Ready or Not … School Readiness

Every spring preschools seem to “buzz” with discussions on Kindergarten readiness. Public and private schools hold a variety of screenings to evaluate whether or not your child is “ready” for the next step. Defining and measuring school readiness skills are not simple tasks. A child’s level of curiosity and confidence is not easily measured.

Healthy and strong personal social development is key for school success. Mastering self-help skills, gaining a level of independence, and demonstrating a positive approach to learning are indicators of successful future school experiences.

Another important area to consider when thinking about school readiness, is your child’s motivation to learn, ask questions, stay on task and focus. A child’s ability to control his impulses and the capacity to complete a task because it is needed, are self- regulatory behaviors which will foster productive learning experiences. Small muscle control is also an area of physical development which directly affects a child’s ability to hold writing materials, draw and write letters. By giving children a variety of experiences with puzzles, manipulatives and other art materials, we can strengthen their fine motor ability.

Phonemic awareness, letter recognition, enriched vocabulary, critical thinking skills, and environmental print awareness are all components of early literacy. Expressive and receptive language skills and the ability to follow multi-step directions also help in this very important process of learning.

Future kindergartners should feel confident, capable and comfortable in meeting the challenges of transitioning to the next setting. As parents and educators, we will strive to provide the readiness skills necessary for a future filled with success!

by Regional Educational Director, Nancy Nathanson