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Ready, Steady, Go!

image 357It seems like such a cliché that kids grow up so fast, but parents would know that it really is the case! It seems like yesterday that your little Angel started to walk and today she is pleading with you to take dance lessons. Inevitable we start to wonder whether they would be ready to start school one of these days…

Young children’s earliest experiences and environments set the stage for future development and success in school and life. Early experiences actually influence brain development, establishing the neural connections that provide the foundation for language, reasoning, problem solving, social skills, behavior and emotional health. The first five years of life are critical to a child’s lifelong development.

We play a critical role in helping our children get ready for school. Studies have shown that children from families that are economically secure and have healthy relationships are more likely to succeed in school. Infants and young children thrive when parents and families are able to surround them with love and support and opportunities to learn and explore their world.

School readiness considers the intellectual, social and emotional maturity levels of your child and while maturity cannot be influenced by external factors, school readiness can be encouraged by broadening your child’s experiences and teaching him or her to make full use of his or her senses and abilities.

School maturity is whether or not your child has reached a level of maturity where he is ready for formal teaching of reading, writing and numeracy. This level is usually reached around age 6 and, because it relies on biological factors, it cannot be hastened. However, having reached this level of maturity is no guarantee that your child will be able to cope with the demands of school and this is where school readiness enters the picture.

School readiness refers to your child's ability to measure up to the demands of formal schooling. Specific skills have to be developed in order for your child to be considered ready for school. Aspects which are examined during a school readiness evaluation include:

  • Language skills;
  • Activities of daily life (independence in tasks such as eating, bathing and brushing teeth);
  • Body consciousness;
  • Motor skills;
  • Visual perception;
  • Auditory perception;
  • Cognitive functioning;
  • Concentration and attention span;
  • Emotional functioning; and
  • Social functioning.

It is important to be in contact with your childs Grade R teacher and make sure to listen to your parental instinct if you think there is a problem.

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