SHARON WITT ON SCHOOL ORIENTATION
DJ1: Hey, it’s time to talk to Sharon Witt, nice and early for us, for our child whisperer. Good morning Sharon.
SHARON WITT: Good morning guys, how are you?
DJ2: Doing well. Well, Sharon’s up and about. Good morning.
SHARON WITT: Yes. I’m up and early because I’m running orientation day today, so I have to be up and early. So, yeah, most of the schools are running orientation days either this week or last week, so it’s a good topic to chat about today.
DJ1: Yeah, what we need to know?
SHARON WITT: Well, basically, let’s start with preps, okay. So, lot of the prep students will be starting their orientation and look, I think it’s important for us as parents to try make this a positive experience as possible. Because I’m sure many of us have got, you know, some terrible stories to tell about our own experiences, but I think it’s really important with your children to remain positive and you know, try not to say, try not to let them see you in the corner waiting uncontrollably because the child is starting prep, try to take it positive.
DJ2: Yes, that’s a good point Sharon. I’ve got a kid starting prep next year, and I tell you what, it is quite daunting. It does help if they have siblings at school or someone they know. It’s like, you know, if their friends going along as well. Does that help?
SHARON WITT: Yeah, absolutely. So,you know, they, more often than not, your child will actually atleast know one person who’s starting prep at their school. But sometimes its not always the case. So, I know when my child started prep, my last one to go through prep, we actually, you know, I got to know somebody whose child was starting school at the same time and we organized about three playdates before actually the prep orientation came around.
DJ2: That’s great.
SHARON WITT: But if you can do that, that’s really great way because they atleast know somebody when they get to school. But if not, just be sure that their teachers are fantastic and they’re trained to help children settle in if they see that daunting prep orientation day. So, I think it’s also important for us as parents to be available. So a lot of school will actually provide morning tea or some sort of get together for the moms as well and the dads. So, I think it’s important with our children can act connected as well, well feel connected.
DJ1: Nice one.
DJ2: Good role modelling there. What about the older kids Sharon, like if they, know, they already got a little bit of confidence going into high school?
SHARON WITT: Yeah, look, I think that can be just as scary. I know there’s many children here coming from primary school then coming into, you know, they’re sort of scared. Some go to high school, some go to, you know, private school and can be a really anxious time. I think probably more so because they’ve actually, you know, starting a brand new sort of area, new school, new students, new teachers, lot of kids have a lot of anxiety about this. So, the most important thing is to, as parents, make sure your child actually does attend orientation day and I know some families can go off on early holidays and other things get sort of in the way, but it’s really important if you can have your child attend orientation day. Some of them will be really anxious, some will be excited but some will actually be anxious and it’s better that their anxious and get through that orientation day than have to, you know, go through the whole school holidays wondering about how they gonna settle in.
DJ2: So true.
SHARON WITT: And things like communicating with school. You know, some parents, they might be really simple things that you think the school doesn’t really need to know that, but I think it’s important teachers only know what you tell them and what they’re aware of, so anything that you can let teachers know that might be really helpful for them to know that your child is also really good. And also, this is the time of year to get school books and uniforms and all those sorts of things organized.
DJ1: Okay, that is smart.
SHARON WITT: They can say they are sick of handbooks and things. Say you what as parents it can get very costly once you enter secondary and you’ve got to actually pay $65 for front book and things like that. So, if you can find parents that have someone coming up the next year behind you, and you can find someone ahead, it really does help cost-saving this time of year.
DJ1: Yeah. Great ideas.
DJ2: Fantastic. Love it! Orientation, it’s not just another year, make sure your set on the orientation. Thank you so much Sharon.
DJ1: Thanks Sharon.
SHARON WITT: Thank you guys, have a great week.
DJ1: Catch you next time.
DJ2: You too, bye.