Entering primary school is one of the most exciting phases for our young ones! At school, first graders will most likely experience more structured and challenging lessons than they are used to. Parents sometimes worry about whether or not their child will do well in school. If you are looking for some tips to support your Grade 1 child, we’ve got you covered!

Here are some of the best ways to help your 1st grader succeed in school:

1.      Encourage your child to love reading.

Fluency in language will develop as children understand the relationship between letters and sounds and hear complete sentences. Now is the perfect time for you to boost their reading skills. Teach your child to love reading by modeling and reading age-appropriate books with your child. Fifteen minutes (about two picture books) every day is a good start to cultivating a reading habit with your child. Remember to read in both Bahasa and English!

2.      Make math part of everyday life.

Children ages 6-7 are also developing their basic understanding of math such as counting numbers, additions, and subtraction.  Embrace math as a part of everyday life by counting the things you see, using math words in conversation by asking questions like, “How many cups do we have altogether?” “If Daddy takes his cup to work, how many do we have left?” Talk about the shapes you see around you, like the shape of the table, door, or wheel. Also, try integrating math into fun games or memorizing math terms through singing!

3.      Build your child’s attention span and listening skills

Young children have a short attention span that we need to work on growing. Since children need to listen to the teachers a bit longer, parents can support by building their child’s listening skills through everyday communication. Teach them to make eye contact when they are being talked to and remind them to follow instructions well. Begin to read to them longer stories or have them work on longer projects.  Encourage them to stick with a task a little longer than they want, even if it is just through play. For example, if your child wants to color, but then asks to do something else after only a few minutes, encourage them to color a little longer with you.

4.      More hands-on and active play, less screen time

These days children are exposed to a lot of screen time in part due to online learning sessions. Children are created to be active, and too much screen time is detrimental to their whole development. Work on developing both fine and gross motor skills through coloring, building with playdough, beading, legos, sports, and going on outings where the kids walk or are active. Hands-on and imaginative play also helps train them to have more focus as well as increase creativity and problem-solving skills. Make time to pretend with your child!  Go sailing in a “boat,” put on a “play,” dress up for a “fashion show,” or take the dollys to the “doctor.” Look for simple yet fun game ideas, or simply have an active outdoor activity with your child.

5.      Praise and give words of encouragement

Around the age of 6-7, children usually start to develop a sense of independence from their parents. However, they also begin to be more self-conscious, insecure, and sensitive towards failure or criticism. They need approval and reassurance from parents and other important adults in order to build healthy self-confidence. It is our job as parents to provide this by giving appropriate praise when they succeed at a task or lifting them up when they are down or discouraged.

With a good school and experienced teachers, backed with the right support from you as parents, your child will eventually thrive in their first years of primary school.

Sekolah Pelita Harapan (SPH) offers an excellent primary school, where children are taught to be independent learners that are academically, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and socially prepared. Teachers in Grade 1 at SPH are not only teaching the content of the lesson but also how it applies to everyday life as well as igniting curiosity by encouraging them to ask questions.

This month, SPH Lippo Village will hold Grade 1 Trial Class for parents and kids to have firsthand experience of our Grade 1. Grade 1 Trial Class will also be available at other SPH campuses by appointment.

Don’t miss this opportunity and book your seat today: sph.edu/g1trialclass