School readiness is a widely discussed topic and it is something I am reviewing myself at the moment just to make sure that Possum will be indeed ready for school next year.
From the research that I have done, I have come up with a check list (love a list!!) which covers the key areas which can help determine whether or not a child is ready for school.
PHYSICAL HEALTH AND WELL BEING
(1). Physical readiness for school.
Human Resources and Social Development Canada defines this as “possession of adequate levels of energy to enable the child to concentrate on school activities and the ability to resist common infections.”
(2). Age appropriate gross and fine motor skills.
Children are skilled at running, climbing and jumping.
Child can control a pencil and cut with scissors.
(3). Responsibility and Respect.
Child can listen to instructions and can carry them out independently.
Child can be aware of how their own behaviour impacts on others.
(4). Readiness to explore new things.
Self-confidence so that the child does not have to devote energy to defending against fear of failure and is willing to try new tasks. (Human Resources and Social Development Canada)
(5). Pro Social behaviour
Plays with other children and is able to take turns and engage in cooperative activities.
Child has basic peer relationships skills which can allow them to do things like enter a group of playing children.
(6). Ability to manage emotions.
Child can control own emotions, such as anger or frustration, in many situations with minimal adult assistance.
Child has some ability to stop and think before deciding how to act.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
(7). Ability to clearly communicate oneâ€™s own needs and understand others.
To do this, the child must be able to:
– join simple sentences together to describe a past or present action or experience.
– hold a prolonged conversation and express ideas.
(8). Interest in general knowledge about the world.
Child has an understanding of his/her place in the world and has curiosity about the world around them.
LANGUAGE AND COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
(9). Basic Literacy
Children begin to understand that:
– a story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
– language can be used symbolically to represent remote or even imaginary events.
(10). Basic Numeracy.
Child has an understanding of categorisation and can reliably sort by colour or shape.
Obviously if your child is attending preschool, the teacher will also be able to provide their expert view on the school readiness of your child.
Another great resource on school readiness is What’s the Hurry? by Kathy Walker. I found this book extremely helpful in making a decision on when to send my second son to school. Can you recommend any other resources that I can compile on the issue of school readiness?