Personal skills help kids prepare for school

Sabin, Davis, Hetrick, Anderegg, Macalady, Walker, Darling and Katers

There are just a few weeks left before children begin school, some for the first time. Besides backpacks and supplies, teachers hope young children will bring along a few more things when they scamper off to school.

First and foremost children will know how to put on their listening ears to focus. Teachers often will sing songs, say rhymes and do motions with children to train them. At home we can help prepare, practice and later use the same words and motions. Families can praise them for listening.

Good listeners also use their eyes to look at the teacher’s face or others when they are speaking. While volunteering at school, families can note these techniques. They will be very useful at home and everyone will be pulling in the same direction.

Asking for Help

Families can teach little ones how to ask for bathroom time or a tissue for their nose politely and softly. Do children remember to flush and aim carefully? Those considerate skills make the classroom more pleasant.

After using the bathroom do children wash their hands well with soap to the birthday song or some other little ditty? According to health professionals, this one habit significantly reduces flu and colds.

Scheduling at least 9-10 hours of sleep helps reduce end of week exhaustion. Reading or telling children a story in a soft voice and giving a gentle back rub helps. Avoiding technology before bedtime, especially those with blue light screens is important since they delay relaxation and sleep. In the morning add an extra 10 minutes to the time you think it will take to get ready to reduce stress. If adults are stressed, the children will show it.

Morning Protein

Eating something for breakfast with protein in it keeps children less hungry, more alert and in a better mood. Some children are just not hungry immediately in the morning and need some time to wake up. The last resort might be a few pieces of cheese, pieces of apple, or good cereal in a little bag to eat on the way. Try to get some fluids in them, too, like milk or water.

Pack children a snack and lunch they will eat, and include some protein and fruit. Encourage some vegetables and add water. It is a good fluid anytime instead of fruit or fruit-like juice. Physicians are concerned about the amount of grams of sugar children are consuming.

Do preschool children know about raising their hands when they have a question? That is a good role-playing activity at home.

Speaking of hands, do they know to keep their hands off other children? All of these behaviors, skills and good choices will come along with time and family help.

For more fun and learning see and “Learning Through the Seasons” live and podcasts. See also on Facebook and Pinterest.