The biggest possible change for children making the transition into school is the rush of sudden independence. You leave your little one at the gate and off they go. Former preschool children may find the initial departure from the arms of their parents a little easier, but eventually they will notice the difference when introduced to a structured setting involving a decreased ratio of children to adults.
Due to the Coronavirus the planned transition to school for your child will be different this year, we understand that this will make you feel nervous, particularly in relation to them having the confidence to separate from you when they initially start, especially after spending so much quality time with you. This is a natural feeling so please do not worry. Remain positive when talking to your child about starting school as children will pick up on your emotions.
If your child is enrolled with Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries Group, then they will have spent time away from you. During this time, they had the opportunity to develop their personal, social and emotional skills which help to build self-confidence and self-esteem. You can continue to encourage these skills at home, ensuring your child has both the social and practical skills to succeed at school.
Remember every child is different, some children may settle into school quickly whilst others may take a little longer and need additional support. This is completely natural, and we have put together the following steps to help make the separation for you and your child as smooth as possible.
Visual timetables are made up of sequences of pictures, photos or symbols which represent the plan for your and your child’s day. These images should be individual for your child’s routine and home environment. You can even have a discussion with your little one to decide on the image they associate most with different times of day, such as a knife and fork for dinner time and a ball for outdoor play.
You can attach the images to a piece of card on a Velcro strip. This will make it easier for you to move the images when your routine changes day to day. Depending on where you are going to display your visual timetable, you can place the images from left to right, or top to bottom. However, it is best if you can position the timetable to be accessed by your child.
Visual timetables are a great tool to help the preschool children understand their daily routine and what is expected of them.
Children respond well to a routine and you can help to alleviate their anxiety and frustration by including them in the daily routine, so they can understand what is going to happen now and later.
The visual timetable also helps your child to understand when something is finished. This helps them to understand transitions from one activity to another. This is an important lesson for them to learn in preparation for school, as they are encouraged to enjoy free play in the early years at nursery, where they play with whatever they want, for as long as they want. However, once they go to school they must follow their teachers’ instruction on what to do and when activities must end to start working on something different. The visual timetable is a gentle introduction where children can get used to moving from one activity to another at certain times of day.
Work with your little one to create your visual timetable at home, explaining all the while what you will be using it for and answering any questions they may have. If they already attend a nursery within the Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries Group, they may already recognise it.
The visual timetable is best for children over 3 years old. For children under the age of two, a now and then board can be used in the same way to give them a more general idea of the routine, covering larger areas of time, such as breakfast, playtime, lunch, nap time, outside play, dinner time, then bedtime.
We would love to see the visual timetables you make with your little one and receive feedback on how your child is finding the timetable. Make sure to share with us by tagging @KiddiCaru on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #visualtimetable
Just like adults, the more children know about school and what to expect, the more confident they will feel. Children learn best through play and fun, so why not create a ‘Starting School Box’?
You can have them decorate it as part of a fun art and craft activity, using a variety of tools and items around the house. As well as, collate a range of items to go inside to help them understand more about their school and the friends that may be going there too.