Scenic Rim schoolteacher shares tips to help prepare your child for school

PREP TIME: Veteran teacher Brenda Baldwin provides some simple tips to help children get ready for the new school year. Photo: Larraine Sathicq
PREP TIME: Veteran teacher Brenda Baldwin provides some simple tips to help children get ready for the new school year. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

SCENIC Rim school teacher Brenda Baldwin started her career in 1965 and is still teaching today. Here the mother of five provides helpful advice to take the sting out of term one.

Make a list

Ahead of first term, it's a good idea to check off what your child will need for school, including what will be in their lunch box.

"Decide what your child will need for lunch and make sure they have enough food," Ms Baldwin said. "But also be realistic, some children have more food in their lunch box than a working miner could get through. I've seen some that must have about $20 worth of food in them."

Mr Baldwin said every single item your child takes to school should be clearly marked, to avoid distress or confusion if something is misplaced.

"Mark everything- hat, water bottle, bag, clothes and lunch box. Everything," she said.

Have a practice run

Ms Baldwin said it was a good idea to drive or walk past the school gate during the holidays, especially for children starting school for the first time.

"Make it a happy story, talk about all the friends they will make and all the fun they will have this year," she said.

"Talk about how you will say goodbye in the morning and be there in the afternoon to pick them up and hear all about their day. It can be hard to leave a little one, especially if they are crying, so if you think you might be a bit emotional, bring another adult with you for support."

Independence day

Ms Baldwin said rehearsing the basics could also come in handy.

"Have a fun practice of swimming day, which will happen in term one," she said. "Encourage them to get their swimmers on by themselves and put their uniform and shoes back on by themselves. If their school shoes are lace-ups, teach them to tie their laces.

"You can also help them to practise writing their own name and to know that the first letter in a name or sentence is upper case and all the others are lower case."

Ms Baldwin said eating independently was also encouraged at school and advised parents to send lunch boxes and water bottles that could be easily operated by little hands.

Review the rules

It helps if children know that rules and expectations might be different to those at home, Ms Baldwin said.

"School is about saying please and thank you, being patient and taking turns," she said.

Teach them to speak up

"Tell your children to talk to their teacher if if they are unhappy," Ms Baldwin said. "Help them understand the difference between bullying and someone being in a grumpy mood. Teachers need to know about bullying so they can nip it in the bud before it escalates."