Here comes the year of 2021 and our 6-year-old kids have now graduated from their pre-schooling years. So, what's their next learning stage then? You are right, they are now going to have their first year of primary schooling! Most children are excited as they get to buy new uniforms, school bags and even a new set of stationery. However, we should acknowledge that our children might experience some negative emotions during the transition of the new learning environment. Emotions Experienced by Children in New Settings Photo credit to Pexels During the first few months of their transitions into the primary school, it is normal for our kids to feel out of place. Some of them might feel overwhelmed and frustrated as they find it hard to make friends in their classes. Some might even refuse to go to school as they are afraid of going into the a new learning environment! As our children are not used to longer learning hours in primary schools, they will find it difficult to sit still for a long time initially. They might feel bored during the lessons that they daydream and some even fall asleep during the lessons. So, it is normal for us as teachers to see the year-one children walking around the class without permission, running around and even dozing off in the class. No matter how chaotic the classroom situation will be, our children will eventually learn how they should behave during their primary schooling. To ensure that they are more well-prepared, try out the following 4 ways with your children now. We teachers would really appreciate the parents' effort to work together with us so that our year-one children can enjoy a better schooling experience. You can check out more about what to expect from a 6-8 years old kid to understand your children's behaviours. 4 Ways to Prepare Your Year One Children for Primary Schooling #1: Read more books Photo credit to Pexels The primary schooling syllabus has transformed during these recent years and the difficulty level has surely increased. For instance, for Malay Language, the new KSSR syllabus requires our year-one children to build sentences based on pictures by midyear. As for Chinese Language, the new syllabus requires our children to read a short paragraph with a few sentences too. So, can you see how important it is to guide our children to read more at home? Once our children know how to read a short text smoothly, they will have more confidence in learning in the primary schooling setting. On the other hand, if your children struggle with reading short texts at school, they will be left behind and they will gradually lose their interest in learning. How can you prevent this scenario from happening then? You can guide your children to read. Be a role model by reading books to your children. Get them to repeat the sentences that you have read through and ask them to read again the next day. Be patient during the process, give our children more compliments and you will see the result in no time! #2: Walk your children through the school compound\u00a0 Photo credit to 30.com.my In order to reduce the anxiety of primary schooling, you can first brief your children about how the school looks like. Under the permission from the school administration, you can walk around the school compound with your children. You can first introduce where the toilets, staffroom and canteen are and explain to them what they can do in these locations. No worry if you do not have the time to walk them through the school compound. Their class teachers will equally conduct this during the first few weeks of our children's primary schooling. However, our children would certainly feel better if we are the one who guides them through the school compound. They would be more willing to ask more questions to clarify their doubts. If you have not followed up with any further actions after checking the primary school registration result, make sure you read through the necessary steps and take action now. #3: Practise necessary sentences for request and permission Photo credit to sohu.com Scenarios such as year-one pupils peeing in their pants and crying out loud when they are not feeling well can actually be avoided. As parents, we can start by assuring our children that they can ask for help from their teachers. Never instil the misconception that teachers are fierce. When we tell our children that teachers are fierce, they are less likely to ask for help and permission. They are afraid that they might get punished. Instead of saying they might get 'rotan'\u00a0if they do not behave well in the class, let's educate them on how to ask for help and permission politely. Get our children to practise questions and sentences such as 'May I go the washroom, teacher?', 'I'm not feeling well, teacher' and 'Can you help me, teacher?'. Explain to them too about when is the right time to ask a question. Furthermore, we can also paste or place our phone numbers on our children's pencil cases and school bags. This is to ensure that we can be contacted immediately during any emergency situation. #4: Discuss about what to expect in primary schooling Photo credit to Pexels Instead of letting our children feeling the butterflies in their stomach, why don't we sit and talk with them about their anxiety? We can first discuss what they would see and experience in their new learning environment. Listen to our children about what is bothering them and then tell them what can be done to feel better. If our children do not know how to make friends, help them to learn and practise social skills such as sharing. You can make the first move by preparing more food. Ask our children to share with their friends. We can get our children to share their stationery with their classmates too. About our children's stationery, it is essential to educate our children to take care of their own belongings too. Train them to keep their belongings at where they should be placed. If possible, we can also label their names on their belongings. It is easier for them and others to recognise their belongings. Mind that at school, there are a lot of dumped water bottles, food containers and stationery that have cost extra space and waste. So, let's help our children to create a cleaner learning environment by ensuring them to take care of their belongings. Furthermore, we should guide our children to organise their school bags daily. Only bring subject books that will be used based on their timetable. Guide them to arrange their books according to the size of the books and subjects. It is extremely important as it will save a lot of time during the lesson. This will make them be aware of what subjects they are going to have the following day. Why is it so? Reflecting on my teaching experience, children with an unorganized school bag will need more time in preparing themselves during the lesson. It can take up to 20 minutes just to look for an exercise book! With this, they will most likely to be left behind and sometimes, it might even disrupt the flow of the whole lesson! Our Children Can Have A Better Primary Schooling Experiences Our children can have an exciting and fun primary schooling year if we help them to envision about their new schooling experience. Always provide more support and encouragement so that our children can have higher self-esteem and confidence when they are learning at school. As the number of the COVID-19 cases spike, we ask every parent to prepare their children well during the upcoming school reopening. Stay calm as the ministry of education will announce the procedure of the school reopening under the new norm.