By Janelle Dimmock, Begin Bright Hope Island
At this time of year, teachers are frequently asked by parents about how best to prepare their child to start school. Many parents are concerned about whether or not their child is ready to start in the new year or how they will cope. There are many factors that impact on a child’s readiness to transition to Prep and many ways to help prepare them to ensure they are successful.
School readiness refers to whether a child is ready to make an easy and successful transition to school. While many people think of the academic side of preparing a child for school (e.g writing their name, knowing letters and numbers) school readiness skills actually refer to a much broader range of skills that include self-care such as independent toileting and dressing, opening lunch boxes and packets, attention and concentration, physical skills, emotional regulation, language and speech development and play and social skills.
Students who begin school with the building blocks or solid foundation skills, advance faster and are more confident and successful throughout their primary years. While many children with delayed readiness may go on to succeed, the journey for them can be so much more challenging.
School readiness can be actively facilitated with a little forward planning to ensure that children regularly participate in activities that help to develop the appropriate skills to help them be ready to learn when they start school.
Some ideas that may assist: