Making sure that your child has a solid foundation when starting at school is important. Here are tips to help you at it. Picture Cindy Waxa.
Making sure that your child has a solid foundation when starting at school is important. Here are tips to help you at it. Picture Cindy Waxa.

This is why setting routines is important for your Grade R -1 learner

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Sep 21, 2021

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Preparing your child for Grade 1 requires some key elements so as to ensure that your child is ready and able to take on the academic year, most especially now that they will be expected to be more independent and to play less.

Jenny Trollip, Head of Department at St Martin’s Junior Preparatory Phase, is encouraging parents to begin getting their child into the routine in preparation for Grade 1.

Here are the key elements you have to put in place:.

Establish a morning routine

Your child should follow the same sequence of activities each morning so that it becomes an automatic chain of tasks. This leads to a sense of independence on the part of your child. A suggested morning routine could include the following: wake up, breakfast, ablutions, get dressed, collect school bag and lunch, walk to the car.

Set up an evening routine

The aim of this routine is to calm your child. They can relax knowing that they are prepared for the next day at school. Ideas for this routine could include taking out the school uniform, bath time, quiet play with no screen time, story time, and finally, bedtime. A Grade 1 child should be in bed between 19.30 and 20.00.

Allocate a homework space

Your child will require a place to do their homework where distractions are limited. Have specific stationery available so that they can complete the given tasks properly. Create a homework routine, with a specific time, sequence of activities to be followed and end off with packing the school suitcase. Homework in Grade 1 needs to be supervised by an adult who can create a positive environment.

Prepare a healthy snack box

Discuss nutritious options and treats with your child. Prepare a menu together. Take into consideration that these snacks will have to sustain your child for at least six hours at school.

Communication is key

When your child starts Grade 1, make sure that as parents, you are on the school App and class Dojo, or whatever communication mechanism is used at the school so that you know what is happening and do not miss out on special days.

In addition to establishing a routine, parents can take time to prepare their children for this new phase in their lives by:

• Reading to their child.

• Teaching their child songs, nursery rhymes and poems.

• Take your children on excursions to, for example, museums.

• Make regular opportunities for play-dates.

• Play games so that your child starts recognising colours, numbers, and letters.

Cherish moments spent with your child and enjoy their school journey with them. Grade 1 is exciting, and memories made in this year should be filled with laughter and enjoyment.

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