Skills to Make School Easier for Your Five-Year-Old
You can start your child off strong this school year by teaching them organizing skills that will carry them throughout their life. Most importantly, the establishment of routines can teach them many skills including time management, organization and accountability.
1. Begin with a nightly routine. This would include getting clothes, socks, shoes and jacket (if necessary) out the night before. This saves a huge amount of time in the morning. There is no time wasted coming to a decision about what outfit to wear the next day. Have lunch boxes laid out on the kitchen counter with all non-refrigerated items already in them and cold items conveniently stored in the refrigerator. Make sure backpacks have all folders, books, slips or any signed paperwork already tucked away. Have your child help you with gathering and setting out these items. They will see what is needed to get them out the door in the morning and will learn the key organization tool of pre-work. All these activities can happen without the time stress mornings bring.
2. Make a morning routine checklist. Make a list of what needs doing to get ready for school. Hang this list in their bedroom or bathroom. For those who don’t read, you can use pictures (either photos of them actually doing the activity or just a drawing) to guide them. For example, get dressed, make bed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, comb hair, get backpack and lunch box. This will teach them accountability for their personal responsibilities and also suggest an order in which to complete things.
3. Streamline their arrival home from school. Designate a landing spot for their backpack and another for their lunch box and have them help you empty out the contents. Have a folder system nearby to contain school paperwork. A simple basket with folders labeled “Spelling Words, Math, Reading, Homework, Permission Slips, Upcoming Events, etc” will help organize the papers that come home each day. For events, birthday invitations, and the like, make a note on the family calendar immediately.
4. When the school supplies go on sale in the fall, stock up on your own necessary supplies such as pencils, sharpeners, crayons, paper, etc. Store them in a caddy so they are easily available to the child. Have this placed at a personal desk or kitchen table where they will do their homework every day after school under your supervision.
Establishing school day routines, especially when a child is young, will guide them as to what is expected of them. It also teaches them to be accountable for their responsibilities before and after school.
These simple ideas are very easy to implement and will make a significant difference on how smoothly the child transitions into school. Have a wonderful school year! ~Alison O’Brien, House of Order Volunteer Writer
Get more great ideas from The Children You Want with the Kids You Have!
Photos from sxc.hu. Used with permission.