Are You Ready For School? - Grade School Edition
Going back to school can be both exciting and nerve racking. You're excited to see your friends but nervous about what a new year has to bring. Here are a few things parents can do to help their child prepare for their upcoming grade.
Upcoming first graders should continue to read over the summer. This will help them to further develop the skills they have learned in Kindergarten. Flashcards for sight words and math facts are also a great way to stay prepared and help enhance these skills.
By this stage, your child should be well on their way with reading. Take them to the library and allow them to explore books that are of interest to them. This will help them to further enhance their reading skills and enjoy while they're doing in. You can also test their comprehension by asking them questions about what they're reading. Playing Math games online is another way to also keep their mind fresh when it comes to math facts.
Although your child may be exposed to games online, this is a great time to start or continue having an educated conversation about the interest. How we use it, what it is used for and how to be safe online. It's also a great time to start teaching them some simple research techniques about topics that may interest them (e.g., sharks, the solar system etc.)
Here is a great time to start getting your child introduced to their schedule. Co-create a schedule with them that allows them to see the activities they have scheduled, the times allotted for homework or practice time and anything else they are involved in. This will start to teach them how to manage their time and prioritize certain tasks.
If this is the stage where you decide it is time for your child to have a cell phone, this is a great opportunity to talk about online safety, the rules when using their phone and how to be safe. It is also a great time to monitor their activity on the phone and be vigilant with what they are doing. If you are against having a phone at this stage, it can also be helpful to have a conversation with your child about the same things as above and why you are choosing to not give them access to this technology as of yet.
Up until now, your child has had one main teacher. In Grade 6, most school introduce the concept of a rotary schedule, meaning they will see different teachers for different subjects. This can be a huge change for many kids and requires them to be on top of their schedules to manage the changes. They also need to keep track of when assignments are due for each class and could benefit from using a planner/agenda to record all of their deadlines.
If your child is still struggling with managing their schedules, this is a good time to keep practising this skills because most likely, the rotary schedule will continue. This is also a great time to work on their multiplication table and other math concepts they may be struggling with because as they move through the year, the concepts will become more complex and it will be harder to catch up.
As your child enters grade 8, there are more expectations to do well and succeed. Continue to have those conversations about online activity and start speaking to them about how their reputation matters. Online activity and school grades can impact how their future takes shape. Many kids don't think about this stuff until it's too late to change it. Remind them that this is the year where their grades, their attitude and how they uphold themselves on social media will shape their high school careers and beyond.