How can parents help young children adapt to primary school life both psychologically and physically?

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Source:  Professor Chiu Wing Kai, Chair Professor of Sociology at the Education University of Hong Kong.

It’s already been 3 months into 2023 and summer vacation will be coming soon, followed by the start of the new school year in September. For K3 students to start their primary school life. However, these students have spent most of their 3-year kindergarten education in online classes due to the pandemic, with little face-to-face interaction. How can parents help them adapt to their new academic and social life in terms of their psychological and physical well-being?

Students who are promoted to Primary 1 are at most at K2 level because they have not returned to school for at least one full year. There are many things they need to adapt to when transitioning from kindergarten to primary school. These include school schedules, daily routines, and learning styles that are vastly different from what they are used to. Kindergarten classes typically last for around 20 minutes, after which they move on to another subject, but in primary school, classes can be 35 minutes or longer, making it difficult for them to maintain their focus. All of these issues can create significant adaptation problems for young students.

So how can parents explain these changes to their children? Firstly, parents should not be too anxious, as many primary schools offer simulation courses and adaptation weeks for new students, as well as school visits. Primary schools are usually much larger than kindergartens, and young students may be excited about the various facilities and opportunities available to them. However, it is best to start talking to them once they begin school, as too much information too soon may be overwhelming. Simply telling them, “Yes, this is what school is like” is often enough.

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Additionally, some things that young students may not be capable of now do not mean they cannot accomplish them, they just need time to grow and develop. Parents need to remember that every child has a different growth rate. After starting school, observe their emotional changes when they return home from school, and if you notice any issues, pay close attention to them

It takes time for young children to adapt, but sometimes parents also need to adapt. In kindergarten, we refer to it as the Homeroom(regular class location), where one teacher leads the class, and children usually only see one or two teachers. If parents need to participate or collaborate with the school, they can simply find that teacher. In primary school, each subject has different teachers, so if any issues arise, parents need to consider how to communicate with each teacher.

家長如何幫助幼童在心理同生理上適應小學生活? 

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資料來源:香港教育大學社會學講座教授趙永佳教授

2023年已過了3個多月,暑假很快又會到,然後又到9月開學日。這意味著一班K3同學

準備迎接小學生活,但這班同學過去3年幼稚園生涯,大多都在疫情下的網課經過,甚少面授課程,又少機會與人接觸。家長可以如何幫助他們在心理和生理上適應升小生活?

升小一的同學最多只是等於K2程度,因為他們最少有一整年沒有回學校上課,而從幼稚園到小學,本來就已經有很多東西要適應,例如上學時間、在學校裡一些生活上的細節,甚至整個周期和學習模式都不同了。幼稚園一節課大約20分鐘左右,然後已經要轉另一節課,但是在小學可能是35分鐘或以上,很難維持集中力,所有這些問題,都會對小朋友造成很大的適應問題。

如何跟小朋友說明幼小交接的變化才是最好呢?首先家長不要太緊張,有很多小學會舉辦模擬課程,會有適應週,亦可參觀學校。小學比幼稚園大,小朋友可能會感到很高興,因為有很多不同的設備,他可能會有很多期待。但是我覺得有些事情要先開始才知道,太早和他說太多也沒有用,只能告訴他:「對,學校就是這樣。」

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另外,有些事情小朋友現在還未能做到,並不代表他做不到,要待他長大。家長很多時候都是這樣,有些事情是沒有辦法,不能勉強的,而是要等待小朋友成長到那個階段才能做到,要記住每個小朋友的成長速度都不同。剛開學後他們放學回來,可觀察他情感的轉變,如果看到他有這些情況就要注意了。

小朋友的適應是需要時間的,但有時家長也要適應。在幼稚園我們稱為Homeroom(固定上課地點),由一名老師帶領,所以小朋友只會經常看到一兩位老師。如果在家長參與或家校協作時,很簡單只要找回那位老師便可。在小學,每個科目都有不同的老師,所以有時候出現狀況時,我們就要思考怎樣和老師溝通。