If your child is starting school in September then getting them as prepared as possible will help them to transition from their forest kindergarten to their new environment.
All the team across our kindergartens realise this step is vital to a child’s development and therefore work hard to prepare them the best they can. Below we have outlined some things you, as a parent can do to help remove any feelings of anxiety or nerves before the big day.
Make the transition to school an exciting one rather than a daunting experience. Get your child as involved as possible, for example, buying their first school uniform, PE kit and getting a new book bag. Share your experiences of school with them and get the whole family to join in!
Home visits and settling in sessions
Find out if your chosen school offers home visits. This will really help your child to feel more comfortable around their new teacher and will help to ease any first day nerves as they will see a familiar face. The teachers will also get to learn more about your child and what they like and don’t like doing.
Most schools will also provide settling in sessions, which will give your child a chance to go and see their new teacher in the classroom environment. We’ve found this to be very beneficial and a lot of children come away feeling very excited about the prospect of starting school after this experience.
The majority of our forest kindergartens will put up boards with pictures of the school teachers, so they have a face they recognise when they start. We would also encourage you to speak to other parents at the kindergarten to see if your child’s friends will also be starting with them.
Ask siblings to help
Older siblings can really help to encourage your younger one that school is not scary. Ask them to chat with their brother or sister positivity about starting school and reassure them that they’ll look out for them in the first few weeks of school.
Manners and politeness
This is obviously something that children are taught from a young age and we assist this at their forest kindergarten, however, as a parent, this step can be nurtured and improved whilst at home. Get your child used to sitting at the dinner table and eating properly with their knife and fork. Meal times at our kindergartens are purposely structured parts of the day, as this teaches children the importance of routine.
Further develop their skills
Getting a head start on certain life skills will make your child feel at ease when they start school, assisting them with the following motor skills can be beneficial:
How to hold a pen properly
Using the toilet
Start your new routine early
Getting your child to understand that there will be a new routine once they start school and leaving plenty of time to get ready can help to avoid those early morning rushes.
Acknowledge their worries
Children deal with this transition in all sorts of ways, so it’s important to understand the feelings they will be experiencing coming up to this important stage in their life. Hopefully they will feel excited about this new chapter but some may be feeling anxious.
Discuss their fears with them so you understand what it is they might be worrying about. Discussing these worries with their current kindergarten teacher and new teacher will also mean they can be tackled quicker.
Contact your forest kindergarten Manager
We understand that this can also be a stressful time for you as a parent (but hopefully also exciting!), and sometimes just chatting through the process with us will help you. All our kindergartens managers are happy to discuss any questions you have about the transition from forest kindergarten to school.
All contact information for each of our kindergartens can be found here.