Encouraging School Readiness Skills in Young Children
Our Three plus Program is a holistic process that takes place over a period of time. While it is natural for both children and parents to feel anxious, this transition is best approached with an open mind, patience and good humour. By the time your child is of school age, they will already have a wide range of skills. But while literacy and numeracy skills are important, there are certain life skills that will help your child adapt and thrive in their early school years. So how do you know if your child is ready for school?
Identify your child’s understanding of language by observing the way they use it. If they make simple mistakes with pronunciation but understand the basic concepts, the other will come in time. If they are having trouble communicating, spend some time finding out why. Rather than reaching for the flash cards, enjoy conversations with your child that explore the challenges and wonders of language. Explore a range of literary sources such as silly poems, popular songs, street signs and cereal packets. Encourage children to tell their own stories and model storytelling by sharing personal childhood stories.
Nurturing self-control in children is not about controlling them but allowing them to gain control over their own feelings and actions. This takes time and patience. Allowing your child to experience a lack of self-control and then letting them experience the benefits of greater self-control will help them to understand the difference.
Encourage your child to observe their daily needs in preparation for school. Are they hungry, thirsty, tired or needing the toilet? Support them to recognise these needs in the home environment and teach them to ask for help when needed.
Little roles of responsibility are great for building self-confidence. Let kids pick out apples to go in the shopping trolley, carry in the washing, or set the table. Offer praise for jobs well done.
Fine Motor Skills
Using child-safe scissors, learning to hold a pencil, setting the table, and getting dressed all exercise fine motor skills.
Interactions with other children and adults are easier for some children than others. All children develop at different stages and some are more socially confident than others. Given the support to be themselves and the opportunity to socialise with others, children will naturally come out of their shell when they are ready.
Giving your child little problems to solve is great for their cognitive skills. Everyday problems from what to do with muddy shoes to how to construct a doll house will give your child the opportunity to use thinking skills.
You can begin to introduce your child to the shape and sound of letters using all kinds of thing, including dry pasta, play dough, and shaving cream. Bringing attention to the letters around us and the concept of sounds are great pre-writing activities. Try not to become anxious about your child’s ability to read words or even letters at this early stage. It is much more important that they develop a love of learning and enjoy using language. The reading will come.
Adopting strategies for conflict resolution with our children allows them to voice their needs and helps them feel safe to ask for help in the outside world. Coercive, hostile or punitive interactions with children have been shown to impact negatively on their school readiness and relationships with others. When providing boundaries and guidance on unhealthy behaviours, remain positive, patient and inclusive, and allow your child to feel heard.
The Wider Community
Get to know your local school and meet the teachers. Seeing a parent engaged in relaxed conversation with teachers and other parents allows children to feel at ease with the transition and encourages continuity between school and home life.
A combination of thoughtful parenting and early childhood education will prepare young children for kindergarten, school and the world beyond. It will aid them in developing important social, emotional and learning skills. For more information on school readiness and how we can help you prepare, contact Hamersley Early Learning School today.