How to prepare for school: skills your child should have

25 June 2016

Every child should master some important skills before their first day of school. Lots of children at primary school are not taught to use the toilet, or follow the simplest instructions, and cannot even explain what needs to be understood. Some parents fail to teach their children the necessary skills and their children struggle at school, which makes learning complicated and doesn’t bring any pleasure to children.

Your child should feel happy and confident about this new stage of his life. It will be easier for your child to adapt to his school routine if he has some simple basic skills already mastered. You should explain to your child what he should expect at school, and what teachers and classmates expect of him. This will help your child to be emotionally prepared for school life.


Your child should be able to use the toilet independently. Lots of children are simply ashamed to use the toilet in front of so many unknown people, and wet or soil themselves during the day at school. That can be a real problem, and teachers may blame parents for not preparing children for school life. It takes up a lot of the teacher’s time to stop and solve these problems for the child. Make sure your child knows where to find the bathroom at school and how to ask for permission to use it when he needs to. Also, please make sure your child knows how and when to wash his hands.

The next skill your child should master is putting on and taking off his coat. Students play outside, and your child should be ready to do so quickly. Teach your child to use the zippers, laces, and buttons so he doesn’t have trouble at school. Making sure that your child can use a spoon and fork is also very important. If you pack lunch for him, please make sure your child is able to open his lunch box; he must know how to peel bananas or open a yogurt pot. Children are often afraid of a big noisy dining hall, full of other people, and it’s important to go through the procedure of remembering where his seat is and what he must do at lunch time.


Last but not least, your child has to learn not to be afraid to speak up. He must know that the teacher is in charge and that it’s necessary to listen to the teacher and not interrupt during the lessons. But along with that, your child must know that he should put his hand up to speak or to get the teacher’s attention. He must not be afraid of asking for going to the bathroom or for teacher’s attention if he has a problem. Making eye contact with an adult and not to being too shy or afraid to explain his needs is an important skill for your child. It might be helpful for you to play some games before your child starts school, taking roles of a teacher and a student, to help your child get ready for school.

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