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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

School Readiness

Is there anything that could be impacting on this child reaching their potential in Grade 1 :

  • Intellectual IQ Assessment - Are there any areas of learning that require assistance?
  • Emotional Assessment - will they be able to cope with the adjustment and structure of Grade 1?
  • Social Assessment - How do they interact with their peers?

The disadvantages of sending a child to Grade 1 who is not ready emotionally(can affect confidence)

- socially (may affect social development and confidence) - intellectually (scholastic backlogs and learning difficulties may develop)

AREAS TO FOCUS ON IN DETERMINING SCHOOL READINESS:

1. EMOTIONALLY

  • Playfulness versus motivation to learn
  • Ability to follow directions
  • Communicate their needs
  • Approach to learning
  • Ability to understand their own emotions and emotions of others
  • Independence  

2. SOCIALLY

General ability to :

  • Interact with others appropriately
  • Be independent in conflict resolution
  • Maintain and establish friendships
  • Be cooperative
  • Exercise self-control – know appropriate / inappropriate ways to express anger

 WHAT PARENTS CAN DO to aid emotional and social school readiness:

Providing a consistent, predictable and a safe environment for the child includes:

  1. Consistent messages of unconditional acceptance / love
  2. Be good role models:  exercise, eating, treating others with empathy etc.
  3. Having a positive but realistic attitude towards school, i.e. “a place of learning where you will also do some fun things e.g. outings”.
  4. Enthusiasm for effort of child NOT PRODUCT “you worked really hard to make that just the way you wanted it to be”.
  5. Provide opportunities for repetition to learn things.  This helps the child to build confidence
  6. Consistent appropriate discipline. Choices - ACT : Acknowledge feeling, Communicate limit, Target alternative. Examples:“I know you are really angry but John’s not for hitting, you can tell him you are angry.” or “I know you really want to watch TV, but TV time is over, either you turn the TV off or I will turn the TV off”. Criticise the behaviour, not the child
  7. STRUCTURE (for all children this provides safety and security.  This is exceptionally  important for children who struggle with concentration difficuties). Structured morning routine, Structured after school routine (home, get changed, have snack  - home work  - play time). Consistent  bed time routine (mealtime  - bathtime  - story time  - bed time (lie with child and LISTEN) . Divorce structure. It is of vital importance that custodial  and non-custodial parents have a pattern of access and visitation that the child knows is predictable. 
  8. Communicate about feelings  Verbalise if you pick up emotions “Look sad, happy, angry”.  Help them with problem solving e.g. asking “What do you think would help?”
  9. Let children do things for themselves to learn independence and confidence  e.g dressing themselves, putting toys away, assigning simple household chores
  10. Encourage kids to play with other kids outside of the family, so that they  may learn from social opportunities

3. INTELLECTUALLY

Some areas assessed:

  • Verbal learning skills -  language development
  • Non-Verbal learning skills -  visual motor integration
  • Muscle tone  -  affects concentration
  • Fine motor skills  -  e.g. cutting skills, pencil grip, holding a pair of scissors
  • Gross motor skills -  e.g. ability to control large muscles in throwing balls, climbing, balancing etc.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO to aid intellectual school readiness:

To help your child learn to communicate, solve problems and develop an understanding of the world:

  1. Give opportunities to PLAY.  Play is the child’s natural language of expression and provides opportunities to learn about their world and to develop problems solving strategies.
  2. Talk to them from birth
  3. LISTEN to them. Reflect feelings and encourage them to talk about their experiences.  This makes them feel valued.
  4. Answer and ask questions - encourage them to explore questions with NO Yes and NO answers.  E.g. “ I wonder how that leaf was formed?”
  5. Read aloud each day from baby - This allows them the opportunity to learn language  - To enjoy your voice  - to be together. Some strategies to help your child’s reading skill and interest: stop and ask the child to guess what will happen next in the story.  - use the same story and relate it in different ways e.g. comic strips, puppet shows  - relate the story to daily events e.g. I wonder what Cinderella would be wearing, eating etc. today?  - play I spy with objects on the page  - play sounding games. Make reading materials available in your home
  6. Monitor TV viewing 1-2 hours per day.
  7. Be realistic about child’s abilities - praise them appropriately  - don’t label “how could you be so stupid”
  8. Provide opportunities for new experience - libraries - museums  - zoo’s  - walks  - music  - dance  - art. This develops imagination and allows them to express their ideas.
  9. Balanced meals - CONCENTRATION – for some children there appears to be a link between sugar,    preservatives, colourants and their concentration.
  10. Good sleep routine
  11. Regular exercise - develop physical coordination  - encourage ball throwing  - dance to music  - balance (gross motor skills)
  12. Encourage fine motor skills - puzzles  - colouring in (crayons)  - scissors