How to help your little one to let go when it's time for school
Preschoolers and kindergarteners are sometimes reluctant to let go when it's time to fall in line, and head into the classroom. There can be tears, and outbursts, and even the occasional fist pounding on the floor. What can be done to calm the child and persuade them to join their classmates?
At Saint Joseph School, we ensure that every child knows his or her worth, and that they play an integral part in every school day. Teachers and aides assign children various tasks within the classroom setting, so that the children know that they are needed and valued. These mini-responsibilities help even the most reticent child relax into a routine, knowing that he or she plays an important role in the classroom every day. Positive reinforcement for a job well done can go a long way towards encouraging full and present participation.
Children in the lower grades are paired with students from the upper grades in a variety of ways throughout the academic year. Together, they participate in reading activities, community service projects, relay races, religious celebrations, and school wide contests. At SJS, we believe that student mentoring can have a tremendous impact on both the learner and the teacher. And little ones have the opportunity to "adopt" an older brother or sister, and benefit from a nearby and willing role model.
Teachers and aides at SJS believe that a successful school experience is the result of a team approach, with parent, teacher, and student involved in open dialogue. Even the youngest student participates - at an appropriate level according to age - in two conferences during the school year, where she or he helps to direct the review and evaluation of school work and progress. This process allows the student a genuine investment in tracking their progress and helps them understand first hand the importance of participating at their best on a daily basis.
And of course, there are special events and activities throughout the year, designed to hold students' attention and capture their imaginations, too. This year, we've added several shared activities for preschool and kindergarten students to experience together, further emphasizing the importance of students learning from other students.
We all know that preschool and kindergarten prepares little ones for the grammar school years. But more than that, SJS encourages children to spread their wings with manageable responsibilities, big-kid friends, and self-evaluation in a safe and comfortable environment. So, when it's time to say good bye as school begins, your little one will know that the day will bring all sorts of wonderful and welcome moments.
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