Getting Ready For School

Recently I have had a few emails asking about getting kids ready for school. I have written about it a number of times on the blog, so thought I would collate all the posts in the one spot, to make it easier to find the information.

My overall philosophy with getting kids ready for school is to keep it low key and to let them enjoy kindergarten / preschool for its own worth. Participating in orientation programs with the school is great, and most of the tips I offer are small organisational type things that will help make them feel more prepared and confident in their new environment. It is not about teaching them the alphabet or count to 100.

The Purpose Of Preschool

My post on Purpose of Preschool just helps you understand my philosphy on early childhood education in more detail:

we all need to ensure our children enjoy, engage and make the most of each year of their education. Learning is not a race to be won to see who gets there first. Learning is about acquiring satisfaction, meaning and skills and feeling good about ourselves. It is learning to interact and respect others, rather than intimidate, criticise harshly or judge others – Kathy Walker.

School Starting Age – Latest Research On Australian Children

This is by far the most common question I get asked about getting kids ready for school – what age should they start. There is not one single answer to this question. This post highlights the research on school starting age for Australian children.

School Starting Age – Our Personal Experience

From the research to the personal. This post looks at our personal experience with starting kids at school at different ages.

Preparing Your Child To Read

This post on Preparing Your Child To Read is not about flashcards or drilling letters in to your child, but about immersing them in books and simple ways to extend the story reading experience you have with them.

Preparing For The First Day Of School

Quiet often the first day of school is more emotional for mum and dad than the child! While I love watching my child develop and grow, there is always some sadness when they head off to school for me as they are taking a step away from me. This post has some simple tips on Preparing For The First Day Of School.

Getting the school gear organised

This one is very much about applying the saying “start with the way you want things to end” motto. Shows how we have set up systems in our house so the kids are responsible (even in their first year) for getting the school gear

Managing School Routines

Once you have a child in school you are locked into the school term routines. There is lots of paperwork, juggling of activities and jobs. In this post on Being Organised For School Life, I highlight systems we have put into place to make things as streamlined as possible.

10 Tips For Organised School Mornings

Having a calm morning before the kids arrive at school is important. For me often how the day starts sets the tone for the rest of the day. This post highlights how we oragnise our school mornings to get us off to a good start to the day (most of the time!).

Helping Children With Autism Get Ready To Start School

Helping Children With Autism Get Ready To Start School is a guest post from Marita at Stuff With Thing. While her post highlights tips for children with autism all the great info she provides can easily be applied to children of any description – particularly those that have a love of order.

Composite Classes

Last year I attended a talk by Kathy Walker on composite classes. This post on Composite Classes are my notes from the session, my personal experience with composites and links for further reading.

We have our fourth child starting school next year, which means I will only have one child at home. It has been nearly 13 years since that has happened. I am sure next year will bring lots of mixed emotions for me.

Do you have a child starting school next year? If so how are you feeling about it?


  1. Senga says

    Thanks for these tips! My five year old is starting school next year and I am really looking forward to it. The school seems liks a great community and my daughter is keen to join it.

  2. Bec S says

    My son just started school this term! We are into week 4 and he is finally feeling comfortable!
    I’m guilty of doing too much for my son – I know I need to make him take responsibility for his things and pack them himself, but in the interest of getting out the door on time and getting to work on time I just take over – I need to change this!

  3. says

    My twin 5 yr old boys will be starting kindergarten in 3months. Great advice Nicole. I really need to get organized haven’t had school child for 2 yrs and by then he was dough everything for himself at 16.

  4. says

    Looking forward to getting some time to sit down and read through your posts Nicole. My eldest is starting Kindy next year, our interview is tomorrow so this couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m excited about the opportunities it will open up for him, but will surely miss my sidekick who makes me laugh many times during the day.

  5. Gin says

    Thanks for this Nicole! My number 2 is starting next year, and I’m hoping it will be a smoother experience for him than his big brother, since he already has some famliarity with the school through drop-offs etc.

    This year, when number 1 started, he was very anxious and everyone said at any chance they got “Are you looking forward to big school?”. I tried to reassure him that it is just like preschool, but he sensed it was a big deal and he cried A LOT the first day. My best advice is try not to make it a big deal, and if you can word up the extended family over Christmas, don’t let them overdramatise it.

    • Gin says

      By the way, the post on composite classes had a comment about team teaching in large groups. My son’s school has a ‘unit’ set-up where there 60 kids and 3 teachers in an open plan environment, and all classes are composite. It’s great. They do some activities all together, some in their individual class groups, and it allows them to stream for certain subjects so they are mixed up for maths groups and reading groups according to ability.

  6. Narelle Rock says

    my 3rd is off to school in January next year, being the third time you would think I would be used to it and excited, but I think I am dreading this one more than the others, I hate to think what I will be like in 2yrs when my last little man heads off :-(