Readiness is often incorrectly judged according to academic knowledge such as whether a child can count to 10 or 20, or write their name. This is understandable as parents recognise counting and writing as fundamental skills that will be acquired and learned early in their child's schooling.
However, whilst early literacy and numeracy are important for young preschoolers, formal reading, writing and counting are not vital indicators for school readiness. Factors associated with a successful start and continued learning in school are related to a child's social and emotional maturity.
For a child to function productively and learn constructively at school, they need to be able to:
- separate calmly from parent/caregiver when dropped off at preschool
- show an interest in peers and begin forming friendships
- deal with conflict or frustration without hurting others physically or verbally
- adapt to different classrooms and teaching styles
- take some responsibility for their own belongings, actions, and behaviours
- problem solve
- communicate effectively, being able to talk with and respond to both peers and teachers
- follow a few directions at a time without being distracted
- complete a task without needing lots of prompting from teachers
- make some decisions and initiate play without always following the lead of others or needing lots of prompting from teachers.
- understand what is happening
At Nought to Five we want every child to have this opportunity, to thrive, to enjoy, to develop a sense of community, belonging and success. Sending a child to school before they possess the required emotional and social maturity often leads children to struggle in all areas of formal schooling, and find their first years of school an unhappy experience.
As parents and educators, the more careful we are in determining the time for a child to start school, the more likely we are to set children up to succeed in all areas of learning and life. Our teaching staff have expertise in child development and will gladly assist you in your decision of when to send your child to school and which skills to help them develop beforehand.