Family Participation in School Readiness 

Most children look forward to the start of their school life with mixed emotions, from anticipation and anxiety to excitement, and even sadness. Recent studies suggest that approximately 25% of children encounter difficulties during this critical stage of their lives. It is important to remember here that the school readiness of a child is not just about acquiring academic skills, but it also demands certain social and emotional traits for a successful transition. This is where the family comes in.  

Engagement of the family, particularly the parents, has been closely linked to several adaptive characteristics of a child. The relationship between families and schools is a significant contributor to school readiness. Moreover, one of the key components of getting a child ready for school is the child’s social-emotional competence. It is a well-accepted fact that the first 5 years of a child’s life play a critical role in developing social-emotional as well as cognitive skills that can lay the foundation of their lifelong success. These early years of a child’s life are often filled with relationships, events, and experiences that either support or disrupt his or her ability to benefit from new opportunities. Therefore, the ability of a child to excel upon entering the formal school environment is determined to a great extent by their family interactions.   

If you are worried about your child’s school readiness, here are a few tips you can consider following.  

  • Before your child heads to school, be his or her first teacher. Parents can engage their children in several activities that are critical to their future academic experiences. For example, encourage your child to identify colours, count the number of steps in your staircase, etc.  
  • To prepare children for school, it is important for parents to start talking to them about their schools. This will help set their expectations about things that are likely to happen in the classroom, such as reading, writing, counting, and fun activities. It will also help to tell them about how they will make new friends and have lots of fun in school. The idea here is to create a positive picture of the school so that the child looks forward to this transition. If possible, visit the school along with your child before the start of the term.    
  • Children learn how to speak and listen before learning to read and write. These communication skills are not only important for a child’s academic performance, but also help them build and maintain healthy relationships with teachers and peers.  To create avenues for your little one to develop social and communication skills, practice open communication at home. Explain the importance of listening and responding to them and encourage them to interact with others.  
  • It has been observed that kids capable of doing things on their own find it much easier to transition to preschool. Parents can make this journey enjoyable for their children by teaching them important self-care skills. As an example, you can encourage your little ones to put on their own socks or unpack their own lunch box. 
  • Another way to enhance school readiness is to help him or her develop a love for reading. This is done best by cultivating a reading culture in your home. Read books together and discuss the stories and characters to help develop this habit.       

If you need any further help preparing your child for school, please feel free to contact our educators at Valley Heights Preschool Long Day Care Centre.