There is little doubt that the first term of school can be a big step for some children. Although some kids seem to take to classroom settings like a duckling takes to water, others do find the demands of classes, however informal they may be, a challenge. In order to help youngsters prepare for the demands of a classroom each day, it is good to build their confidence up. And, what's more, there are plenty of ways you can achieve it.
Explore Creative Avenues
So much early schooling revolves around understanding word formations, recognising letters and numbers and getting to grips with holding a pencil, that there is often not much creative opportunity on offer. Pre-school age children can get a great deal out of things like singing lessons, where they can shine. Preschool dance classes, such as Ready Set Dance, for example, are a great way of learning to coordinate body movements, develop concentration and learn a way of expressing yourself. Even holding a paintbrush and going for it with forming an image from scratch can help to build confidence with creativity.
Use Role Play
Children who have not yet been exposed to a classroom can find the idea daunting, so use role play to get them used to the idea of what will go on. For example, you could set up your dining room as a pretend classroom with the table being used as a desk. Take the role of the teacher to explain what is going on and set some 'work' which should be easily achievable and rewarded, when completed. Crucially, parents should reverse the roles so their child plays 'teacher' while they play 'student'. This helps to reinforce the positive messages about schools and reinforces self-confidence.
Utilise the Power of Sport
Gaining skills in any sport is great for children's self image. It really does not matter what sort of sport you want to do, so long as kids can understand they are getting better and making progress. Why not try a short run in the park from one tree to another and time it or measure a standing jump? Over time, pre-school age children will get the message that they are improving their abilities, helping them to understand that schooling is much the same, that is taking small steps to achieve a wider goal. Set sporting tasks for your kids in which they improve against their own prior performance to build up confidence and avoid too much competition between children at this stage of their development.