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This year, going back to school will be extra challenging. You can prepare your child for the normal and the extraordinary challenges by talking with them and getting organised. Barnardos Ireland have some helpful Tip Sheets to download here.
Make sure your child knows how to open their snack box, put on and take off their coat (and put a name label on it) and so on. All this will help your child to feel independent and more confident. Encourage your child to ask questions and share with you how they feel and what they think about school. Ask about their teacher, what they are learning, and their friends.
Talk with your child's teacher to know what is expected of you and your child, and to hear how they are getting on. Tell them about any situations at home that might be upsetting your child. If you would like to know more about the Irish primary school curriculum have a look at the website of the NCCA (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment).
For current advice from the Irish government on going back to school, watch this video.
Children improve their language by hearing how words are used in everyday life. Chatting to your child helps build their communication skills. Getting your child to tell you stories or explain things, helps them to put ideas in the right order. This is an important skill for listening and speaking.
When you’re out and about with your child ask them to recall little things that happened on previous trips. For example, “Do you remember what we saw here yesterday?” This helps your child to recall, listen, speak and to become more aware of their surroundings – good skills for listening and speaking.
But remember, to listen well, first let your child finish what they are saying. Avoid too many questions that might interrupt their train of thought. Try not to think about what you want to say next. Concentrate on what your child is saying. Check with them that you understood, for example, “So what you are saying is…”
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