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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Starting School; The week before

Now is the time to label absolutely everything your child will be taking to school. Many schools offer advice on the best place to get labels for your child's clothes but it is definitely worth shopping around for the best method which suits you.
You can buy labels which need to be sewn on, ironed on or just stuck in. Sometimes, a combination of iron on labels for clothing and stick on labels for items such as water bottles and 'show and tell' toys is the most appropriate. - a combination of both iron on and stick on name labels with or without a wide choice of picture symbols. - easy fix clip on nametags, iron on labels and stick on labels. - woven name tags for sewing onto clothes

If at all possible choose labels with pictures as well as a name so that your child can recognise not just the word but the symbol in their early reading days.

Although you may have already done this, take a walk along the route that you will cover or drive along at the right time of day. This will show you any new potential roadworks or obstacles which might mean you have to change your timings on the first day. Try and pick out some key landmarks long the journey so that during the first week you can ask questions as a fun way of engaging your child's interest, for example, 'What do you think we will pass next?'

Invite your child to practise putting on their school uniform and PE kit if they have one, and taking it off. Try to make this a fun activity, for example using an egg timer, and sharing a reward if the child succeeds in the given task.
If necessary, explain as well as you can the term PE. It will probably be the first time your child has heard this term but one they will be using often in school and the teachers may assume that your child knows what to expect. Explain that, after changing into exercise clothes, they will able to play lots of games and run, jump and skip about.
Organise a pretend PE lesson with some dolls or soft toys and ask your child to get ready and join in. Ideally, dress and undress the toys too. The PE lesson then becomes something to look forward to rather than a situation that provokes anxiety.

Tip: Don't put too much pressure on your child as this is a week for being relaxed and minimising stress and anxiety. Avoid a countdown to the start of school which might add unnecessary pressure. This should be a time to enjoy together before formal education begins.

As the week progresses, start to build up your morning routine. Talk to your child about all the things they need to do in the morning and in which order. Take photographs of your child doing different events in the morning routine, such as eating breakfast, getting washed, putting on clothes, brushing teeth, fastening shoes, and so on. Print them out and make them into cards so that you and your child can arrange them into a sequence and talk about each event and what it involves. You could then stick them onto a large piece of paper and hang it up in their bedroom so they know which steps they need to be getting on with.

Tip: Try getting up at 'school time' to get children used to the earlier mornings, aim to have had breakfast and be washed and dressed by the time you need to leave the house.

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