A positive early childhood experience affects how a child functions, as they are growing up. It enhances their brain development with a positive experience. To give preschoolers ease of transition to the primary school, we need to ensure that they are equipped with good learning attitudes and the intrinsic motivation to learn. Encouraging the student to ask peers or teachers when in doubt is beneficial for the child’s growth. In primary school, children work in larger groups, which can cause more distractions and difficulties in concentration. Therefore, it is paramount that our children imbibe strong habits of learning as early as possible.
The transition from the preschool to the primary school can be traumatic if the child is unprepared. The new style of learning and the new environment can be overwhelming for the children. Research shows that students prefer to learn with friends than sit alone to do work. Students find that in primary school, there is a lot of routine tasks, following rules and doing individual work. They need to seek a balance between school work and playtime, as they lack the latter.
Preparation for primary school affects both children and their parents. Parental involvement is important as well. They need to accept the many changes and challenges along this journey parents may be stressed as their children need to responsible for their own belongings, feelings, and even dealing with money. There may be many obstacles that both the children and parents have to face.
One difference between preschool and primary school is that preschool teachers provide updates more frequently and comprehensively than primary school teachers. The primary teacher’s main responsibility is focusing on academic work. Primary 1 students have to cope with building new relationships and handling their own conflicts among friends.
Some ways to help your child cope with the transition would be to:
- Ensure that your child is ready for school the next day e.g. textbooks are in bags, uniforms ready etc
- Guide your child to communicate with his/her teachers or peers when he/she needs help
- Allow your child to handle money
- Teach them to opt for healthy food options
- Go to the toilet independently
- Guide on organising things
- Form a routine
- Note down teachers’ instructions in a notebook
It will take time for your child and you to adapt with the transition. Setting time aside to understand your child’s progress, and cooperating with the teachers in his/her school, is essential for their education. Try your best to be present in your child’s education journey and creating fond memories for them, in tandem.