Preparation for first grade
A child of six, who is about to join the first grade, faces many difficulties. Difficulties not only regarding his feelings or discomfort related to the change, but he is terrified of changing his framework into one that is unknown.
The main difficulty is in the difference between the kindergarten and the school. This entails leaving a small environment, which gives him a feeling of security, to an environment which is demanding and judgemental. The child has to go from the world of play , with no demands for good marks to a world which has demands, the teachers, and the child himself, expects him to join the ‘world of adults’ and to be disciplined, ambitious and committed. The school has clear demands; he has to be there at a definite time, he has a strict timetable, uniform, has to prepare homework, etc. From a cognitive aspect the child has to adapt new capabilities: reading and writing, concentration, knowledge, etc.
The school also has cognitive and behavioral demands: he has to sit in his place for a long period of time, he can only speak with the permission of the teacher, and has to behave according to certain norms. From an emotional aspect the child has to see the point of view of the other pupils, he has to restrain himself, he cannot have immediate satisfaction, and has to learn to accept disappointments.
These difficulties are even more pronounced amongst children at risk. The come from families with meager means, who cannot nurture their learning skills at home. Children at risk need extra help. Parents also find the move from kindergarten to school a difficult one.
The program will prepare children for school from an emotional, social cognitive and motoric aspect, each child according to his ability, through:
Nurturing learning skills.
Nurturing the self image of the child.
Empowering the carers.
Nurturing the interaction between parent and child.
Easing the fears of the parents whose children are entering the first grade.
Nurturing ‘joint responsibility’ of parents towards their children’s progress.