Generation COVID Article
Is your Generation COVID preschooler ready for Kindy or Prep?
The first day of school can be emotional, but for children who have spent significant portions of their lives in some form of lockdown, this can be even more tricky.
Early child development experts from Firbank Grammar School say that this new generation of school starters will be the first in modern schooling history with limited social and practical skills because of the isolation they have experienced in their formative development.
To help parents integrate their young ones into an ever-pivoting world, Firbank has created a handy checklist full of tips and tricks along with essential early learning milestones that can be achieved at home.
Firstly, you need to establish if your choice of school is ready to integrate your Generation COVID child. Do they have plans prepared for a cohort of children who may have never developed the skills they need to start school, due to lockdowns?
The checklist advises that while some kids who have siblings might already dress up in their old uniforms ready for ‘big school’, other children will have no idea precisely what is in store for them.
That’s why it’s essential to overcome these unfortunate COVID disadvantages and help them prepare for not only school but how to deal with the constantly changing environment when one week you’re at school and the next you are not.
Children rely on routine to know what to expect in their lives and feel safe. These past two years have delivered anything but a stable environment needed to transition into the school from home. Simple things like learning nonverbal communication from people other than your immediate family are hard when you have never seen an un-masked face.
Does your child know how to open and close a lunch box? Can they put it back in their bag? These simple tasks can start to be integrated into your daily life to ease the transition into school.
One thing you can do is have your child help prepare their sacks in the morning and put them into a lunch box. Let them know that the food is for snack time, then set an alarm on your phone. When it rings, tell your child it is snack time – not before or after.
Usually, children will have a slow introduction to Prep. Schools should have clear programs to introduce teachers to prep students before they start using technology with their parents for learning. If the child isn’t familiar with their teacher and classroom, they will be at a disadvantage.
The list also advises running through some new elements such as school bags, booklets and uniform before the first day to build familiarity.
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