Starting school is such an important milestone for little ones and their parents too! This year my very own little dude will be starting school and when I think about it, I instantly become an emotional wreck! If you can relate to this and fancy a therapeutic cry about this important milestone then have a read of the poem “Dear Teacher’ by Emma Robinson! As a teacher, I’ve seen it from both sides but it doesn’t make it any easier to let your own child go!
Putting our own feelings aside, it’s really important to help prepare our little ones for this next big step in their lives, which is why I created the Starting School Bundle. It contains three fantastic picture books and one activity book, making it the perfect way to support your little one. By sharing school-themed stories, we are helping out little ones to picture what they will experience when they start school or pre school. It also gives them the opportunity to talk to you about how they are feeling and ask any questions they may have, which will help ease any unsettled feelings they may have and help them to look forward to the next big step in their little lives!
As well as sharing this bundle of books with your little ones, here are some other things you can encourage your little one to do throughout the summer holidays which will really help them to be ready for school in September.
- Teach them to recognise their name if they can’t already. If they can, encourage them to have a go at writing it if they are willing.
- Encourage your little one to dress and undress themselves if possible. If they are a little way off doing this, help them as required but allow them to do some parts themselves and really praise them for having a go on their own! If they are confident at dressing and undressing themselves, show them how to check their clothes are the right way around and show them how to fold their clothes up. This will come in SO handy when they have to get changed for PE.
- Sing the days of the week and the months of the year songs whenever you get a bit of down time or are going somewhere in the car. There are lots of fun songs on YouTube- the links I have shared are the songs we enjoy singing together. They are nice and simple and show the written word when each day/month is sung, which really helps them to learn to read the word by sight.
- If you have a willing learner, play games which involve colours, numbers, letters and shapes. You could even have a go at some of my practical phonics activities if you’re looking for a fun way to keep your little one learning throughout the holidays!
- Talk to your little one about friendships, especially when reading stories. “When a Dragon Goes to School” is fantastic for this if you have the Starting School Bundle. Model and praise your little ones when they are kind, share and use good manners.
- Read, read and read some more! There are so many lovely book bundles to choose from if you want to treat your little one over the summer holidays! There are endless benefits to reading with your little ones everyday and there is no better way to prepare them for school!
Try not to worry too much about any of the above, it’s a case of knowing what to encourage, rather than putting pressure on yourself and your little one to do everything! Anything they can’t do yet can be practised and perfected once they are in school! Do your best to relax and enjoy the summer holidays with them- if you’re looking for extra ways to keep your little one entertained with something fun but structured, try one of the activity books I have available.
Top tip- don’t forget to get at a good picture of your little one in their school uniform as a keepsake before they officially wear it on their first day. It’s a moment I am planning to capture- we have booked a starting school mini shoot with our local photographer at the end of August!
Finally, don’t forget your own self care- this is likely to be a big transition for you as well as your little one. I know I am going to be the mum whose little one skips into school on the first day while I’m standing there with the tissues! As Emma Robinson articulates beautifully in her poem that I mentioned above, they will be tears of loss but also pride!
Happy summer holidays!