How can parents help children get ready for school.

If you feel your child is not displaying most of the school readiness signs, there are many simple, easy and effective activities that you can  undertake with your child that have a positive effect on their development and promote school readiness.

These include;

  • Reading with your child
  • Teaching them songs and nursery rhymes
  • Playing with letters and numbers
  • Taking children on excursions
  • Creating regular opportunities for them to play with their friends and other children.
  • Talking to your child about how their day was and what they did
  • Spend time with your child, including playing, cuddling, and hugging
  • Create and enforce a routine within your home that your child needs to follow (i.e., times of meals, naptimes, and bedtimes).
  • Take time to talk to your child
  • Encourage and answer questions from your child
  • Engage in informal reading and counting activities at home
  • Promote your child’s cognitive development by showing and encouraging your child to think about the world around them
  • Promote play that helps develop literacy skills
  • Problem-solving skills, creativity, and imagination
  • Familiarize children with the alphabet and with numbers

Ensure opportunity to develop social skills through:

  • Playgroups
  • Enrolling them in a School Readiness Program
  • Encourage behaviours that demonstrate respect and courtesy
  • Encourage children to accept responsibility and build competence through simple chores such as putting toys away and picking up clothes

Placing your child into a School Readiness Program will supply further reinforcement of your child’s general school readiness skills. However, as with anything else in life, some School Readiness Programs are better than others. Listed below are 10 indicators of quality School Readiness Programs prepared by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

  1. Children are mainly active in the classroom – that is, playing and/or working with other children or materials
  2. Children have access to various hands-on materials and activities
  3. Children receive individual and small-group time with the teachers, and not solely large-group time.
  4. Children’s work is displayed in the classroom
  5. Children learn numbers and the alphabet throughout the entire day – learning of these concepts is embedded into everyday activities
  6. Children are given at least an hour to play and explore with little worksheet use
  7. Children are provided a daily opportunity to play outside
  8. Children are read to by teachers, individually and in small-groups
  9. Children receive adapted curriculum dependent on individual needs
  10. Children and parents are excited about attending the program – children are happy and do not regularly cry or complain