Helping Kids with Grade Transitions

Transition Time for Preschoolers and Elementary Students
Children progress through many grades during their school days and they face many challenges. Changing academic demands make some students very jittery and they find it difficult to deal with the emotional changes. Educators have identified certain transition points in a child’s school life which are predominantly demanding and the children usually need emotional support when faced with these challenges — physical, emotional, social and academic. Preschool, elementary and upper elementary are the very first of the transitions that a child is faced with.

Preschool Transition

  • Physical/Emotional Challenges — for most children, preschool is an introduction to conducting themselves without the presence of their parents. Children begin to realise the very concept of discipline and manners.
  • Social Challenges — toddlers at a preschool have to conduct their activities together and develop friendships with each other.
  • Academic Challenges — preschoolers develop listening, basic reading and recalling skills and paying attention.

Early Elementary Transition

  • Physical/Emotional Challenges — transition to a grade school means attending bigger classrooms and longer school days, i.e. extended separation from parents and the usual caregivers. The students have to adjust to the concept of daily time tables and a routine life. Completion of assignments becomes essential.
  • Social Challenges — children form much more comprehensive friendships as compared to preschool and develop their first set of ‘best’ friends.
  • Academic Challenges — children are introduced to basic reading and mathematical calculations. They learn how to read and make an effort to understand the meaning of words. They begin to identify with the characters in stories.

Upper Elementary School

  • Physical/Emotional Challenges — in the elementary grades, more independence is handed over to the children. Different personalities of the students begin to emerge and their different aptitudes are more apparent.
  • Social Challenges — children try and expand friendships and begin to work in cooperation with each other and tend to get more comfortable in once particular kind of social circle.
  • Academic Challenges — the mere acquisition of basic skills becomes redundant. Now, children are expected to be able to use basic skills to acquire information and solve problems, to be competent in reading comprehension and writing skills.