When parents find out I used to be a primary school teacher, there is one question I get asked overwhelmingly ahead of all the rest. Particularly when it comes to those who have children who are only a few years away from starting primary school.
What can I do to give my child a head start when it comes to starting school?
It seems everyone is always in a big race to get their child ready for school and when you think about it, it’s not hard to understand why. Navigating those years before your child officially enters formal education can be a minefield.
You’re battling conflicting advice from those around you such as your own parents, your grandparents, your brothers, sisters and friends who had children before you. Not to mention the advice you get from those who helped you through your pregnancy such as midwives, nurses and doctors. Then throw into the mix support systems such as mothers’ groups and Google, and all of a sudden, you’re being bombarded with information from every angle about what is the ‘best’.
Not to mention the fact that you also need to do what feels right for you when it comes to raising your children. You want to feel your way through, forge your own path and learn the ropes on your own, which is both understandable and reasonable.
"What can I do to give my child a head start when it comes to starting school?" Image via iStock.
So when most parents receive my response to this question, they usually breathe a great big sigh of relief as though I’ve given them validation that what they’re doing is enough. A smaller proportion look at me in bewilderment, waiting for the punch line as though I’ve told them some hilarious joke.
But when it comes to doing the best for your child in the lead up to starting ‘big school’, it’s really quite simple. Get ready for it because here it comes and it can be reduced down to just three simple words.