5 Things Your Child Should Know Before Starting School
Much as we could like to equip our children as soon as possible, Caroline Muendo, an early childhood teacher trainer is a little reluctant to mention which skills a child should have picked up before they start school. She states that children join school at different ages, they learn and develop at different paces. Try trying to pin them to a particular set of skills is not always healthy. “There are those children who join school early and pick up fast, and there are those who join school at a later stage but have less knowledge depending on how they were introduced to ideas at an early age. This is due to the varying knowledge of the child’s caregivers before school, and their interest in the development of the child” says Mrs Muendo.
That said there are some basic social skills that will enable a child settle into school life with ease. While parents may think that their children need to be able to feed themselves, say the magic words and share, Marlyn Magina, director and teacher at Young Explorers Centre shares a different perspective. Some of the things we take for granted such as knowing their name and their parent’s names, recognising authority, and being able to express their feelings and needs are important skills for pre-school children.
Arming your child with the following five skills will help them adjust to school with ease:
1. Know their name and identify their belongings
A child who knows their full names is easy to direct and identify in a group of children. One who knows their belongings is able to navigate around indoor and outdoor activities with relative ease.
2. Ability to listen to and follow basic instructions
Most children are able to follow basic instructions such as sit down, come here, and be quiet. These are easy to practice at home by directing them to do small tasks around the house.
3. Know how to articulate their need to visit the toilet
Knowing when you need to visit the toilet and telling a grownup saves both child and adult from having to deal with toileting accidents. Such situations can be very embarrassing for children especially when witnessed by others.