The time has finally come. Your child has graduated from kindergarten, and you'll likely have already found a suitable primary school for them. While you're excited to see them progress to a new chapter of their lives, there's always a lingering worry over whether they'll be able to adapt to an entirely new environment.
The good news is that most children will successfully make the jump to Primary 1 (or P1) with few significant issues. What's more, it's possible to ease their transition even more by helping them to master these five areas.
Being more social
Covid, unfortunately, has affected every child's freedom to mingle and play among themselves, including those who are getting ready for P1 this year or the next. They have grown up in a highly restricted social environment due to Covid protocols, which might cause them to face anxiety issues when they finally join P1.
As a parent, you will need to help your child become more comfortable interacting, sharing and eating with others. Having family meals together is a highly recommended first step to help your child become more social.
Being self-motivated (about attending school)
Your child will be making a significant transition when they finally graduate from kindergarten. They may find it anxiety-inducing if they suddenly find themselves in a mainstream primary school. As a parent, you can prepare your child to look forward to starting P1 so that this transition is not emotionally overwhelming for the child.
One way to do so is to start having conversations with the child about all the wonderful things they will experience in school - the children they will meet and the things they will learn. The other important thing is to ensure that the child follows a set bedtime schedule, getting enough sleep to wake up refreshed and energetic.
Being familiar with basic general knowledge
There are a few general skills that you should help your child with before they start school in P1.
The ability to say and respond to their name, along with the ability to speak out and ask for assistance when they need it. This will allow them to become self-reliant to a degree when they begin primary school. Being able to tell the time is another helpful skill for your child to be prepared before starting primary school. Finally, your child should hopefully be proficient with a basic level of reading and counting. Entering Primary 1 with this ability will make it easier for your child to cope with the transition. Want them to really get a headstart at school? Geniebook can help.
Be mindful of washroom etiquette and Covid hygiene protocols
Most primary schools do make ample preparations in case of any "washroom accidents." With that said, it will boost your child's confidence when they can independently and reliably express their need to use the washroom and do so with little adult support. Moreover, the ability to follow Covid hygiene protocols is an important skill to ensure their safety, such as keeping masks on, regularly washing and sanitising their hands and practicing safe distancing where applicable.
Understand cultural differences and being kind to others
It is only natural to be among people of various nationalities and cultures in a diverse country like Singapore. When your child enters P1 and goes to primary school for the first time, they will begin to interact with other children from different backgrounds. Help your child understand these differences by talking to them about the world and foreign nationalities and how living together improves the world. Your child should learn to be kind to all - a life skill that will stand them in good stead in life. You are your child's role model, so how you behave towards others is what they will learn and imitate.
Final tips to get your child ready for P1
The transition from kindergarten to primary school is an important one in your child's life. It is natural for them to face anxiety during this transition when they finally step beyond the simple confines of kindergarten.
As a parent, you can reduce your child's feelings of anxiousness during this transition and make it an experience worth anticipating. The five points highlighted in this article is a great starting step to prepare them for their first day, and will do wonders for their confidence levels.
Mentally preparing your child for primary school is just one of many steps in their academic journey. At Geniebook, one of the ways we give new P1 students an edge is with mathematics tutoring and AI-personalised worksheets.