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What can parents do to prepare their children for school? Esp. Phonics

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by kittenmittens, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    This is a premature question, just a musing really- I'd like to know, from a parent's point of view, what reception teachers would like children to be able to do and how, in your experience, parents can prepare them without standing over the cot with flashcards (which my mum did with me! Also a teacher.) I have always taught year 3 so don't have much experience of early years apart from visiting infant schools for transition.
    I have a 6 month old daughter who will be attending nursery 2 long days a week from age 9 months. She is a delightful baby, very interested in the world and happy in general. We go to several baby groups to socialise her and to friend's houses with babies the same age, read books at home and at the library, go swimming, music class, baby sign. She has access to a range of toys at home and I do lots of talking, singing, rhymes etc. I'm not a perfect mum by any means, there are times when I stick on Cbeebies if we've had a bad day, and she's happy to play by herself for 15 mins so I can have a cuppa and sit down!
    We are likely to be moving just before she starts school (planning another baby then which requires a house move) so not sure which catchment area we will be in, what her Reception setting will be like and particularly what approach her teacher will take to Phonics, eg Jolly Phonics, other schemes, Letters and Sounds. My intention is to share lots of books, continue with rhymes, sound games, instruments and music sessions etc, counting together for numeracy, but are there any tips you can share? I learned to read really early on and would obviously love my daughter to do the same as well as socialise well, have manners, etc. Thanks x

  2. In my opinion...I would like every child to be able to dress and undress, put on their own coat, shoes, take themselves to the toilet reliably, eat at a table without a fuss (even if it is a packed lunch). I would like them to be able to take turns and play with a peer not just their very special friend, I would like them to be kind to other children, to be able to help some one else, tidy up, put things where they belong, and then to sit quietly reading a book or drawing. I would like them to have a huge range of songs and rhymes, enjoy listening to stories. I would love them to be able to recognise their name. If the child can do all these things and added to that they are popping out of their skins with enthusiasm to learn..............................Oh that would be bliss! Don't worry about reading etc, there is so much more to learn before you read, including the joy of books, the names of birds, plants etc etc.
  3. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Thanks, that's really helpful. Thinking about it, we've had some Y3 chn who have struggled to do those things. I think because my mum taught me to read age 4 I want to do the same for my little girl, but in those days it was all look and say and there wasn't so much method to it, I don't want to confuse her with introducing Jolly Phonics for example at home in case her recperion teacher uses another method. Of course the rhymes, listening, converstaion skills, love of books is paramount so we will continue with this.
  4. Wotworklifebalance

    Wotworklifebalance New commenter

    Hear! Hear! I would just enjoy her being her own little person. Talk to her, sing songs, go to the park, feed the ducks, cook together, count as you walk up and down stairs, get her to help you match the socks in the laundry and set the table ... a knife for mummy, a knife for daddy and a knife for you ...and everynight, without fail, spend 15 -20 mins reading stories together. This is a really important time for sharing a few quiet minutes at the end of a busy day before a good night's sleep ready for more fun. As a Reception teacher I would love to have an intake full of children described by midgey, (although I would add that I'd like them to arrive at school having had a good night's sleep) it's then my job to teach the phonics and the reading.
    My top tip is to always take a bag of books with you where-ever you go. I can never understand it when you see parents struggling to entertain a bored toddler at the dr's or at an airport etc when they have nothing what so ever to do. We always had a bag of books in the car and several books in my bag. It helped to keep them entertained and fostered the joy of books mentioned by midgey. Aged 16, 14 and 12 they can all read beautifully despite the fact that I didn't teach them a single sound at home! Indeed my daughter (the eldest of the bunch) was incredibly resistant to any covert attempts of mine to "teach" her anything before she went to school, she kept saying "I'll learn that when I go to school Mummy." I didn't bother even trying with the others!

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