Starting school and the first day of school is one of the biggest milestones and steps forward your child is likely to take in their lives; it is a pivotal moment filled to the brim with emotions ranging from joy, delight and enthusiasm to panic, worry, anxiety and concern, to sadness and melancholy. And this will be felt and experienced by parent and child alike.
School readiness refers to whether or not your child is ready to make a smooth, comfortable and effortless transition into their school life. Just like any other process, nothing is perfect, but the key is to make it as easy as possible. The term ‘School Readiness’ is generally in reference to the transition into Kindergarten. Parents can facilitate their child’s school readiness by forward thinking and planning. Ensuring that their children partake in a variety of activities, tasks, interests and pursuits will help them develop the required skills, talents, abilities and the aptitude to be ready for school.
Most people will think of academics when referring to the required skills in reference to school readiness; examples being, be able to write their name, count, being aware of colors, etc. In reality, the term ‘school readiness’ is a much wider term referring to an array of non-academic skills, in addition to some academic skills. Paramount are skills related to independence, attention & focus, cooperation & team work, physical and emotional skills, and language, play and social skills. It is important for your child to be school ready because being so allows the child to gain and absorb the most they can from school and teachers. And for teachers to draw out the potential and talents from your child. Their learning experience will be optimized and fully utilized. Without the basic skills already established and set up, your child will find herself/himself playing ‘catch up’ in relation to those kids that begin their academic journey with their building blocks and foundation laid out, who will have a much easier time in school.
If your child is not school ready, they may not be able to handle expectations placed on them, getting frustrated and upset, struggle to follow day to day school activities, be overly reliant on their parents for simple tasks such as getting dressed up, packing their bags, etc.
A lack of school readiness brings along with it a range of other difficulties; from difficulties in obtaining, maintaining and changing one’s emotion, behavior and attention, to comprehension and understanding of language, to the child lacking the ability to express themselves and their emotions. The list goes on and on.
So, what can be done to get your child school ready? Here are some things, that you as parents can do to better your child’s school readiness: