3 Tips to Begin Elementary School Successfully
It’s not always easy for children to accept changes that transform their life in a more or less drastic way. Going from preschool to kindergarten can be a hard step for kids, so it’s important to help them begin elementary school successfully.
Many children look forward to this transition, in a sense, because going to school with older kids makes them feel proud and happy. However, at the same time, it can be hard for some students to adapt to the more structured setting of grade school. This can occur even with students that didn’t have any particular difficulties in preschool. In kindergarten, children may feel a bit lost in the crowd among so many other students.
What’s more, during this transition, many students lose sight of the classmates they had during their time in preschool. Therefore, they have to adapt to a new environment as well as a group of classmates they may not even know.
In addition, they may have to adapt to other small changes as well, such as navigating a larger building, using stairs, etc. While they seem minor, these are still significant challenges for small children.
Of course, we must also consider the fears and concerns of family members. In other words, for parents and even for grandparents, aunts and uncles, and older siblings, the transition into elementary school implies greater responsibility. It involves new teachers, adaptation, the purchasing of more school supplies, transportation, homework, etc…
Transitioning from preschool to elementary school
Our intention here isn’t to scare you or cause you to worry. In general, this transition isn’t a cause for great concern. However, it’s important to understand that it may be difficult for some children.
It’s important to be aware that, at this point of their lives, children are transitioning from the preoperational stage to the concrete operational stage. According to Piaget, children reach the concrete operational stage of development around the ages of 6 or 7. In other words, this shift occurs naturally in children, and schools simply echo it in order to adapt accordingly.
During this new stage of development, children begin to reason logically. This is precisely the time when they begin to make collections, improve their mathematical skills, etc.
Therefore, educational institutions implement transition plans. In other words, they prepare activities that suit the age and developmental stage of children that are beginning elementary school. What’s more, they adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of this age group.
How to help children begin elementary school successfully
When children transition from preschool to elementary school, all of the agents involved in the educational process can contribute. For example, teachers have the task of working with children that are used to a more relaxed classroom environment where they can move about as they please. Parents, at the same time, may feel particularly worried about this transition.
Improving attention and mental exercises in children
During this stage, it’s very important for children to be able to concentrate more and take turns. To help your kids out at home, you can have them do exercises that improve their memory. For example, board games or card games are a great way to increase attention and retention. Use simple games, like Parcheesi, memory, go fish, etc.
Reading and writing are constants from the time children reach the age of 6. In other words, just when they’re starting kindergarten and first grade. So, with that in mind, if you want to help little ones improve their spelling and learn fast, reading is the answer.
Increase the amount of time you spend reading at home with your children, without pressure or imposition. Use stories, age-appropriate children’s books, etc.
Motivation to do homework
The beginning of elementary school often marks the beginning of one of the biggest challenges of a child’s academic journey: Homework. Having to do schoolwork at home can be an uphill battle for a lot of kids. They need the help and reinforcement of adults and, in many cases, a lot of motivation.
That being said, it’s important to clarify that homework is the child’s responsibility – not the parents’. You can give your children a hand, but don’t do their homework for them.
Conclusion on how to help children begin elementary school successfully
When it comes to other activities, we can encourage children to take on new roles. For example, they can get dressed by themselves in the morning in order to feel more responsible and autonomous.
Finally, as parents, we can’t forget that, in order to make this transition easier, we need to follow the recommendations of teachers and experts. Our children need our support throughout this process.