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.
- 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...
- 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!