The past few months, like the years have passed by so quickly! I knew I had to prepare my daughter, so I went back to some things I learnt whilst working in education. I will share a few pointers below; some you may already have been doing yourself, but I hope this post helps.
We love reading in our household, books give us so much joy! It may sound a bit cliché, but really you can get lost in a good, old book. Isabella-Grace and I visit our local bookshop almost every week and we are guaranteed to leave with a purchase. When we went to Warwickshire, I picked up a book called “Starting School,” this was the first book I purchased relating to school for my daughter. Most recently I purchased Lulu's first day and Going to school. We have been taking our time to go through all of the books and so far, Isabella-Grace’s favourite one is Lulus first day. I will be purchasing some more books in the Lulu range. I will also be doing a book review, in the books with Bella section, so please do look out for that.
Learning is something we have been doing since my daughter was old enough to sit up. I believe that the home is the first school, so I did not waste any time. As Isabella-Grace grew up we have been using various educational resources to aid her on her learning journey. My daughter is extremely playful and so she understands that before play, she must do some work. I do not overload her with information, but I do let her know the importance of learning and education. We use a lot of wipe clean resources because they can be used time and time again. Back in my day (I sound old!) wipe clean resources were rare and vast, I appreciate wipe clean resources because they save time and money! Little Boo Learning is a staple in our house, I love the personalised learning mats and flash cards. We are working our way through getting each item on our list, so far, we need about 3 more learning mats and then our little collection is complete!
3. Open discussions
Isabella-Grace is a big communicator! Oh, my does she love to talk lol. It is a good thing anyway because she always has so much to say. She has been asking a lot of questions about school and speculating who her teacher would be. She said she would have a female teacher and she was right! Unfortunately, we missed her open day because I pre-booked one of her birthday treats in advance, but the school was kind enough to invite us for another informative session. Isabella-Grace came along with me and she was able to meet another child from her class and her head of department. She asked questions about her uniform amongst other things and she was happy with the answers she was given!
4. Involving her in the preparations
I involved Isabella-Grace in all of the preparations for school, from buying her uniform to choosing her hairbands, it may seem simple, but it is important. It shows her that her decisions and input is necessary and valued. I gave her options and encouraged her to make decisions based on what she thought was good, for example, “would you prefer to wear trainers on these plimsolls with the bow for P.E?” I've always given my daughter a choice because I want her to grow up knowing that she has a voice and she should use it.
Routines are so important, and it is never too late to establish one if you do not have one. Just get into the habit of preparing your child by telling them when things will happen. For example, “Isabella-Grace you will have your bath now, then you can choose one story and then you will go to bed.” Isabella-Grace knows that her bedtime is 8pm and she wakes up for school at 7:30am to prepare for the new day. Incorporating this new morning routine prior to her starting school has been good because it helps us both to start our day with ease.
6. Enjoy the new chapter
The realisation that my small madam is growing right before my eyes came to me when she grew from a baby to a toddler. As mothers we must accept that growing up is inevitable, rather than looking at it as some thing to be sad about, try to celebrate their new milestone. With every new milestone and accomplishment comes new blessings, new chapters and new lessons. I know it is a bittersweet feeling but rest assured that you have done a wonderful job so far. Your children will thrive, make new friends and bring you lots of homework!
I also use affirmation cards on my daughter, these are power statements that I actually created for her. You can purchase sets for yourself or your child(ren) from my online shop: www.theresilientmum.co.uk
How have you prepared your children for school? Comment below and let's talk!
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