How to prepare for school
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How to prepare for school


The most important lesson that you can teach your child, is to encourage them to be independent in every aspect of their little lives


Top Tip - Every time that you help them at home, think to yourself - 'Is this something they will do at school? Will they be able to do this on their own?'


Eating - Ensure your child can use a knife and fork independently, especially to cut up food. Also, create an opportunity to practise carrying their own plate/tray of food to the table. Alternatively, make packed lunches and get your child to remove the wrappings themselves - it sounds so simple, but you will quickly see what they struggle to open, be it yoghurt lids or sandwich boxes - remember they will need to do this on their own (there is help available of course), but x30 children in a class and it's quicker to teach them these skills at home.


Getting dressed/undressed - This is the big one! Your child will be doing P.E. at school and will need to get out of his/her uniform and into a P.E. kit. Again, of course, there will be help available from teachers and support staff, but it is limited, and it is wonderful if they can do it on their own. Let them practise at home and reward with praise/prize. Ensure they have easy shoe fastenings - never laces at the early stages; can undo buttons, zips, pull arms out of sleeves....; find the items that they need to put on and not mix them with the ones they've just taken off!!!!!! It will also be worthwhile teaching your child to zip up their own coat for playtimes/end of the day.


Choosing toys & tidying away - It is so hard for children to adapt to the time restraints at school. Some really struggle to stop mid-activity because it's playtime/snacktime/ hometime!! Some are used to this if they attended nursery/pre-school settings, but you can help at home by exposing them to this more often - setting a time limit to play or serving dinner in the middle of an activity!! Tidying away is also tricky! I have always made tidying up into a race/game at the end of the day.


Social interaction - Whenever possible, allow your child the opportunity to experience some form of busy setting alongside other children before they start school. Nursery/Pre-school/Toddler groups/music classes/library sessions - there is so much choice, but the experience of having to listen to a different adult and mixing with other children is unique, made even more so if you are not in the room with them (heartbreaking I know but necessary preparation for both you and your child)


Toileting - I was so used to an adult assisting my eldest Panda with this, but I knew that I had to get her ready to do these things alone because school teachers are not allowed to help your child in the toilet. I gave her rewards for doing this by herself and told her she was training to be a big school girl!!



For help on how to prepare your child for school in an academic way, please look at the reading, writing, and maths tabs. Thank you.