I am going to be five soon. Grandma says it’s only five weeks before I can put on my uniform and go to school. Everyone keeps saying that I am such a big boy. Actually, I kind of like kindy and think I should be liking school so I am quite excited, but I am scared too.
Mum and I have been to two school visits and I really liked that. My teacher is called Mrs Lawrence and she knows my name. I already know quite a bit about school. My classroom is room number eight and there are 15 children in the class. I know where to hang up my bag and where to put my lunch and drink bottle. On my visits I sat on the mat for a bit which is okay but not as much fun as playing outside. The other kids put their hands up if they wanted to talk – I wonder if I will have to do that as well?
I now know where the toilets for the boys are. Mum and Dad both said that if I didn’t know something or forgot where the toilets are, I can just ask and the teacher will tell me. The thing I am looking forward to most is that I am going to learn to read all by myself. I don’t know all my letters yet but I know how to write my name and I know where I live. Dad says he will help me practise so I think I will be okay. I can count to 10 and I know lots of colours as well.
Dad also says that he liked school when he was a boy so I think I’ll like it too. The school has lots of grass and some monkey bars and a swimming pool. He showed me where I can play once I have eaten my lunch. We have even been to the school at the weekend on my scooter and I can find my classroom on my own. I showed Dad where the toilets are and the drink fountain.
Mum says that we will play a game at afternoon tea time called ‘the best part and the not so good part’ of the day. My younger brother can play it too. All you do is get a turn to share what you liked most about the day and the part that was not your favourite. At kindy I often said that the best part was playing with my friend Ben in the sandpit, and the worst part was if Ben was playing with someone else. I don’t know what I will say about school but I like this game because Mum mainly listens.
I think school is going to be fun. I wonder how long five weeks is?
Some Hot Tips on how to help your child navigate that big step of starting school
- Try not to over-talk starting school. Sometimes talking school up can create false expectations and anxiety. Just the occasional reference to it is fine.
- Visit the school and playground. The more a child sees and feels familiar within the environment the better.
- Children really do like to know where to find things like the toilet, the hall, the library, the playground and the office.
- Children need to know they can ask questions and that someone will help. Reassure them that questions are fine.
- Ask interesting questions like, “What was the best thing about school today?” “What would you like to do tomorrow that you didn’t do today?” “Can you remember a story that the teacher read today?” “Did you put your hand up today? What was it for?”
- Questions like, “What did you do today?” don’t often get the best answers. To get more engagement, time your questions for when they have some energy.
- Keep life as simple and ordinary as possible. School is very tiring for a five year old. After-school activities can wait for a bit as school is enough of a challenge in itself.