Starting School: Ready or Not?

Are you definitely sending your Preschooler next year or are you not sure if he or she is ready?
There is so much discussion as to when children should start school. With some children being “held back” and others being “sent early”, it means that on the playground on Day One, there is a diversity of ages from 4½ to about to turn 6!
With this diversity comes a wide range of abilities across academic, physical and emotional factors.
So when friends ask, “Do they seem ready?” how can you judge their readiness? You are thinking about his/her long-term success and worrying about them keeping up and fitting in with their peers.
As a primary school teacher and tutor of primary-aged kids, I have seen a lot of children start and blossom in their first year.
LessonBuzz250x250 tileHere is a checklist to help you decide if your child is ready:
Checklist that My Child is Physically Ready

  • they can run, walk, jump, throw, dress themselves
  • they can hold pencils, crayons, paper, open books, apply stickers
  • they can feed themselves and manage clothing and toileting independently

Checklist that My Child is Emotionally Ready

  • they can cope without you and have had prior experience with other caregivers
  • they can mix with other children by sharing and communicating, without tears
  • they want to go to school

Checklist that my Child is Intellectually Ready

  • theycan concentrate for 10-15 minutes on one activity
  • they can manipulate pencils and crayons
  • they can recognise print and symbols
  • they can speak clearly
  • they have an interest in learning by observing, commenting, inquiring and exploring

When you decide that your child is ready, do your best to block out the noise from others. Everyone is sure to have an opinion, but at the end of the day, you know your child best.
Support your child’s readiness for school with lots of ‘at school’role play and use literacy apps to engage them in school readiness content.  Building your ‘not-so-little’ one’s confidence for their commencement, is the best head start you can give!
Good luck on this next chapter of your life!
Guest Contributor:
Marie Cullen is an Inner West teacher with 35 years experience, a love of teaching children and a commitment to developing the potential in every child. 

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