Between ages five and six, most children start attending elementary school. Some children may attend half-day kindergarten and others may attend full-day kindergarten. Some children may be home-schooled and still others may spend an additional year in pre-kindergarten because they aren’t ready for kindergarten or because their birthdays are past or close to the cutoff date for enrolling in school. How much time a child spends in school can influence his daily schedule and routine.
If children are home throughout the day they should be provided with opportunities to play and work on age-appropriate projects independently. Children should also have time to engage in active and quiet activities, to play outdoors and indoors, and to play alone and with peers. They should also be asked to take on basic housekeeping tasks like setting the table and helping to fold laundry. Parents and nannies should work on kindergarten readiness skills like name writing, letter and number recognition, letter sounds, shapes, colors, cutting, following directions and social skills.
If a child is in school, the nanny should help the child transition as he prepares to leave for school and as he returns home. When he returns home she can provide a snack for the child, allow for quiet time, talk about the child’s day, encourage free play and help organize and supervise homework.
Children in kindergarten and first grade can pour their own drinks, help to prepare basic foods, can put on their shoes, zip their zippers and tie their shoes. They can also clean up their room and feed the family pet.
As children grow, so does their ability to care for themselves. During the elementary school years children can be expected to make their beds, use table manners, manage small amounts of money and take care of all of their personal care needs independently. They can also be expected to take on a growing number of household chores. Some children will need coaching, reminders or a home and self-care management system, like a to-do list, to help reinforce their ability to handle tasks and to complete them properly.