Pre-School To Primary School: Embracing the Transition
“Educational activities are useful in preparing the child for school, but a reluctance to learn numbers and letters at home will not necessarily translate into an inability to learn them at school.”
Teachers are there to teach the literacy and numeracy skills, but they are able to devote a lot more time to this if they don’t have to do up 30 buttons or zips before taking the children outside. Equally, if they are constantly stopping children from fighting they are unable to give the rest of the class the attention they need to learn. Therefore, parents should feel able to relax a little about all the ‘educational’ toys available and let their pre-school child have fun playing with friends, developing communication skills and learning to share and sort out his or her own disputes. This will ease the path into school much more than priming him or her with an advanced reading ability or maths skills.
Having said that, some children thrive on challenges and with a constructive environment, some children can learn to read as young as two. However, the important thing is to let the child lead the parent on this as it may take 18 months of frustratingly repetitive word games and activities to get a young child to recognise sounds or words , whereas when they are 5 or 6, they will suddenly be ready to learn and will pick it all up easily, naturally and with minimum pressure and stress for all involved.
Once at school, some children do not seem to take easily to academic subjects such as reading, writing and numeracy, despite seeming ‘ready’ developmentally.
Pre-school play can help prevent such a situation from arising. Social development is incredibly important for young children’s learning ability and helping children to develop communication skills will help them to articulate what they are finding difficult. Educational activities are both useful and beneficial for children to begin embracing the transition from pre-school to primary school, however a reluctance to learn numbers and letters at home will not necessarily translate into an inability to learn them at school.
Encouraging a child to role play ‘school’ games, letting him/her be the teacher with the adults in the game being the children is a great way to enable a child to explore their feelings about school and to allow the parents to identify and address any worries the child may have before going to school.
I would therefore suggest that pre-school children are given as many opportunities as possible to develop social and communication skills through their play, as well as an understanding of practical skills such as how to hold a pencil, open a book or use scissors. These will all help to build confidence which will in turn benefit your child’s learning of anything new in the classroom.Tags: Routine
Categorised in: parenting advice
This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer