Tuesday, October 13, 2015

10 Tips on Preparing Children for Primary One

It has 9+ months since Pei Pei has become a primary school student. I am glad that she has been enjoying her school life, and am thankful that her teachers from her school and student care centre have been very supportive. In Term 3, she was given opportunity to take up leadership role as the class leader. To my surprise, she volunteered herself to take up the role as Chinese class leader, and was elected by her classmates!

Time flies, Hao Hao is also going to primary school in a few months time! After going through the phase of preparing two children for primary school, I had learnt a lot along the way.

1. Handling money 

On Primary One Orientation Day, do let your children to buy food from the canteen, so that you would be able to observe and guide them if they face difficulties.

Starting from the first day of primary one, I give pocket money on a weekly basis. I learnt from a mum blogger from Mum's the Word on using pill boxes for distribution of pocket money, and bought the boxes from Daiso. For money that was not spend would be placed in the saving can.



Don't say I never warn you, the school bookshop can be a dangerous place! The children may be tempted to buy stationery or stickers or other stuffs! Take time to talk to your children about what they want and what they need.


2. Telling time
Buy a watch for your child, and practise telling time. If you ask me, should you buy analogue or digital watch, I would just an analogue one first. Because they learn about telling time from analogue watch / clock in Kindergarden 2 and Primary 1. Here is how our children learn about telling time.


3. Organising and packing 
Since the children were young, they learnt to put their toys and books back to original place. This develops their skills in sorting and organising. 

As the children have English, mother tongue languages and mathematics worksheets from their preschool, get them to learn filing according to subject.

Packing bag is also a skill to be learnt. Instead of throwing everything into the bag, train the children to organise their stuffs in their bags neatly.


4. Taking care of personal belongings
Take note that pasting name labels on the belongings is just a measure for children not to mix up their belongings with others, and for the belongings to be, hopefully, returned to the children if those are lost. Therefore, it is more important to remind the children to take good care of their belongings, for example, check whether they have taken their belongings before they leave a place.


5. Taking down notes
Teachers write instructions on the board, so there is a need to train the children to take down notes. This develops note-taking skill, which is important for their studies.


6. Learning sight words and high frequency words
Knowing sight words and high frequency words promotes the children's reading comprehension. Take a look at our post on how to teach children sight words and high frequency words.


7. Establishing a routine - work first, play later
After shower and dinner, the children are told to complete their homework or study for spelling or 聽寫 first. And they are promised that once the homeworks are completed, they can play! It becomes a habit after a while, and now the children would automatically do their work first, knowing that they can play after that.


8. Sleep early and wake up early
If your child does not have the habit of sleeping early and waking up early, do start training them early!


9. Dressing up... fast
To prevent mad rush in the morning, train your child to dress up fast! Especially if the uniform has buttons!


10. Essential Things to Get for Primary One
Other than school uniform and textbooks, together with the child, get the following items:

  • School bag 
  • Pencil case
  • Wallet 
  • Elastic chain - one side attached to the wallet, the other side clip on to the pocket of shorts or dress / skirt
  • Files - one thin A4 size file to put inside the school bag, and some ring files to keep the materials at home
  • Labels to write name / Customised name labels
  • Small notebook for writing down homework
  • Water bottle
  • School shoes and socks
  • Pencils, erasers, and ruler (we have not bought these yet because they collected a lot from the birthday goodies bags that they received at preschool!)


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26 comments :

  1. Excellent tips! On top of these, I used to role play with my boys so they would feel comfortable enough to approach the teachers and fellow schoolmates. For some kids, social skills may be easy; for others, it takes lots of practice to summon up the courage to speak to someone.

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    1. Thank you Domesticgoddess for sharing your tips! My children like to role play too, they play as the teachers, and their soft toys are their students!!

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  2. Hi Waiwai, do you have any recommendations for school bag?

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    1. Carol, I would suggest choosing a bag that is not too heavy. The children would bring most of the books to school on the first day, then those books would be kept in school. I would also recommend to get a bag with side pockets to put water bottle, so that the books will not get wet.

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    2. Thanks for your tips. I see those ergonomic branded bags and wonder if those are really much more beneficial. They are a lot more costly than the usual bags!

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    3. Carol, I am not sure whether those ergonomic bags are really beneficial, just find them quite heavy!

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  3. Preparing for school is exciting! I love the smell of new books, wallet and bag.. now the kids responsible for their items . Those are the old good memories

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    1. Phoebe, do share with me your thoughts on preparing children for secondary school!

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  4. Work first, play later! That's definitely a good one to remember! (Although my P1 boy is of the 'play first, play later' type)

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  5. thanks for sharing this Waiwai.. I'm glad we're already practising some of the things you've mentioned here and love the other ideas you brought up like the importance of note-taking!


    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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  6. I felt happy to read these points as can totally relate to them. I prepared my son for his P1 last year.

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    1. Glad that you felt happy to read these points!

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  7. Thank you so much for these tips! They will come in so useful when it's my girl's turn next year.

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    1. Winnie, so exciting that your turn is coming soon!

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  8. I think it's good for the kids to learn these time management, financial management and self management skills from young. What a coincidence, we also have two "how to prepare your kids for Primary One" here: http://www.lifestinymiracles.com/2015/06/preparing-your-child-for-primary-1/

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  9. Wow what a great list of tips! Thanks for sharing.. it'll be my turn soon! hahaa

    ~ Audrey @ SAys! Happy Mums

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  10. I must agree learning how to deal with money is v important!! When I was working in a student care, I realised a lot of P1 kids dont know how to calculate money & basically just dump the whole pile of coins and let the tuckshop auntie "pick & choose". :x

    And yes.. the bookshop is a very dangerous place, my niece once spent all her money there without eating!

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    1. Thanks Jacqualine for sharing your experience!

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing. My first baby is going to primary school next year and I know all of us parents are feeling the same thing, excitement. Your lists are a such a great advantage to us.

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