Singapore's Mom blog - Raising Our Successful Children is where I share about character building and home learning activities to help develop the potential of children. In addition, I am sharing on how I can raise my children up as Singaporeans. As a mother of 3, I have a simple philosophy for raising my children - I want to prepare my children to be ready for the real world and be a successful person.
If your first born is entering P1 next year, it must be an exciting time for you and your child. Well, I was feeling exactly the same 2 years ago when my first born enters Primary School.
You must be looking forward to Orientation Day. But there are a few important things that you must do for that day and on that day.
Top of the list,
1) Prepare your child to give an introductory speech.
Your child will be ushered into his/her new class while you stay in the hall for the talk. During his/her time in class, the teacher will get each child to introduce themselves to the classmates. So, don't go unprepared. Just a very simple one will do.
" Good morning/afternoon teachers and friends. My name is ___________________. I love playing with trains. I am so excited to be in Primary School. I hope to make some friends and have fun learning together with all of you. Thank you.
In some schools, the children are asked to do a simple worksheet. Reassure your child that there is no stress about it. The teacher just wants to find out about your child as much as they can during this short time.
2) Remind your child to make friends with at least 3 classmates and remember the 3 names.
Being in a new environment and with so many strangers around can be a little overwhelming for your child. But your child has to seize this opportunity to make friends. Being through school ourselves, we all know how important friends are. Having friends means having support and help in the future for your child. So simply, ask your child to do the following:
a) Approach someone (during the interaction time).
b) Introduce yourself again by stating your name.
c) Ask for the person's name.
" Hello. ( Perhaps, teach your child how to initiate a handshake?) I'm Emmanuel. What's your name? Nice to meet you. " Or the more kiddy way, like my son would say "Let's be friends".
3) Parents, make friends yourself and get some of their handphone numbers.
Ensure that you get to know the other parents from the same class. This will form your support circle for the next 2 years. In most schools, parents of the same class will be ushered into a class to complete the administrative work. Use the opportunity to get to know other parents and most important, get some of their handphone numbers. Don't be afraid to ask, because there are many of them who will be eager to get yours too.
You can consider setting up a parents' chat group.
In my daughter’s school, during orientation, we will elect a parents’ representative and he/she is in charge to creating a whatsapp group to include all the parents in class. I find it very useful as it is so much easier for us as parents to clarify things or communicate with other parents. Also, if your child is absent, you can even check what homework there are for the day. However, you need to be cautious when having such group. Don’t let the group be changed into a group which is negative, which constantly complains about everything in school.
Luckily for me, the parents' chat group have been very supportive and is an important source of information.
4) Bring your child and visit the General Office.
The first month of school can be very very eventful. Your child might miss the school bus, lose the wallet or forgett to bring money for recess. So, it is important for your child to know where to get help. Hence, bring your child and tell him/her that this is the place where they are seek help from. Ensure them that the General Office will render them any help that they need.
Staff Room is another alternative. However, in the first few weeks, your child might still be confused over "who is who" and may not even remember the name of the form teacher. There could be a few " Mrs whatever" in school. So, General Office is the most direct place for me.
This is what I will tell my child.
" This is the General Office. You need to remember this place. If you ever need any help, come to the General Office and someone will help you. Don't be afraid to ask for help. The General Office has Mummy and Daddy's number. They will call us if there is anything urgent. So, remember to come to the General Office for help."
5) Check out the canteen food and prices.
When school starts, you may not have a chance to visit the school canteen anymore. In most schools, parents are not allowed to enter school during school hours. In some schools, you may visit your child during recess time during the first 3 days, but you might not be able to get to your child in the canteen.
Thus, during orientation day, visit the school canteen and check out the prices. This will help you to determine how much pocket money you should give to your child.
Usually, there are 2 portions for canteen food, small and big. Check out how much the small/big portion cost. Check out the drinks stall and then calculate how much money your child needs for a meal.