I was sent this book to review by the wonderful Sarah at KMB and I was thrilled.
Flip starts school in May this year and I was very keen to have a read through this book. It is written by a teacher who has many years experience with new entrants in NZ. I have to confess the teaching, parenting and wanna-be alpha mum in me were all curious as to what I would find.
The book itself is small and short definitely not a mighty tome that will take weeks to get through – an afternoon or 2 while the boys are sleeping were all I needed.
The book is broken into 4 sections: Physical Skills, Social Skills, Academic Skills and Getting Ready for School.
It is written in a clear concise style and not full of teaching or parenting theory. It has some checklists of key skills in it which made me happy – never one to neglect a good checklist! – but it is not over-hyped. There is no expectation you’ll have reading, addition, subtraction and physics done before day 1. I like that it has skills that aren’t just academic. I think there can be a tendency for parents (mothers???) to get a little over enthused with the academic readiness and forget about plain old manners and common fears like ‘where is the toilet’.
I think this book is a worthwhile read for people who want a bit of direction for their interactions with their child in terms of physical, social and intellectual development. It doesn’t make any great claims to present theories that are new or steeped in research it is more like a very helpful, long before-school interview with an experienced and friendly teacher.
If you aren’t familiar with school routines and the kind of skills your little one will need I think you would find it positive and encouraging – it may also help to settle any anxieties you have about the big start. And if like me, you like to feel ahead of the game you will get a great deal of satisfaction from going through and spending some time building the skills your little person DOES actually need before they hit the big 5.