Tag: Education

Preparing for Kindergarten

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Commencing kindergarten is a very exciting and sometimes scary time for children and parents alike. To ensure your child has an enjoyable and successful transition to school it is important to allow yourself and your child plenty of time to prepare. Below are some tips to assist you.

Things to consider when choosing a school for your child

  • Does your child have any specific interests that you would like the school to nurture? This may include sports, music, or languages,
  • What facilities does the school provide that will assist your child to reach their full potential?
  • Does the school offer any transition to school programs, to assist children and parents to settle into the new community?
  • Does the school share the same values as your family with regard to attitude, beliefs, and behaviour? This may include their policies towards punctuality and dress code,
  • Do you have religious beliefs, or educational philosophies that you would like the school to share?
  • Consider if you have a preference for single sex or co-ed.
  • The distance between your home and the school is another important decision, it is important to also consider how your child will get to school.
  • Finally, if your child has already established friendships, consider where they are going. Knowing  someone at their new school will assist your child in their transition to kindergarten.

Preparing for school

  • To ensure your child has an enjoyable and easy transition to school talk to your child about what to expect at school. This includes:
  • Talking about the children they already know who will be starting school with them, what it will be like to make new friends, and the many games and activities they will be able to take part in.
  • Discussing with your child who will pick them up from school, and reassuring them that someone will be there on time to collect them.
  • Practice using their new school bag and lunch box before their first day at school. This will allow your child to get use to opening and closing them, so that it will not be difficult for them when they are at school.
  • Practice putting on their school shoes and uniform jacket prior to starting school. This will help them to get use to doing it for themselves.

This is a special time for parents and children, and we hope you enjoy this stage of development with your child.

Other suggestions:

The Quirky Kid Clinic has social skills and communication program, The Best of Friends™ that assist children and developing key skills prior to kinder garden:

Recommended resources

The Quirky Kid Shoppe is full of useful resources. Below are some recommended resources by our psychologists:

Preparing for Kindergarten - Enjoyable and Successful Transition to School

References:

Information for this fact sheet was taken from an interview with Child Psychologist Kimberley O’Brien, the Raising Children Network website and the following article.

Chandler, L,K. (1993). Steps in Preparing for Transition: Preschool to Kindergarten. Teaching Exceptional Children. Volume 25, page 52-55.

Dealing with Exam Anxiety

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Exams are a time when students of all ages feel more stressed than usual. Stress can also be positive thing as it aids motivation and concentration. However too much stress can make a young person feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and edgy and consequently produce a negative impact on study results.

Exam anxiety is a natural reaction to too much pressure and can come from a number of sources including: young people themselves; comparisons with others; wanting to reach too ambitious goals; family members; peers or teachers.

Symptoms of Exam Anxiety

Signs your child may be experiencing exam anxiety include:

  • Being cranky and irritable;
  • Sleeping difficulties;
  • Complaints of chest pains and/or nausea;
  • Low self-esteem;
  • Losing touch with friends;
  • Difficulty getting motivated.

Suggestions for managing exam stress

  • Effective Study habits: Effective study and learning habits can help to reduce exam stress in students of all ages. The Quirky Kid Clinic runs a study skills program to help students learn these skills
  • Diet: Ensure your child is eating regular healthy meals throughout the exam period, drinking lots of water, and that they are monitoring their caffeine or sugar intake.
  • Lifestyle: Encourage your child to keep up leisure activities such as seeing friends, exercising, or even watching television, as these activities give the brain a much-needed break from studying, which will allow for more effective study in the future.
  • Sleep: Encourage your child to stop studying at least one hour prior to going to bed, in order to help them unwind and have a more restful sleep.
  • Relaxation: Relaxation techniques such as breathing and muscle exercises can help your child calm down and manage their stress symptoms in a range of environments and situations. Child Psychologists at the Quirky Kid Clinic can help your child with relaxation exercises in an individual consultation or during our Why Worry workshop.

Please contact our clinic to make an appointment if you believe your child would benefit from some assistance in dealing with exam stress.

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Information for this fact sheet was taken from Kimberley O’Brien, Child Psychologist, ReachOut .com, ParentLine and Kids Help Line}

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NSW Education

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

The Quirky Kid Clinic is proud to be one of the contributor to the news contributor to the School A to Z  produced by the NSW Department of Education and Communities.

The website is  aiming to create an online community with comprehensive homework and ‘school life’ support for parents that is easy to use, relevant and engaging.

Clip image of my school website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kimberley O’Brien, our principal child psychologist, participated as an expert contributor, among many other professionals, and collaborated on “How to parent your tween‘ and ‘Sexting – what every parent should know

The Quirky Kid is committed in developing well informed and practical content for parents and families. You can find useful, practical and informative advice about parenting and young people by visiting our resources page, – or discussing it on our forum. You can also provide your own opinion on our Facebook page or Twitter at @quirky_kid

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Transition to School

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Recently, Kimberley O’Brien discussed ‘transition to school’and the pressures children and teenagers face at school particularly as they head into Year 6, 7 and 12 with MTR 1377 Talk Show Presenter  Colette Mann, from Melbourne

This was an interesting conversation and you can listen to the podcast by clicking below:

You can further participate on the discussion by visiting our Forum – The Quirky Kid Huddle – https://childpsychologist.com.au/forum}

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Helping Kids with Homework

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Helping Children with HomeworkNaturally, parents want to help their children and to see them succeed, but where do you draw the line with regards to their homework?

Parents often assist children by sitting down to help with homework, sometimes checking for mistakes, and occasionally completing entire projects.

Some research shows that helping with homework can be beneficial for children’s performance at school. However, other studies show different  results about helping children with homework.

The Quirky Kid clinic  suggests that the difference between parental involvement being beneficial or not is dependent on the type and the amount of involvement.

By constantly cutting in on the job your kids are doing, you may risk undermining their confidence. This may make them feel inadequate when it comes to completing tasks on time or may inhibit them from developing the knowledge and skills to do it themselves.

Tips to assist your children with homework.

  • It is best to establish a routine for homework at the beginning of the year. Decide with your child when and where homework should be completed. Creating a homework schedule together is a great way to discuss this, and put down in writing what you agree on.
  • You can make homework something children will look forward to by making it special one-on-one time with  you. But remember to let children keep most control of it – make sure the pencil is in their hand, not yours.
  • To help children focus at homework time, set some boundaries, ensure they have a clear work space, and establish some goals, such as a time limit. Additionally, by placing a clock near their work space children will be able to monitor their own time.
  • Provide your children some wind down time after school. Allowing them to play for a while and have a healthy snack, will help them to concentrate when they start their homework.
  • Many schools have implemented a homework policy. If you think your child is receiving too much homework, or it is too difficult, get in contact with the school to discuss your concerns.

Most importantly, by allowing children to complete homework themselves, they will have greater sense of achievement. Additionally, providing parents with a legitimate reason to pile on the praise. Remember to always praise effort rather than intelligence.

Need more help?

  1. The Quirky Kid Clinic provides private consultations and a range of resources to assist with homework challenges and performance. Please contact us to make an appointment or visit our resources page.
  2. You should also check a great book for sale at the Quirky Kid online ShoppeHow to do your Homework without throwing up – check it out.


Information for this fact sheet was taken from an interview with Child Psychologist Kimberley O’Brien, and the following article.

Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., Battiato, A.C., Walker, J.M., Reed, R.P., DeJong, J.M., and Jones, K.P. (2001) Parental Involvement in homework. Educational Psychologist, 36, 3, 195-209