The guide to starting school – What will change for the child? (English Version)

The text below is the excerpt of the book The guide to starting school (ISBN: 9781646995035), written by Myriam Szejer Y Marie Auffret-Pericone, published by de Vecchi /DVE ediciones.

Anticipate To Better Support Your Child

It is good to enroll him in the nursery school but where to do it, in what kind of institution? For a child to adapt easily to school it is important to control what that change will mean to him. A good dose should be applied to understanding, some precautions, and a little patience, and it is more than likely that your child will enjoy its new status as a student.

Which School To Choose?

With a good reputation, the nursery school is generally prestigious and covers a very important period in the child’s education. In many countries, this stage of schooling – which is not compulsory – covers up to six years of age and is divided into two cycles (up to three years of age and from three to six years of age). It can be carried out in both public and private institutions and caters to almost all children between the ages of three and six. The official guidelines that emerge from the latest plans confirm its specific route, halfway between the objective of teaching and respect for the specific needs of the youngest.

To register your child, all you have to do is go to the public or private school itself or ask for information from the education department or town hall of your district or town before the end of the school year. If the child has already turned three (or is between two and three, depending on the availability of places), he or she will be accepted in the school institution: a nursery school, or a primary school with nursery classrooms, or one that has all levels of schooling.

A nursery school in each area

When registering in a public nursery school, the administration assigns each family, if there is more demand than supply of places, a school in a given area which is normally the closest institution to the family’s home, although this is not always the case. In the latter case, or in the event of wanting to take the child to a school close to his or her parents’ work or the person looking after the child, it is possible to ask for a change of zone by presenting some supporting documents.

But these exceptions are not always easy to obtain, although the situation may change from one autonomous community to another. But the most important thing is to take into account the child’s needs: whether they have to spend a lot of time traveling, whether they have to get up very early, etc., as these are situations that can cause them to be unnecessarily tired, as well as losing the possibility of having classmates who live in the same neighborhood, whom they might see after school or on public holidays.

Public schools, different schools

Parents can choose between private and public schools. Two different options and both are valid. A significant percentage of parents, which varies from one area to another, choose, for different reasons, to send their children to public schools from the first levels.

What Can Be the Reasons for this Preference?

• Religious education: the public school must be secular by definition. However, some parents believe that religion should be taught in school, and in fact regulations in many countries already recognize that all students who request it have the right to receive religious instruction.

• Languages: the desire to learn the different languages spoken in a community or to reinforce the learning of a foreign language. In these schools, it may be that a large part of the teaching is done in a foreign language, as well as the teaching of this language starting from the arrival at the nursery school.

• A certain pedagogical approach: within the general regulatory framework, each school has its specific project for a centre which includes its specific educational approaches, sometimes based on contributions from great pedagogues. Although they are often still called new, most of these schools. We can recall in this respect that the pedagogues Freinet and Decroly, for example, were educated in public institutions.

• Stricter discipline: some parents want their children to be educated using stricter, more coercive teaching methods, such as those still offered by some public schools, although these tend to disappear now.

• Other reasons (more or less solid): the public school is very close to the family home or the parents’ work, the neighborhood school, if we are talking about a big city, has little prestige, fear of social mixing, desire to integrate the child into a certain cultural or religious community, fear of absenteeism, etc.

It can also happen that the first time a child goes to school the experience does not work out well. In this case, to enable the child who is suffering greatly to start over on a new basis, a change of school is sometimes a satisfactory solution. But before making this decision it is important to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages for the child of a change of school, of habits and of peers.

A question of status

Many public schools are charter schools because they have signed a financial agreement with the state. Many also belong to religious orders and transmit values and teachings linked to the Catholic religion. Others are known as non-concerted schools because they lack such arrangements. All must follow the general guidelines set by education laws, but public school shaves a commitment to the state that gives them economic rights but also duties, they follow official instructions and programs and their teachers are paid by the relevant education departments in their community or by the Ministry of Education. The state does not provide financial assistance to unregistered schools. But all facilities must meet at least all standards set by the state.

Today, in all schools, both public and private, it is normal that the pedagogical line, the contents of the teaching, and the methods of reception of the children are explained in advance to the parents by the directors, the heads of studies, or the tutors, depending on the school organization itself. By coming to the centre or attending the level meetings, parents can meet the other teachers and, if necessary, meet other families.

Public schools are a major expense for parents. In certain cases, they can be very expensive, depending on the supposed or real quality of teaching and services offered, or sometimes on exclusivity. In essence, their cost is independent of the quality of education provided, the services offered, and the facilities.

Sometimes this type of centre requires greater involvement by parents: meetings with teaching staff, participation in social events, public demonstrations, etc.

Changing the centre

Will a child who has been enrolled in a nursery school that follows a certain pedagogical system and works in very small groups, for example, have difficulties in joining a new centre?

Of course, there is not just one answer for all cases and therefore personal circumstances must be taken into account, but it can be said that generally speaking, the child will get used to the new environment without further difficulties after a logical period of acclimatization. The aim of this pre-primary education is precise to provide the child with a solid capacity to adapt.

Talking To Them In Advance

Talking to the child about his next schooling is the best way to anticipate and prepare him. Even if we don’t know how their teacher will organize the days and activities, parents know enough and know their child to start familiarizing them with this new world.

The most important thing is that parents do not repeat to him: “you have to go to school because you are already old”, although it is likely that others will tell him…If growing up is for him synonymous with jumping into the unknown, your child will probably prefer to remain small. Anxiety could translate into wetting the bed again or wanting to take back those bottles that have been put away for a long time…

Words that help

It is not easy to inform and reassure your child if you are not calm yourself… So, giving you explanations should serve to reassure it a little. There are no magic formulas. Each parent, by himself, must find the words that will help the child to overcome his own fears. In this sense, we must not forget that what is obvious to us adults is not always obvious to the child. Talking to them about what awaits them, according to their age and their fears or questions, will make their first steps as a schoolboy or girl easier.

We must not forget that, although the child does not yet speak very well, he or she already understands. It is simply a matter of informing him about what school is, the meaning of his schooling, and what he will find. However, it is also important not to romanticize their life at school, the teacher, their classmates, etc. Some children are very disappointed, sometimes from the first day, and have the impression that they have been cheated, a feeling that can slow down their adaptation.

What does school mean?

• School is for children a bit like the work of the parents. From now on, they will have occupations outside their home, too. The comparison will allow them to identify with adults and feel valued.

• School is the right place for children. Parents only know what happens there through the child and the teacher. They will have their place in the class and the adult who runs the class will take care of them. This accuracy will also allow the child to prepare for the separation.

To get a better insight into The guide to starting school, please continue this exciting adventure by clicking on Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon AustraliaAmazon CanadaAmazon FrenchAmazon GermanAmazon MexicoAmazon ItalyAmazon SpainScribdOverdriveBookbeat.

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