School Readiness: Will Your Child Be Ready For School?
Posted by: NJ Kids Contributors
- September 22, 2015
Courtesy of Bright Horizons Family Solutions
Importance of School Readiness
The first five years are critical to a child's lifelong development.
Early experiences influence brain development, establishing the neural
connections that provide the foundation for language, reasoning, problem
solving, social skills, behavior, and emotional intelligence - characteristics that often determine how well a child will do in school and in life.
Because early childhood is an important stage of any kid’s life,
today's parents share high expectations for early achievement, including
school readiness. 90% of parents surveyed cited academic preparedness
as the most important factor in their child's preschool experience.
They want to ensure that their children enter school ready to meet or
exceed academic expectations and with a demonstrable ability to apply
their newly developing skills in reading, writing and math.
Teacher Perspectives on School Readiness
In a recent study conducted by Bright Horizons, elementary school
teachers shared their views on what they believe to be the most
important school readiness factors for any child to succeed in a public or private school setting.
Teachers were unified in their feeling that children should enter
their first years of school with an ability to comprehend broader
language and math concepts, as well as to be prepared for the social and
emotional demands of school. In fact, 96% of teachers surveyed
indicated they believe that social and emotional preparedness are the
most important outcomes of a child's preschool experience in order for
them to be poised for academic success in the elementary years.
- Teachers agree that key indicators of the children's social and
emotional readiness for kindergarten and first grade are readiness to
accept new responsibilities and greater independence; a strong
enthusiasm for learning; an ability to make new friends; and the ability to respect others.
- 96% believe the child's preschool experience played a critical role in the child's preparedness for school.
Common Myths about What School Readiness Means for Your Child
There's no reason for most parents to be anxious about school
readiness. Children who come from homes where adults read, spend engaged
time with their children, value literacy, and/or have some social
interactions with other children in child care, playdates or groups, or preschool are usually well prepared for kindergarten.
But there are some common myths of which to be aware.
- Myth #1 - Learning the ABC's is crucial to school readiness.
The Truth: While important, learning the ABC's is a
memorization skill. It's more important that children recognize letters
and identify their sounds to prepare for school.
- Myth #2 - Children need to count to 50 before going to grade school.
The Truth: Again while it is important that
children understand the order of numbers, when it comes to school
readiness, it is far more important to understand the idea of 1-to-1
correspondence (each number counted corresponds to an object, person,
etc.) and understanding quantity.
- Myth #3 - The more teacher-directed the learning, the better.
The Truth: Children internalize concepts more
fully when they are actively engaged in exploration and learning versus
being told by someone else. Teachers should be there to guide learning.
- Myth #4 - The more a program looks like the school we remember as a child the more children will learn.
The Truth: Young child learn best in an
environment that allows them to make choices; to select their own
materials for at least part of the day; and empowers them to try new
things with a teacher who guides the learning.
- Myth #5 - Children need quiet to learn.
The Truth: Children need a language-rich environment where
adults provide responsive language interactions and where vocabulary is
- Myth #6 - Learning to write is all about letter formation.
The Truth: While letter formation is one part, even more
important is understanding the idea of recording one's ideas on paper.
When a child makes some scribbles and says "This is my daddy," write
your child's words on the picture and she will begin to make connections
between spoken and written words.
Learning some "school skills" like lining up and raising hands before
transitioning to school will certainly help make the transition to
formal schooling easier; however, the best way to prepare your kids to
enter school is giving them the chance to fully explore and experiment
in an environment with caring adults who guide, support, and extend
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Posted by: NJ Kids Contributors|
September 22, 2015