Is my Child Ready to Go to School?
It’s Time For School! Is It Really?
How old is your child? What are some signs that he or she might be ready to go to school? Is he or she interested in learning about letters, shapes, numbers and colors? These are just a few of the questions you may have when trying to determine if your child is ready to go to school. The stages of child development are so complex that oftentimes it’s difficult for you to understand your child.
There’s no one-size-fits all answer on when it’s time for your child to start going to kindergarten but there are plenty of factors worth keeping in mind. When should I start thinking about getting my child ready for school?
Before your child turns five, there are a number of things you can do to help them prepare for school. What activities do they like to do at home? Have you introduced books and other print materials they can look at and listen to? We’ll explore these in detail below so you can make an informed decision and know what steps need to be taken next.
7 Signs your Child is Ready to Go to School!
Your child is eager to learn through books and other media:
Books provide a window on the world for your child, so it’s important to start reading them in quantity from an early age. Most importantly, make sure there are books that are appealing to children! You could also consider getting your five-year-old involved with websites and other interactive activities that interest children.
They have a grasp on the concept of one-to-one correspondence:
To help your child prepare to go to school, teach them about counting in preparation for learning to count by rote. You can start teaching this as early as 18 months old. If they seem receptive, you can try using number flash cards.
It’s also a good idea to get them familiar with basic shapes, such as round and square.
They can tell time:
Another useful skill to start helping your child learn is telling time, particularly through analog clocks. It might be worth it to buy them a clock they can use for practice at home.
They can use a computer:
It may seem early, but preparing your child to be able to use technology will help them get the most out of school. Thankfully, you don’t have to do much teaching here. A lot of the time it is enough if they just watch how you work on your laptop or desktop to get a basic idea of how technology works.
They can count to 20:
Keep working on your child’s counting skills, as the school year will start with children being able to count from 1-20. Their elementary classes will also help them work on this skill. Just have them practice everyday after they play so that it is fresh in their minds when they begin to go to school. If they are having trouble with this, a few games of flashcards can help.
They can do basic spelling:
Don’t spend too much time teaching them the basics. If they are having trouble, there might be classes for that in school. But most of the time, learning how to spell and write will be part of their normal daily work once they start to go to school.
They can write their name:
This is a great achievement for any young child, especially when you consider that many of them will go to school in the first or second grade. The rest will take some time to learn, but they should start working on it at home before they go to school so they are one step ahead!
Tips to Get your Child Ready for the First Day of School!
There are things you can do as a parent to make your child’s first day at school pleasant and more acceptable!
Talk about going to school.
Talk about it in a positive way! Tell your child that you’re very proud of them because they can go to school and do the work, especially how much they have grown up this year. And ask them some questions: Who else will be at the school?
Make your child feel good about themselves.
Tell them how smart and strong they are, no matter what their size or talents are! Make sure that you go to school at least 15 minutes before the first bell rings so you can talk to the teacher and let them know about your child’s personality.
Set a good example.
Be positive and show your child that you’re happy about going to school, too! Talk about how much you love learning new things and meeting people at school. You can even share your story of the first day at school.
Help them get ready.
Help your child pack a backpack with an extra set of clothes and anything else they might need that day, like their lunch or art supplies!
Give them a hug!
Hugs boost your child’s serotonin levels! And makes them feel happy and loved. This is a great big change so let’s do the best we can for them. Also since there is a pandemic looming, do read up on it and assess your advantages and disadvantages when it comes to sending them to a physical school.
The decision to send your child off for the first day of school can be a tough one. It’s important to know that you are not alone in this as many parents have felt this way before and will feel it again when their children get older. There is no perfect answer or timeline on when exactly a child should go to school, but there are some factors worth considering such as what type of environment they would thrive in and how ready they seem with certain skills like reading comprehension at home.
However, if you do decide to put them into preschool classes early (before kindergarten), talk to other parents who may want an earlier start too so that your kids don’t lose out on socialization opportunities with peers their age and you understand the child psychology of your kid slightly better.