Transition to School
I feel very passionate about my role in helping children transition to school. For me this extends beyond recognition of letters, numbers and school visits. It's every experience your child has with me woven together, to give your child a stable platform to step from when their preschool journey progresses to a school one.
For me it doesn't start at the age of 3 or 4, it starts from day one, because everything I offer your child is designed to encourage your child to be a confident, independent, social, responsible, curious, imaginative, creative young person, keen to learn, ask questions and find answers.
The benefit of a home-based environment is that your child doesn't have to wait to be of an age to move up to the next stage, they aren't waiting for someone to make a space before they can go into the big class. They are learning constantly from the other children in my care, older and younger. So a toddler is learning from a young child's transition and uses their friends' experiences to make connections early on, the process of building school readiness skills is a familiar one that progresses naturally and seamlessly.
I have been responsible for the transition to school for a number of children in my care over the years and it's a very rewarding experience that is unique each time, because your child is unique. Our small group means I know each child very well and can respond to their interests individually and make this transition easier for them.
It's important to recognise that not all children flourish in a big environment, it can have the opposite effect and I've welcomed many older children who weren't able to thrive in a larger class. Some children just favour more personal attention, structure or a quieter space to interact and think, none of these children have had a problem transitioning to school they just needed time in an environment that they felt emotionally secure in to thrive. I would encourage you to consider an home-based environment right up until school age.
My program is designed to help build school readiness skills, this includes working cooperatively with others, listening attentively, understanding and following instructions, listening to others and sharing, persisting, problem solving, asking questions, developing early literacy and numeracy skills - including having an appreciation of books and story-telling. We work on recognising colours, shapes, counting, spelling their own name, holding pens correctly, developing an interest in letters of the alphabet in a fun and engaging way, developing fine and gross motor skills. We use our routine to help instill self-care and social skills, we focus on manners and using kind words, we consider our friends' feelings and learn skills to manage conflict.
Part of our day is taking children to school in the morning and picking them up in the afternoon, this is a learning experience in itself and by no means a chore or interruption. The children in my care benefit from daily exposure to the routine of a school environment. So much so they usually waltz into a classroom and pick up a book to read! This daily routine is a valuable transition to school experience, children become familiar and comfortable with school routines from an early age, they feel a sense of belonging and claim a place in the community. This helps school feel like a natural progression rather than an alarming change to their current routine.
All of these experiences are valuable learning opportunities and all contribute towards your child being ready for the next stage in their journey. Often we don't leave you there, our group is like a family and we meet up with school age Discover Kids regularly. This adds to the natural flow that is very special to our group. Discover Kids recognise and socialise with other group members, even if they never shared a day in my care in their life!
Te Whaariki is founded on the aspirations that children grow up as competent, confident learners, communicators, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society - my service delivers this and more.