Preparing your child for Primary : Logistics and other Essentials

I’ve got to be honest. Preparing your child for Primary 1 isn’t all that easy. That’s why time is your friend. If you get a good head start, then the transition wouldn’t be that stressful both for you and your child.

To make the load a lot lighter, I’ll be sharing with you some of what I’ve picked up along the way as my daughter started Primary 1 last year. Since this is such a broad topic to discuss in just one go, I’ve decided to break it into two parts. The first, which is what you’re reading, will talk about logistics and other essentials that you have to prepare well before classes start.

Safety
Your child’s safety is the number one priority. Map out how you plan to go to and from school including the route you will take. Be aware of the nature of vehicular traffic within the vicinity of your child’s school. I, myself, was almost knocked down to the ground by a car that was going too fast while I was crossing the street towards my daughter’s school. Include your child in a conversation about safety. It’s important that even at a young age, your child should already learn to have a safety-first mindset.

Assistance
As a Mom with a busy full-time schedule, there were times when I was unable to pick up my daughter from school. This is where assistance came in handy. Our house is just a three-minute walk from my daughter’s school so if I wasn’t available, my helper could pinch-hit for me without any problem. The big thing here is trust. Make sure that your helper is responsible enough to take on the role of bringing your child to and from school safely and securely. Properly orienting her with the do’s and don’ts will do the trick.

Essentials

  • Smart buddy. POSB Smart Buddy is the world’s first in-school savings and payments wearable on your child’s wrist. From school payments to checking on balances, you can keep track of your child’s expenses with a tap on a terminal or a simple push of a button. The downside, though, is that it limits your child to real-life exposure to money but there’s a benefit to it. It is infinitely more hygienic if your child uses Smart Buddy since he or she doesn’t have to touch money while making a purchase.
  • Shoes. A good pair of shoes can go a long way – literally! The most ideal is to get two pairs for your child to use alternately. My daughter had two – one from Adidas and the other, a Hello Kitty-themed pair from Bata. I loved the sneakers from Adidas since they provided good support and cushion plus they came with a soft insole. I personally would still have preferred Puma which has memory foam for its insole but there was no available size at the time that I was making a purchase. But, Adidas was still super comfy so no complaints there. My daughter would then wear the Hello Kitty shoes on days without PE classes. Two final thoughts on shoes. First, some would say get a size bigger since children’s feet grow really fast. While the logic is sound, it might not be safe especially during PE. Having ill-fitting shoes while your child is moving about is a recipe for disaster. Second, stores usually have major shoe sales in November thereabouts. You can save as much as 50% from the original price so do watch out for that!
  • Bags. When it comes to bags, I usually don’t scrimp up especially knowing that they can affect my child’s posture. I personally love my daughter’s pressure-free bag, Dr. Kong. It’s good for her spine plus it’s very durable. In fact, we’re still using the same Dr. Kong bag that she had last year! My friend got Smiggles which isn’t as durable but is very pretty. Your child will surely fall in love with its eye-catching design. The downside, however, is that it isn’t as durable as Dr. Kong. She had to buy two Smiggles bags in a year but hey, what it lacks in durability it makes up for with its adorable design. It isn’t that expensive as well so getting two bags in a year won’t hurt your pocket as much. The key here is to do your research. There are so many bags out there to choose from that are durable and come at a steal. Go online. Who knows? Lady Luck might favour you and guide you to the best bag for a fraction of the cost!
  • Stationary. Don’t make the mistake that I made – that of getting fanciful cartoon stationary. It’s quite useless. Your child will only get frustrated since he or she cannot erase properly. Go for ordinary stationery that can do the job.
  • Rulers. You might need special rulers when your child starts model drawing during Maths. You might want to check that out, too!
  • Uniform and name tags. Best thing to do here is to join forums and chats where parents from higher levels can advise you about the number of uniform sets that you should get. In my own experience, I was so excited about my daughter starting Primary 1 that I bought two sets of blouses and three sets of PE uniforms. As it turns out, we had four days of PE and only used the blouse once a week. Seek advice from those who have been there and done that so it won’t turn out to be a wasteful purchase.

This is only the beginning! There are still so many things to discuss where Primary 1 preparation is concerned. Stay tuned for Part 2 which will delve into the emotional aspect of this major transition for you and your child so keep it here at www.mmkelly.sg.

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