School Readiness Blog Part 2
This week we are continuing to talk about school readiness and the skills your child needs for school.
This is an important area to consider and is often a skill children haven’t developed when they start school.
You need to consider:
Has your child got the emotional maturity for school? Are they able to sit still, focus and concentrate on what the teacher has to say? Are they able to share and take turns?
Are they able to remain focussed for long enough to follow multi-step instructions.
Is your child able to sit still, cross-legged on the floor without the need to roll around and constantly shift his posture. Are they used to sitting at a desk for extended periods of time and can they complete table top activities?
The children that are referred to us in the very early weeks of Kindergarten, usually spent their preschool years in the sandpit or playing with the trains and cars at preschool. These activities are less structured than desk top activities and there is not always a definitive finish time, so children don’t learn about task completion. ie. You work on a task until you have finished it. Not give up half way through as you consider it too hard. Activities at school are carefully planned and timetabled. Children must be able to stay focussed to finish the task.
The presence of this skill in children starting school has faded over recent years. Parents can no longer control their child’s environment once they start school. This is where children are going to learn that they are in a sometimes competitive landscape and whilst they may try hard and put in a wonderful effort, they may not win the colouring in competition or the blue ribbon in the athletics carnival, they may not get the Merit award this week despite trying to be well behaved in class. They might get a detention for a fight even if it was the other child’s fault. We taught our daughter from a very early age ” Life’s not always fair, get used to it, but to keep striving and always do your best.”
It’s also important to teach your children that it’s ok to make mistakes, and that is how you learn. Often, children who are referred to us, have such low self-esteem, they have given up trying, or they will complete the minimal amount of work although they are capable of so much more.
A very important skill for children starting school. Has your child got good eye contact, are they able to have a reciprocal conversation? Can they readily engage in play with their peers or are they still happy playing in their own imaginary world. Organizing play dates before your child starts school is a good way to develop this skill.
What is your child’s articulation like? Can they be understood by their peers? If not they won’t be able to add input into games and will become very frustrated if they can’t be understood.
These are the areas we see children struggle with when they start school. If your child is struggling in any of the areas please feel free to call me on 9913 3823.