A Great Start for Your Child School Life

Good Start for School

Either your child is just starting his schooling life in a Kindergarten pre-school class or a Primary One class, it is a BIG step for both the child and the parent.  Help your child to have a good start of the school life with these following suggestions.   Put more efforts in these areas for ASD child and they will need to be tailored a bit to suit your particular situation.

 

1. Pre-familiarization and communication

If you have not done it already, it will be good to let your child familiarize with the school, the school timetable and other routines.   It is always a good idea to bring your child to the school compound, pointing out visibly where the main areas of the school such as his/her classroom, the general office, canteen and the toilet.   Some school will have a orientation day even before the school starts and it will essential that your child is involved.  

Routes to the school including walking to school, driving back and forth should be shown if possible.  Any school bus arrangement should also be explained such as where/when to board at home and where/when to be picked up. 

As much of the routine and timetables of the school life such as when to wake up, eat breakfast, wait for bus, return home, recess time, playtime and other routines could be explained before and during the first week of school.  More details such as the actual school timetables should be explained as and when you have it or whenever it is re-defined.    Routines are usually adjusted and redefined during the first few weeks of schooling to suit the various needs of your child.  Therefore, the routines need to be reminded and explained during the first few weeks to reinforce the change. 

All these familiarizations and communications are essential to remove some of the uncertainty and anxiety associated with changes in their life before school and their new environment.

2. Set a Routine
Study Hours

Establishing a regular routine reduce anxiety by removing uncertainty with a pattern to follow.  It makes your child understand what is expected of them and when to do what in certain time of the day.  Apart from the school works, do set a side time for playing, watching TV  and spending time with other siblings and you.  For child with ASD, changing their routine will be very challenging at times, lot of patience and explaining will be needed. 

 

3. A Good Breakfast

All of us know the importance of a good healthy breakfast and it is also important to cultivate this habit. Studies have shown that students who start the day with a  nutritious breakfast make better grades, concentrate  better, and make fewer mistakes than  non-breakfast eaters.   It may be difficult to squeeze in a breakfast especially if your child’s school start early and need to wait for the school bus early.   Therefore, a simple, easy to eat and nutritious breakfast is always welcome.   

Some ideas for breakfast include cereal, bread (any kind that your child likes such as jam, hot-dog, kaya or peanut butter), porridge, noodles or half-boiled eggs.   Important thing is that your child like it and willing to eat them early in the morning and it provide enough nutrition.   Do rotate the choice to avoid boredom.

4. Be Together

Especially for pre-school ASD child, you may need to spend some times or days with your child during his initial days in the new school.   Your child may need support and even visually able to see you stick around will be hint that you are together with him.   While you are at the school, spent some time observing the lessons, the interactions of your child with other child and with teacher and his/her reaction.   Talk to the teachers and alert them of your child’s particular situation and establish a communication link with the teacher as well.  Leave your contacts such as mobile and email and asked for the same from the teacher.

You will eventually need to leave your child totally in the hands of the teacher and school and trust them that they will do a good job.   Talk to your child and allow some time for them to sink in the message before doing it.  You may also do it gradually.   Some school may not allow parents to stay for too long but communicate the needs if it arise.  You understand your child the best.

5. Listen to your Child

Use all the chances to talk to your child and get some clues and hints on what happen at school.  Your child may not express too well so you need to use various methods that you used to communicate with him to dig out such information.    The more you understand your child’s feeling at school and what are the things he need help, the easier and better your child will start his/her schooling life earlier.

6. Cool Down and Early Bedtime

Set a regular time according to the routine for bedtime.    It is a good practice to ask your child to go to bed early and having at least 8-9 hours of sleep.  This will prepare them for another day and give them time to recover from the day’s activities. Allow some cool-down period before the bedtime such as self-reading, drawing or telling of bedtime stories.   It is also a good time to chat about what happen in the school and get some clues of what help is needed.

More tips are coming soon.  Do visit the forum and if you are a member (free to join), you will be able to look up for more information on how to have a great start by downloading this free ebook “New Year Good Start for School”.
If you have other tips on how to have a great start for your child, do comment.

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