At Trinity Grammar School, we recognise that parents are the first and foremost educators of their children. Preparing your son for Pre-Kindergarten is therefore a task that starts in the home. With this in mind there are many things that parents can do to prepare their sons for learning in the early years.
At Trinity, the Pre-Kindergarten Programme provides a year of transition and growth before Kindergarten, the first formal year of schooling, commences. But Pre-Kindergarten is still a child’s first year in a school setting and parents can help to prepare their son for this important stage in many ways:
- Establish bedtime routines
As sleep impacts on mental and physical development, research recommends that children who are three to five years old should have anywhere from 11 to 13 hours of sleep each day. It is beneficial to establish and maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule, as well as a routine leading up to bedtime.
- Independence and helping
Although it is always quicker for parents to do things themselves, having the expectation that your little one can start to do things for himself is beneficial. As a parent you are always there to support and encourage. What might this look like? Encourage your son to pick up his own toys, dress himself, help to clear the table, feed the pet, match the socks and pick up his towel and clothes after bath time. Lunch picnics are also a great idea before school starts so that he can become familiar with opening a lunch box and drink bottle, opening a packet and undoing cling wrap. I suggest that boys even practise putting the lunch box and drink bottle in their school bag and taking it out ‘for mummy’ each afternoon and putting it in the kitchen.
One of the most important things that parents can do in terms of preparing their son for Pre-Kindergarten is to read. This can be part of, but certainly not limited to, your bedtime routine. Make sure books are visible in many places in the home. Keep them in the car, the lounge room, the play room and of course in your son’s bedroom. Start to visit the local library and get your son to choose a book as you choose yours. Make reading time visible with all family members sitting down and reading a book. Even though books are now available in digital versions on our devices, it is still important to give your son the opportunity to be read to, hold and orientate books, turn pages and engage with the pictures. Start to ask your son to do a simple retell of the book on some occasions.
- Preparing to separate
Even boys who attend day care regularly will sometimes experience initial separation anxiety. This is extremely normal and can result when a significant change takes place. If your son is in the situation where he is not attending any external care where he is away from you for any time, then arranging such opportunities is a great idea. Try an afternoon at a friend’s house or a sleep over at an aunt or uncle’s home. Prepare your son for the experience and assure him of your return. This will be exactly the same as when you drop him at Pre-Kindergarten. Lingering at school unfortunately increases anxiety for you and your son. One kiss, one hug and then off you go!
At Trinity Grammar School, Sydney we recognise the importance of making a good beginning. The myriad of opportunities provided in Pre-Kindergarten, the first year in a school setting, lays the foundations for all future learning.
To find out if your son is ready for a Trinity education at Kindergarten, read our Kindergarten Ready document here. You’ll discover what your son needs to be able to do in order to be Kindergarten Ready.