Getting your child ready for kura is a combined effort by your home-based educator and yourselves.
Home-based childcare provides your babies with a home-like environment that fosters strong emotional ties between child and caregiver when they arguably need it most. Coming into pre-school years, even home-base educators start working on a more structured learning approach to help your child be better prepared for kura or school.
Among the principles of a good transition to school programme that our home-based educators are encouraged to follow are:
- Building social skills and self-confidence through interactions with people outside their home. Our home-based educators often take children under their care into the community to play groups, libraries and playgrounds to encourage these social skills.
- Developing early language and numeracy skills. At ages three and four, your child’s brain is like a sponge trying to soak up every drop of knowledge. You’ll see a lot of reading, number play and educational watching come into action with our home-based educators encouraging these early learning skills into Tamariki.
- Refining fine motor skills through carefully chosen activities like playing with beads.
- Home-based educators will also encourage you to become more structured with your children as they get into the pre-school years. Things like putting their bags in one place, taking out their lunch box, and arriving and departing at assigned hours all go towards building a routine for the children that is more aligned with school.
Here are some of the things you can do at home to prepare your child for school.
- Talk to your child in advance and tell them where they will be going and what they will be doing.
- Talk openly about school and tell them stories about your most enjoyable moments at school.
- Take your child to visit the school. Show your child where they will be going and where the important places are in the school such as classrooms, toilets, canteen, and office.
- Answer any questions they may have openly and honestly reassuring them that everything is OK.
- Attend orientation, buddy and transition programs at the school if these are available.
- Talk about friends, about saying goodbye to old friends and making new friends.
- Explain that there will be rules to follow – like getting to school on time, eating times and no running in hallways.
- If you know any other families starting at the same school think about arranging a play date for the children.