other parts of the school. This all happens for weeks before school starts!
- Focus and attention: Kids who concentrate and remember the instructions for tasks will excel at all types of activities during the school term.
- Numeracy: The ability to recognise numbers and perform basic activities with numbers will stand them in good stead for their entire school career.
- Language and communication: Kids who can express themselves and play in a social setting also tend to do far better in the school environment.
- Problem-solving: Children who can think creatively and persevere until they find a solution will do well at maths and other school subjects.
- Ability to cross the midline: This is an essential skill if you want your child to do things such as tie their shoelaces and also begin to read well.
- Fine motor movement: If you want your child to hold their pen well, they need to be able to use the small muscles in their hands.
3. Do lots of constant repetition
You don't have to spend hours teaching your child each day. But it does help if you make sure that they get plenty of practice time.
You can do this by having them repeat the same task over and over again. We shouldn't say the exact same task because you want to scale the difficulty of the task upwards so that kids are challenged to try it out at a more advanced level.
For example, if they're learning how to make patterns, let them practice this a few times by using different patterns. The patterns could involve different colours, or different objects and could become more complex.
If you're working with younger kids, you might even ask them to copy shapes onto paper. They'll learn about the shape and then they'll be able to draw it later.
Always add in the fun element! It's not about being right or wrong. It's about learning from mistakes and trying it out again.
4. Make the back-to-school experience fun!
School days aren't as exciting as vacations, but they don't need to be boring or dull either.
- Prepare your child for the first day of school by removing the stress and social anxiety that the return to a more structured environment could provoke. Have a sense of humour about it all and do interesting and enjoyable things with your child right up until the day before school starts.
- Include your child in making decisions about what to buy from the school checklist for the year. Give them a sense that they have a choice in selecting books or even lunch boxes as part of school shopping.
- Speak positively about school, the teachers and the wonderful new things that they will learn. Kids will pick up your tone and see the brighter side of the experience.
- Create an enjoyable space at home where they can expand on what they will learn at school. You can invite your child to decorate it to suit themselves and make it feel comfortable and fun so that it is their area for learning and exploration.
5. Use Six Bricks to prepare for going back to school
Our Yay4Play sets of educational games are especially curated to give kids the skills they need to do well at school! They're fun, engaging, and most importantly, they build important skills like numeracy, language and problem solving.
All the kits are based on the Six Bricks method which was developed in conjunction with the LEGO® Foundation. Just six bricks in different colours can achieve an amazing amount - and it's all about learning through play.
Download our free Yay4Play App to find over 100 activities that scale in difficulty to engage your child’s mind at any level.
Our educational kits are affordable and adaptable for all abilities, including autistic children.
We don’t know of any other kit that does this much for your child!
NOTE: The Department of Education NSW has prepared a list of resources that might be helpful for you: