Preschool, Grade R, Grade 1

Choosing the correct school

Which is the correct school for your child? Which is the best school? These are the two foremost questions when you are selecting a school for your child. The decision to choose a school that is appropriate for your child is one filled with several questions and concerns. The most important part of this selection is knowing and understanding your child and his or her needs. Below we have drawn out a structured process to help you as a parent make the best decision for your child.
Selecting the best school for your child will assist in his or her development, if the school environment caters for his or her personality. If he or she is happy at school the results will always be positive. The important thing to remember when selecting a school is that a school with the highest academic record is not necessarily the best school for your child.

Know your child

1. Observe your child, discover his/her likes and dislikes.
2. Ask family members, friends and preschool teachers what they think your child is like and where they think he/she excels.
3. Expose your child to different activities, for example: sports, dancing, art and music, and see how he/she responds and what his/her preferences are.
4. Monitor for any difficulties in case your child needs extra assistance, for example remediation.
5. The guidance given by your Grade R teacher and any recommendation for assessments is usually given with the foresight of the primary school years. It is strongly advised to follow this guidance.

Visit possible schools

1. Find out what extramural activities are available at the school, for example: art, sport and cultural activities.
2. Ask about resources available at the school, for example the library or gymnasium.
3. If you suspect your child may need extra assistance ask about remediation facilities.
4. Ask about class sizes and teaching assistants.
5. Ask about the school’s motto.
6. Ask the school what type of child they expect to excel at their school, for example if your child is creative, a school with art, dance and music would be beneficial.
7. Ask about teaching resources available to the teachers: Do they use visual, sound, touch and movement in their lessons?
8. Enquire about aftercare facilities: What activities does the aftercare teacher do with the children?
9. Ask about the availability or access to healthy foods from the tuck shop.

Information to keep in mind

1. Personality traits of your child.
2. Be respectful that although a school may not be perfect for your child, it may be for someone else’s child.
3. Always ask questions and indicate your concerns prior to sending your child to the school. The more you know about the school, and the more the school knows about your child prior to accepting them, the healthier your relationship will be throughout his or her learning career.
4. You may wish to have an educational assessment by an educational or child psychologist prior to enrolling your child at the school to better understand his or her academic strengths and weaknesses.
5. Your child’s character and emotions will play an important role in your decision of where to send him or her to school.
6. Consider points such as: transport, fees, access and facilities prior to selecting a school.
7. If your child has an older sibling already attending school, consider whether their personalities are similar as the best school for the eldest sibling is not necessarily the best school for the younger sibling.
8. You may also want to find out which schools your child’s peers are attending as social circles also play a role in your child’s development.
Preschool, Grade R
Plastic bottles/containers with lids
Paper or a funnel
Rice, pasta, screws, beans, beads (any small, hard objects which can be placed in the bottles/containers)
Stickers for decorating
Instructions: Using a funnel or a piece of paper rolled to act as a funnel, fill the bottles/containers with... Read the full article
Preschool, Grade R, Grade 1
Toys/household objects that can be used to measure length and height (e.g. Legos, blocks, books, apples, spoons)
Have your child use different household objects to measure length and height. Determine how many Legos tall the couch is, or have your child lie down and see how many apples tall... Read the full article
Preschool, Grade R
Cookie cutters in various geometrical shapes (If you don’t have these, you can use a knife)
Your child’s favourite “cut-able” foods – pancakes, cheese slices, fruit, bread
Using cookie cutters, cut shapes into your child’s favourite foods. Discuss the... Read the full article
Finding fun activities for your children that are educational but engaging doesn’t need to feel like work. In this blog series, I’ll be giving you lots of activity ideas for children of all ages, from toddlers to Grade 3.  

TODDLERS: (ages 1-3)

Make a Shape Book

Coloured... Read the full article
Preschool, Grade R, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7
When your children lose interest in learning, you may find yourself wondering how you’re ever going to get them excited and motivated again. These tips will help you get them fired up and back on track! Be passionate about your teaching. Even if you’re having a bad day, be expressive, smile and put excitement into your voice.... Read the full article