If your first child is fast approaching the day when he or she has to start school, there is a lot to consider. Your choice of school is critical, as a child’s introduction to learning must be fun-based if you want to develop a life-long love of learning. Of course, the school must be close by, as subjecting young kids to long car journeys is never a good idea, but there should be a few early learning programs that are within striking distance, wherever you happen to live in Australia.
Here are a few tips to ensure that you make the right choices when it comes to your first child’s education.
- Start with an online search – Google is your best friend and in no time, you will have a list of kindergartens and pre-schools in your area, which allows you to browse their websites. Create a shortlist of programs that you think deserve a personal visit and when you book a tour of the school, prepare a few questions for the school principal.
- Observe the Children During Class – This is an important step because it will show you the mood of the students and you should see an inclusive environment where the kids are engaged in activities that are designed for the young learner. There should be at least one 30-minute period in the day when the kids can choose a learning resource and experience free play, while they should also engage in movement and arts on a daily basis.
- Learning Environment – While visiting the school, particularly the classroom, you should see groups of small tables and pre-school chairs from Grocorp, a leading Australian school furniture supplier. The ideal shades in an early learning classroom are soft, pastel colours and there should be student work adorning the walls, which reinforces their self-esteem.
- School Mission & Vision Statement – Every school has their own vision and mission statement, which might be to ‘assist the learner is experimenting and learning in a safe and secure environment’ or something along those lines. When browsing school websites, take the time to find and read these statements, which very much define the school’s beliefs and visions regarding learning outcomes. Click here for a few learning strategies that actually work.
- Preparing your Child for the First Day at School – Every parent feels tension as the first day approaches and you can help by talking to your child about school; as well as taking them along for a social visit, which will go a long way towards eliminating any anxiety the child might have. Emphasise the positive when talking about school and always remember to remind your child that it is only for a few hours a day and that weekends are spent at home. It is important to keep abreast of the current Covid-19 updates from the Australian government.
It is wise to discuss the selection of schools with your partner and together, you should be able to make an informed decision and choose a school that develops your child to their fullest potential.