School Readiness and the Transition to School
As the first day of school looms, you might be wondering if your child is really ready. Maybe you’re worried they’re still a bit shy or they don’t sit still for long enough. Perhaps you are concerned they don’t have enough literacy and numeracy skills to be starting school. Going to school marks a big change for both you and your child. Most children will not have every school readiness skill under their belt before they begin school. Even the most confident children may struggle in the beginning!
There are lots of things that can help your child hit the ground running when they start school. The more of these school readiness skills they foster, the more likely they are to be successful in their first year of schooling and beyond.
Here are some of the foundations that are useful for an easy and confident transition to school:
It’s natural that some children are quieter than others, but it’s important they are able to form friendships and work as part of a team at school. Here are some things that can help:
- Can your child ask a person or group if they can join in and play?
- Does your child understand how to take turns and compromise if their friends are playing a game differently to how it’s normally played?
Is your child polite and empathetic towards others?
Cognitive skills are far more than knowing the alphabet and identifying numbers. While those skills can be helpful for school, other cognitive skills that show your child is ready to learn in a formal environment include:
- The ability to problem solve
- Knowing how to follow and remember instructions that are more than one step
Beginning to develop a longer attention span – can they focus on a game or puzzle for an extended period of time?
Language skills are essential for those transitioning to school. Children who are lacking in language skills can lose confidence or become frustrated with their inability to communicate with their teacher or peers. It helps if your child is able to:
- Discuss a variety of topics using a reasonably extensive vocabulary
- Retell something that happened to them in detail
- Listen to someone without interrupting and knowing how to turn take in a conversation
Physical skills help children work more effectively in a classroom setting and help them become confident and skilled learners. It helps if children can confidently:
- Climb, kick and catch a large ball
- Sit with their legs crossed on the carpet
- Tie shoelaces (not essential, but helpful!)
- Use the correct pencil grip
- Hold and use scissors appropriately
Parents can encourage all these skills through a variety of activities such as craft, library time, play dates, involving children in adult conversation, and so much more. Child care services are also well placed to contribute to the foundation for children’s long and short term success at school.
At Mindarie Keys, our child care educators pride themselves on allowing children to explore through play and social experiences. Integrated into our Kindy Childcare, our school readiness program has been developed to ensure your child is ready to start their schooling journey. We combine play-based learning with collaboration with local schools to share ideas and nurture children’s confidence.
To give your children the best start to school, contact Mindarie Keys Early Learning School. We ensure a quality education and care for all children.