As a child approaches their fifth birthday and big school looms closer than ever before, parents may wonder if their child is socially, emotionally and cognitively ready for the formal school environment.
Every child develops differently and will have strengths and weaknesses in different areas. However, when considering a child’s school readiness, parents should question and assess a number of different things. Can the child go to the toilet independently, eat independently, share an adult’s attention with several other children, hold a pencil/crayon in a non-fisted grip, control a pair of scissors, trace lines and basic shapes, speak in complete sentences, follow simple instructions, display concentration and patience, engage in cooperative play with other children, follow routines and communicate their needs, wants and concerns with teachers.
If a child does not have one or two of these milestones this does not necessarily mean parents should preclude their child from attending school. If there are concerns about a child’s school readiness, further advice should be sought from a preschool teacher or a specialised school readiness centre. Teachers are trained in assessing children’s development and will be able to inform parents if their child is ready to make the smooth transition from pre-school to their first year of Kindergarten.
Author: Sim K