Once, a passenger onboard a plane was greeted by the air-steward who said, “Hi Sir, I served you onboard the last time,” to which the passenger replied, “Holiday’s over. A great year is about to begin!”
Like the passenger, we can certainly look back with pride as we embark on another exciting time for our children, some starting school for the first time, to achieve their milestones in the new year.
Opportunities abound with more to learn, more friendships to forge and greater discoveries to make, all through fun and engaging activities. With the Champion Mindset and the Education and Life philosophy of 100% Respect Zero Fear, coupled with the practical checklist below on how to start the year, the beginning of 2017 will prove a fruitful time for all.
1. Make Use of Your Public Holidays – especially New Year’s Day
It proves great to have New Year’s Day because after all that partying and celebration, we all need a day off to sleep well, wind down and get our children ready for school.
On this day, tell your child about school, explaining that it will be a new place filled with a kind teacher and kids that are his age. Open up his school bag together with him, and delightfully explain to him some fun activities in his text book. Once you see that joy on his face, tell him there are more to come, together with nice, yummy food, a fun time with other children, singing and art.
Remember to let your child know that you will be waiting for him to tell you all about school on the first day when you pick him up. That way, you can gauge your child’s response and experience at school, doing the necessary to balance out the details for him, such as getting him more stationery.
2. Thoughtful Orientation Programmes
As most schools offer orientation programmes, be sure you attend them because they offer you some vital facts surrounding the school, such as information about the school premises, classrooms and gyms. At times, information will be obtained from you and documented on paper or digitally during orientation.
MindChamps’ orientation for parents are superbly thoughtful and exhaustive, applicable not just for the start of Playgroup, Nursery and Kindergarten but for all Champs who are commencing classes basically. What is more, at orientation, Champs meet their teachers, with whom they will be spending a lot of time.
In addition, your child will familiarise himself with the school premises, while you gain an understanding of the key learning outcomes and what to prepare for your child through the curriculum talk/update. This usually occurs at the start of the year. This is applicable to all Champs, whether they are starting school for the first time or otherwise.
3. Play with Your Child, for a Securely-attached Kid
In the book Talking with the Sky, authors Brian Caswell and David Chiem address the secret behind “securely-attached children” who are “able to separate from parent with confidence.” The secret to such children lies in the fact that their parents tend to play more with them.
The book lists the quote from Reverend Jesse Jackson, “Your children need your presence more than your presents.”
Thus, spend quality time in playing and bonding with your child; the benefits could well be seen on the first day of school, when your child is able to enjoy school right from the start, fully aware that Mummy will be there for him when school is over.
The book continues to explore that “bonding with children is different from spoiling them,” and that bonding is “the easiest parenting task of all”, being the “least expensive too”.
And all it takes is a hug. So go ahead, plan for the first day of school with a hug!
4. Make Friends
Another confident booster for your child lies in making friends. When conversing with your child about school, throw light on how interesting it will be for her to find out about the similarities as well as differences there are to the friends around her. Nurture her inquisitive nature as a child to find out about the right things, such as cultural differences and different pets. Before you know it, your child will have good friends so that she will enjoy school in this aspect too.
5. Establish A Sound Sleep Routine
Your child will probably be highly excited with all the occurrences at school, including the new friends he’s made, so understandably, you’d have to introduce a wind down time so that your child can get the necessary sleep he needs.
In Talking with the Sky, Caswell and Chiem write about the importance of sleep, as it affects children’s concentration the following day. Indeed, at the tender age when “three- to 10-year-olds need 10-12 hours [of sleep] a night,” the authors suggest that “children spend 30 minutes unwinding with a quiet activity such as doing a jigsaw puzzle, reading a book or quietly playing with a favourite toy before starting their bedtime routine.”
The bedtime routine takes another 30 minutes and they include wearing pyjamas, brushing teeth, a goodnight hug and then soft music.
“This way, your child will anticipate sleep at a non-conscious level.”
Indeed, that is sound advice, and your child will be ready for school the next day, all fresh and ready for more learning.
Find out more about MindChamps PreSchool, the industry leader with Number 1 market share in premium range preschools in Singapore.
This article was first published in the MindChamps blog.