6 ways to prepare your child for starting primary school in September during COVID-19
PUBLISHED: 13:35 27 May 2020
If your little one is taking the leap and starting primary school in September you may be feeling anxious, especially in these strange times. But don’t fret – there are ways to help prepare you and your child for this change.
Amanda Childs, Head at Ipswich Prep, offers her advice on what you can do in the run up to the big day to put your mind at ease.
1) Don’t panic!
It’s perfectly normal to worry about big milestones in your child’s life, but it’s important not to panic – they’re probably more excited than scared and you should encourage this.
On the first day of school most children will be full of curiosity, but some may be a little confused when asked to go and do it all again the second day. Make sure you keep up the excitement to ensure children continue to enjoy school and don’t see it as a chore.
2) Start teaching them to be independent
Although your child will learn to be independent in Reception, it may be wise to start teaching them to do everyday things at home while you have the time.
This can be anything from getting dressed in the morning or using a knife and fork properly. This will build their confidence and help to prepare them for school.
3) Don’t feel pressured into being their ‘teacher’
If your child would usually be at nursery or in other childcare but isn’t because of coronavirus, this doesn’t mean you have to take on the ‘teacher role’.
By all means do some home-learning, but it’s best not to overdo it and tire your child out, otherwise they may hate school before they’ve even started! If they are ready to learn, they will make accelerated progress in Reception.
If you’re looking for some activities to keep them occupied, we will be regularly posting helpful information and great tips on social media, so do follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for fun things to do during lockdown.
4) Create a routine and stick to it
Children – and most adults - thrive when in a routine. Helping them to follow a similar pattern everyday will help them cope at this tough time but will also make the school routine a little easier to adjust to when the time comes.
Keep in mind that a routine will also help you manage your day and make sure you get some time to yourself.
5) Be firm when necessary
If you’re trying to work from home with your family around, or even if you’re not working at the moment and are struggling to keep your child happy, it can be tempting to give in to their requests.
It’s important that you continue to teach them right from wrong, and to not always give them what they want. Standing your ground and not letting them win all the time will help them socialise with other children when they start primary school.
6) Create some distance
Although you may be looking after your child full-time now, this doesn’t mean that you have to engage with them all the time.
Your child will have to be separated from you when they start primary school and so it’s good to get them used to this now. You don’t have to ignore them, just come up with activities they can enjoy on their own for a while during the day.
Is Ipswich Prep School doing anything to prepare for this possibly difficult transition for children?
At this time, we would be slowly introducing our nursery children to their Reception teachers and classes. Unfortunately, as most children – other than those whose parents are keyworkers – are not at nursery at the moment, we’ve had to adapt.
Our teachers are working incredibly hard to hold nursery-style sessions for children via Google Hangouts, and are also using this platform to introduce Reception teachers to help children and parents adjust to these new faces.
We are also notifying parents of things to do before school starts such as getting the school bag and uniform ready.
We have adapted our way of working to ensure the school can carry on as normal as possible, providing a full, taught timetable for all our children.
You can find the prep school at 3 Ivry Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 3QW.
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