I’ve been a bit slow with social media and blog posts lately as I have been taking a break from some of the extra work stuff I do outside of seeing clients in my clinic.
This is so I can spend as much time doing fun things with my little boys this summer. Particularly with my eldest, who is starting school in September.
The last few weeks, my emotions have been running high about this.
One moment I’m thinking: “ Yes he is so ready and so am I - get that child to school” (mostly after the 10th request for a snack)
To the next: “ My baby!!! where did time go!? (watery eyes).
As a parent, I’m not quite sure what I’m doing.
However, As a Speech and Language Therapist, these are my top communication tips to help with the transition to school:
1/ Think about the new words and language your child may be using at school and try to familiarise them with them.
For example, making sure they know their teacher’s name and their class name.
Talk about the school, school day and their new routine so they know what to expect and understand some of the new things that will be happening.
Talk about play/ break time and assemblies so they know what they are.
2/ Practise look and listen activities.
Finding things in a book, sharing a puzzle together, playing matching games.
Having a break from pre school over the summer holidays can be a long time for little ones and they can get out of the habit of using these skills with more relaxed routines.
Attention and listening skills will help your child develop the attention skills to fully engage in activities in reception.
3/ Give time and space for questions.
Talk regularly about big school when you're relaxed and have time to talk, so they have an opportunity to tell you any of their worries.
Beware of different behaviours your child may be displaying such being more emotional or naughty during these days leading up to the start of big school. They may be their way of showing that they have worries or anxieties.
4/ Model language they may need at school.
For example, I’ve been talking to my son about making friends.
We don’t know anyone going to the same school that we know of and he’s super excited at the prospect of new friends but also worried he might not have anyone to play with.
I’ve given him some examples of what he could say to other children to get talking such “hello, I’m ____, what’s your name?” Or that he could ask “what’s your favourite toy?”, “do you like to play Paw Patrol?” Or something similar. We practise these together whilst talking about making new friends.
Kids won’t necessarily always know what to say in new situations but preparing them with some key questions and answers and practicing a few scenarios such as asking for the toilet or help with something will help them in those first few days.
I hope these tips have been useful and good luck to everyone starting their new big adventure this week - I know quite a lot of my little clients are!