Last week my eldest finished school, we still have another 7 years though of being the parents of school aged children.
I am grateful I had four, as I get to extend it out for a while! It is a little bonkers as I lie in bed at the moment and think to myself that I have a child at schoolies. Not the Goldie, but away for the week with his friends.
All the little baby steps that we have been taking together to get to this point. It feels a little like “and just like that he was gone”…
Life seems to be made up of all of these little moments that get our children to the space of readiness for the next space.
You know when they are little and you get that false sense of – I am on top of this and then nope you get the reminder that in fact you are not as they change it up for you. Just as it starts to get a bit easier.
I was thinking about all the parents who are facing their eldest starting school next year. I recall that like it was just yesterday!
As a speech pathologist there are a few things I can encourage you to think about prior to the big day.
On a personal level I think being able to:
• make friends,
• separate from you,
• stay awake for 6 hours, and
• open lunch boxes and packaging are the critical elements.
I remember when my now “old boy” was going into school and he is a fairly shy and quiet child and a friend would say “Hi” and he would say nothing…and I would say to him “when someone says hello, you have to say hi back – it is what we do” and he would say to me “I did say hi” and I would then say “you have to say hi out loud so they can hear it, not just in your head gorgeous boy”.
These skills are super important as we transition to school.
Some kids do them remarkably easily and for others it is a learning curve.
There are other skills that are easy enough to teach most kids, such as early literacy skills. Some of the most important of these are just knowing what a word is, what a letter is, what a sound is.
Speech Pathologists call these skills metalinguistic skills – this is the ability to talk about language.
Also, understanding the language of the classroom.
When we are first learning language we talk about the things that are very much in front of us.
The ‘here and now’ elements, however as we transition into school knowing how to talk about the ‘there and then’ becomes very important.
Using language to predict and describe not just what is in front of us but also what is not.
I will do a webinar focusing on these language skills to be ready for the classroom.