Is Your Little Learner School-Ready?
School readiness is as much about the social and emotional challenges your child will face, as it is about how well prepared they are academically. When your little learner starts at kindergarten they will be facing one of the biggest changes in their lives so far. They will leave behind the familiar stability of home, or the childcare centre, as their main daily constant. They will now need to form new bonds with new classmates and teachers, learn their way around new places and adjust to a whole new routine, all of this while trying to learn bigger and better things than ever before!
In fact, as parents, one of the biggest mistakes we make is worrying too much about what level our child is at with regard to reading, writing and maths – and not enough about whether they are emotionally ready. After all, confidence, stability and success usually come as an entire package!
It is important to remember that all children develop at their own pace, with some strengths emerging before others. No single child is expected to start school with exactly the same skills, at exactly the same level. School is there to teach and improve on these skills and to support your child through their various developmental stages. But there are always things we can do to help and support our children through this period of transition.
Here are a few key skills your child can practise before starting school:
- Talking about like/dislikes, objects and events
- Asking/answering questions
- Expressing needs, like being thirsty or needing the toilet
- Enjoying age-appropriate books and pictures
- Singing along to nursery rhymes/songs
- Recognising numbers and practising with counting
- Practising with less/more
- Identifying differences in shapes
- Learning opposites – up/down, under/over, in front/behind
- Using the toilet
- Knowing name and address/house number
- Tidying-up after playing
- Playing, sharing and taking turns
- Listening and concentrating e.g. story time
- Ad-lib playing and make-believe
- Using safety scissors and practising crafts
- Enjoying indoor and outdoor play
- Practising getting dressed
To offer their children all the support available to them, parents should seriously consider enrolling their child with one of the pioneering new early learning centres, such as the Cherry Bridge Station Early Learning Centres in NSW. This is not a basic playschool, but in-fact a service that is centred on flexible packages to suit the whole family. Accepting children from 0-5 years these centres offer a huge range of fun activity-based programs, from sensory development for babies, to language, maths, music, and cognitive development for pre-schoolers.
Cherry Bridge Station is focused on the academic and emotional success of your child, and working closely with local schools, they can tailor your child’s School Readiness Program to ensure that your little learner is practising all of the important skills they will need for getting a head-start in their education.