We’ve all had days where we felt like our child did not follow a single direction we gave them. On those days, we feel like we are losing control and life is utter chaos. Now imagine that day, but multiply your child by 12 more… Terrifying right?
Your child’s teacher is going to be the adult in charge of your child for 6+ hours a day and he or she is not just responsible for your child, but also 12-24 other children. Because of this, your child NEEDS to be able to follow directions given by you and other trusted adults.
Being able to follow directions will lead to:
- a positive classroom environment with routines and procedures in place to keep the classroom running efficiently
- the teacher giving each child appropriate instructional time
- the teacher focusing her energy on helping her students (including your child) grow, rather than spending all her energy on redirecting negative behaviors.
- your child’s safety. Many rules at school are in place to keep your child safe. When your child doesn’t follow direction, they are putting their safety and the safety of other Lil’s at risk.
In order for your child to have a productive and safe day at school they need to be able to follow the directions that trusted adults give them. Here are five ideas to help you work with your child on this skill.
Enroll Them in Activities
*Most activities require your child to be 3+ in order to enroll them in a class without parents, so some of our Explorers may not be able to attend until they turn 3, but you can look into parent/child classes to enroll in.
Play Following Direction Games
Also, a visual schedule works great because it gives kids the opportunity to mentally prepare for their day. They are more likely to be okay with doing a learning activity if they can see on their schedule that they get to have free play time after.
You can even include your child in creating the schedule. For instance, if you have 3 activities in your morning routine that could be done in any order, let your child pick the order. Including your child in creating the schedule gives them some buy-in and they will be more likely to follow it.
Our friends over at Natural Beach Living have an awesome (and FREE) set of visual schedule cards that you can use. I have already downloaded them and I am getting ready to use them with Rea!
Follow a Recipe
I found this awesome visual recipe on Teachers Pay Teachers written by I Convey with Sue and Denise. It is a free download and I love it because it is a visual recipe which means your pre-reading child can still follow along!