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What is School Readiness? (Birth to Age 3)
School readiness means that a child is ready to learn how to do things independently and enter a social and educationally based environment. To do this, a child should have the ability to:
- Express thoughts
- Listen and ask questions
- Speak with others
- Use a growing vocabulary
- Be curious, active, and want to learn
- Know how to follow directions
- Be familiar with "classroom setup" (teacher at front)
- Work by himself and with others
- Think before they act
- Know how to share and take turns
- Be experienced with and excited for books
- Be aware of language and written words
- Understand how words are put together
How Do I Make Sure My Child Is Ready For School?
1. Foster confidence and a sense of safety with daily routines so that your baby learns what to expect from his world.
If a child feels safe and loved, he is more likely to feel confident about himself and to make friends with others. Self-esteem and emotional awareness are just as important to school success as familiarity with letters and numbers.
2. Talk, sing, and play games with your child.
- Have a set bedtime with a song, story, or prayer
- Have set place to eat meals
- Hold hands with your toddler who is just beginning to walk
- Praise her when she does something right
Babies' brains are wired to learn language and it is easier for them to learn new words in the earliest years. So...
3. Encourage your child's interest in the world around him.
- Talk to your children in any language about any subject in order to develop familiarity with the building blocks of language.
- Use lots of detail and short sentences as you include your children in everyday conversations
- Repeat words and phrases. Children enjoy hearing the same stories, singing the same songs and playing the same games. Repetition strengthens the language connections in the brain.
- Don't expect children to say every word correctly. Let them make their own mistakes and then casually "model" the correct pronunciation
- Sing, dance, and clap with your baby, even if you don't think your signing voice is good.
- Take walks together and describe the things you see along the way
- Use everyday items to introduce math. Ask questions like, "How many cookies are on the plate?" and count them.
- Build positive loving connections with your child
4. Use books with your baby!
- Always have books for children in your home. It doesn't matter if they are library books or if you own them.
- Board books are great for babies and toddlers. Don't be surprised if they chew on them -- it is part of their learning experience at a young age.
Thank you to the Enoch Pratt Free Library for this great information!