Are you sending your sensitive preschooler to 'big school' soon?
Do you want your child to THRIVE and not just 'cope' when school begins?
You are not alone.
Even though starting school is an exciting time for many families, for parents with sensitive children it can be a nerve-wracking experience too.
If your pre-schooler is anxious, change might be hard to deal with. If you're unfamiliar with the Australian school system, navigating a new landscape could be tough too. If your child has behavioural, dietary or health vulnerabilities, it's natural to worry about what will happen when school begins. If your family background is a little complex, or if your child's learning, social or sensory processing skills sometimes cause concern, it's understandable to want to do everything you can to help your child fit in with the rest of the class.
If your son or daughter needs a bit of understanding and help before school begins, this is the 'sensitive' school readiness book you've been looking for. School Ready offers practical advice, strategies, tips and templates for parents of children with unique needs.
You'll find common-sense ideas to help your child (and you!) make a happy, successful start to primary school, including how to:
- decide whether your child is ready to start school
- evaluate schools and make the right choice for your child
- successfully manage your child's transition from preschool to 'big school'
- build strong, supportive relationships with teachers and other parents
- work with the school community to ensure your child succeeds
- develop strategies to help your sensitive child overcome the daily challenges of a new environment
- be a champion for your child and ensure your voice is heard at school.
Written by award-winning teacher, business leader, parent educator and mum Sonja Walker, School Ready provides solutions to the unique problems faced by families such as yours.
About the Author
Sonja has been a teacher for 30 years, and is also the proud mum of a child with unique needs. She is the founder of Kids First Children's Services, an award-winning pediatric health and education practice in Sydney which has supported more than 11,000 children and families. Sonja leads an experienced team of psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and teachers, and together they support children aged 2 to 18 to get ready to meet the social, emotional and learning demands of preschool, school and life.
'Sonja has written an incredibly practical book about a concern most parents wrestle with: ensuring their child is ready for school. This is an issue that confronts most parents before their child starts school, but is most certainly amplified for families with children with unique needs. Sonja combines simple, realistic advice that parents crave and her work is underpinned by her comprehensive experience as a former teacher and as a mum. Sonja has a thorough understanding of the latest research and science about child development and balances this with personal stories and anecdotes interspersed throughout the book. This is a must-read for all parents and early childhood educators embarking on the journey of preparing children for school.'
- Dr Kristy Goodwin, Digital Health and Wellbeing Speaker, Researcher, author and mum
'As a mother of three, all with unique needs of their own, and a primary teacher of 30 years, I can relate to this sensitive and realistic book. Sonja has thoroughly covered the many aspects and concerns about your child starting school from a parents' point of view. She has given suggestions of how to deal with so many situations in a humorous, sensible and practical way. Personal and professional anecdotes throughout the book add a personal and very real touch to what can be a traumatic and deeply stressful time of life for all parents, and especially for those with sensitive and unique needs. A thoroughly enjoyable, informative and practical read. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any parent of a child that is starting school.'
- Tracey Nicholls, Primary Teacher
'Sonja Walker is a dynamo and this book not only reflects her years of service to kids and families, but also her personal integrity and passion for representing families whose voices are rarely heard. Readers of School Ready will benefit from the commonsense wisdom of this hard-working professional who is an amazing source of knowledge for Australian parents.'
- Mary Klarica, Speech Pathologist
'This book is a practical, "no holds barred" guide. It will help you not only help get your child ready for school, but help you to be ready also. You can use the book to reflect on areas that you may not have thought about while walking you through the things that are bothering you. Sonja's use of stories from families as well as teachers shares personal insights that are personal and immensely valuable. I think that families, intervention services and schools alike should look at ways to use it.'
- Kerry Dominish, Early Childhood Interventionist, Speech Pathologist
'For years, I've been looking for a high-quality school readiness resource to share with parents of sensitive children, and from now on, this excellent book will be the one that I recommend to all of the families I work with. School Ready is an invaluable tool to guide parents through the important and stressful time of school selection and transition. Sonja Walker's helpful advice echoes the sentiment of clinical supports I provide in psychology consultations with families, so I am thrilled that this invaluable resource will be available to all Australian families. The wisdom and guidance Sonja shares in School Ready is essential reading for parents and professionals alike.'
- Caroline de Fina, child psychologist, Founder, Best Start Clinic