All parents have to send their children to school. The first experience of a child attending school in the nursery class is everlasting. School is the place, where the child gets his/her first experience of socializing. If the first day is pleasant, the child will always love to go to school.
The child has to be prepared to enter a school. Till now the child is a king/queen of the house. All his/her demands are met with instantly, but in school he/she is just one among the many. It is therefore necessary that the child is prepared to mix and enjoy the company of other children.
The child’s entrance to a school must be a thrilling moment not only for the child, but also for the parents. It leaves a tremendous social, physical and emotional impact on the child. Parents are aware that these days getting admission in a good school is more difficult than getting a decent job. In olden days children started schooling at the age of five. Now with nursery or pre-nursery, the children are sent to school at the age of two and a half. Some parents start worrying about the admission of their kids from the day the child is born. This worrying is legitimate, because the child has to face competition right from the initial admission. There are some parameters which the child is supposed to acquire before he/she starts going to a school. Some informal training must be given to the child to make him/her self-confident. Developing important social skills is necessary before children start schooling. I am listing some points which an average child must acquire early in life.
The first and foremost thing that a child must learn is to give and take. These days many parents have a single child. In nuclear families the children get all the attention of both parents. They just ask for a toy and immediately it is bought. The child does not know anything about sharing. It is essential that the child is taught this habit in the formative years.
The children must be made to realise that all human beings are equal. I remember that when my son was three years old, we celebrated his birthday. The whole nursery class and their teacher was invited. One child did not bring any gift. All the children boycotted that boy. I saw him standing alone and asked him why he was not playing. When I knew the reason I felt very upset. I told all the children that it is not good to single out one child. God has made us all equal. Gifts are not important. All children must treat him equally and play with him.
Before the child starts going to school, he/she should be potty trained. The must know how to tie their shoe laces, ribbons, belt etc. They must be able to eat their food independently and know how to open and close the tiffin box.
The child must know basic manners like ‘good morning’, ‘thank you’, ‘please’. The child must know the address and telephone number of his/her house.
You can teach them colours, through objects of everyday life.
All this may appear to be very simple but this will remain in the child’s memory for ever. Learning all these skills may appear to be easy, but a lot of brainwork is involved in the process.
These are some basics which a child is expected to know before he/she starts school. The parents must not show any tension to the child regarding problems faced by them in getting admission to a good school. Remember the words of Marva Collins “There is a brilliant child locked inside every student.”
Usha Menon, a 77-years-old retired educationist, who has four sweet, adorable grandchildren. Last year she wrote a book,”Reverse Gear.” This book is a sort of analogy between her professional and personal life, depicting the travails, ups and downs faced by an average working woman. As a retired person, She is leading a contented life with a loving husband, devoted son, daughter-in-law and two grand daughters. Her doting daughter, son-in-law, and two grand sons, who are very affectionate, look after her and her husband. She is grateful to God that He has, in His grace, given her an opportunity to live a life of peaceful contentment.