Term 1 of school is almost over … and as mums most of us have lots of questions about what comes next!

It doesn’t matter whether your child has just started at school, is new to secondary or is doing the HSC, we’ve always got questions …

  • Does my child need extra help?
  • Are they being bullied?
  • Are days off OK?
  • What should I be doing as the mum?
  • How often should I talk to the teacher?

These are all great questions but often we don’t know who to turn to for advice …  until now!

Sonja Walker_Director Kids First_mom answers_mouths of Mums

Join Sonja Walker, Director of Kids First, and the Mouths of Mums team on

Tuesday 9 April @ 8.00pm

for a MoM ANSWERS LIVE DISCUSSION on the Mouths of Mums facebook page.

The MoM Answers Live Discussion is designed to get you straight in touch with an expert so that you can discuss your questions and get some answers on the spot! 

We’re hoping that even if you don’t ask a question, you’ll still find the discussion really useful.

Sonja is a qualified teacher and busy mum. Sonja leads a team of highly experienced Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Child Psychologists and specialist teachers at Kids First Children’s Services – an integrated children’s health, therapy and learning centre in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Kids First supports children aged 2-18 and is an accredited Early Intervention Provider offering individual and small group support for children eligible for Helping Children with Autism and Better Start for Children with Disability funding. Sonja also provides mobile professional development programs for preschool staff, helping them to identify kids with additional needs and communicate compassionately with parents.

How will the LIVE DISCUSSION work?

On Tuesday 9th April at 8.00pm, Sonja will join the Mouths of Mums team on the Mouths of Mums facebook page and will be ready to answer as many questions as she possibly can in an hour.  All you need to do is post a question in the SCHOOL! MoM Answers Live Discussion post on the night and we’ll get to it.

GET A VIDEO ANSWER from Sonja!

Prior to the live discussion, we will be creating a series of videos where Sonja answers the most popular questions from the Mouths of Mums members.  If you have a question you would like included in the video series, POST YOUR QUESTION AS A COMMENT ON THIS PAGE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE or email your question to answers@mouthsofmums.com.au. We will look at all these questions and interview Sonja about the questions that are most frequently asked.

CHECKLIST FOR THE LIVE DISCUSSION:

  1. Post a question below or email your question to answers@mouthsofmums.com.au
  2. Mark the date in your diary, on your calendar and on the fridge!
  3. Like Mouths of Mums on facebook (if you don’t already)
  4. Make sure you receive all Mouths of Mums posts in your facebook feed by adding us to your Newsfeed and interacting with all our posts between now and April 9, 2013
  5. Recommend this page to as many other mums as you can – the more mums we get involved, the better the discussion will be!
  6. At 7.55pm on April 9, grab your glass of wine, Baileys, your tea or coffee, go to the actual Mouths of Mums facebook page and get ready to ask Sonja about any questions you have concerning school.
  7. Please be patient once you’ve added your question – there may be lots at once and Sonja will be typing like mad!  While you wait for your answer, you’ll be able to watch some of the video answers we produce and follow some of the other questions.

WANT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH KIDS FIRST DIRECTLY?

Contact Kids First Children’s Services on (02) 9938 5419 or visit www.kids-first.com.au  for more information, tips and resources for kids of all ages and abilities.


  • Thankyou for getting back to me :). We were thinking maybe waiting till the end of the year before we would make the move, if we even did. She can no longer access her friends easily, as they are now a drive away instead of a walk. Even though it is only a suburb, it is a definite region divide. Thanks again so much for your time!



  • Julie has asked “My 5 year old started school this year and seems to be struggling with her written work? She also seems to be a bit behind some other students do I need to be worried?”


  • Hi Jay. Wow – this is a topic that I could talk about all night!
    (and frequently do – every year Kids First runs a free event for parents on this topic and it’s always a sell out!) The things you will look for in a school will very much depend on the values that you as a family have. Is academic performance important? How crucial is it to have a local school to which your child can walk or ride? are extra curricular activities that meet your child’s skills and interests offered? What specific training do the staff have? I could go on and on!! Don’t forget that schools change, so the school you went to as a child has probably ( let’s face it, hopefully!) changed a bit. I am often asked this question and have come up a checklist called 50 Questions to Ask when Choosing a School for Your Child. I hope they help, either now or in the future!! You’ll find a downloadable version here http://www.kids-first.com.au/app/articles/articles/view/choosing-the-right-school-for-your-child-50-questions-to-ask



  • Jay has asked “We are thinking about moving to a new area, what should we be looking for in a school?”


  • Hi Smilie If you are living just one suburb away, I probably would think very carefully about exposing her to the disruption of a move, particularly at this time in the year. Can your daughter still contact and play with friends easily and quickly? if you’re not far away and she loves the school she is in, I would be inclined to keep her where she is and make the most of her enthusiasm and positive attitude!


  • Hi Josa My personal belief is that you can never go past the expertise and experience of a qualified teacher when you want to help your child excel at school. Online sites like Mathletics and Spellodrome are great when children already know how to execute skills and just need to practice, but if a child is really confused and doesn’t know what he or she is doing, they are really best served by being taught those skills face to face. Regarding a support group for parents of children with selective mutism, I suggest you contact your local community health service or hospital affiliated child and family health clinic. Specialists there may be able to direct you to a local group that could help



  • We are loving your questions mums and thanks for taking part. We’ve got Sonja from Kids First Children’s Services online with us for another 15 minutes so any last questions, pop them up. Thanks Sonja – we really appreciate your time. MoM x


  • Hi Meaganie. there are many things you can do to help your child transition to kindergarten. make sure that you take her for walks and show her the kindy before you leave her there for the first day. Taking photos of all of the key areas in the kindy can be a great way to help her become familiar – so take shots of the classroom, toilets, play area, bag area etc can be very helpful…especially if you print them up and make a story book for her ( this is called a social story) if you daughter will be taking her own lunch to kindy, make sure you practice unwrapping lunches at home! For some more practical ideas, check out these suggestions from my colleagues at Kids First http://www.kids-first.com.au/app/articles/articles/view/startschoolscuccessfully


  • Thanks for the advice. It is really difficult to know which is the best way to go for him…


  • HI again Kristie-Anne. from the very small amount of information that you are able to give me in this kind of forum, it seems as though your little man might benefit form a structured approach at kindy where staff use a visual schedule to help him to understand what comes next, where he needs to be and how he needs to get involved. Many, many children benefit from this approach and also form the use of ‘social stories’, which can be used to help a child become familiar with new routines. Your preschool should be aware of these kinds of strategies and perhaps you could ask them if these could be trialled with your little boy. alternatively, you may like to seek the support and advice of a child psychologist to discover ways of dealing with the kindy and also helping you little boy to settle in more easily



  • Meaganie has asked “My daughter’s starting kindergarten in 3 wks time .What shall i do 2 help her out?”



  • Josa12 has asked: “Where could I get info to encourage my children to excel with their studies e.g online ? I would like to know if there’s any support group for selective mutism in Melb. Thanks!”



  • We just moved from one suburb to another. My daughter is in year one, and is doing very well at school. She loves it too, and chooses to attend rather than stay home, even if unwell. I currently am driving her and picking her up from her school, but am wondering if I leave her there, or move her to the local school in our suburb we have moved to? I’m so worried about making the wrong decision for her!


  • Sorry also should have added, he is not a picky eater, we have night time fights about dinner at times, but that is about dinner in general being tired at the end of the day, he eats pretty much anything, not bothered by bright lights and sudden noises aside from giving him a normal startle he is ok with these things. He loves to play and learns very well through these things, and as I said is very stubborn and likes to try and enforce his independence at times, I feel some of the dramas are stemming from him being allowed to go off to alternate activities because he was putting on a performance about sitting still on the mat and then the next week he was told he could no longer do this and had to sit on the mat.


  • Hi there. Early entry to school is fairly rare and only offered to children with exceptional social, emotional and learning skills. Should you really believe that your child is gifted and talented, you can have her academic potential and capacity formally tested by an educational and developmental psychologist. These results could be very helpful as you make informed decisions. Once you have these results and IF they indicate that your child might be a candidate for early entry, you need to contact the school that you would like to send your child to nice and early in the year prior to school entry. The Principal will be able to inform you of the processes you need to follow to apply for early entry to the first year of school


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