"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
There are many competing views out there about what it means to be ready for school. But here are my two cents on the topic:
Every child is unique and may develop some skills earlier or later than others. What does a ready child look like? Curiosity and motivation to explore are naturally present in children who are securely attached and have experienced success in navigating their social worlds. Children who are ready for school feel confident in their ability to learn and navigate their world. They are interested in new topics and interested in how things work. Having a quality formal preschool experience aids a child in skill development across social, emotional, cognitive, and physical domains.
Problem solving skills are important both socially and in approaching new activities/skills. Language skills are also important. When children are able to speak in full sentences they have an advantage. If they have a broad vocabulary, which comes from parents and teachers using new words throughout the day and in a variety of contexts and explaining to children what they mean, they also will have a greater level of success in Kindergarten.
Ready children have basic letter/sound identification skills and are comfortable with counting, quantity, shapes, colors, sorting, and understanding sequences of time. They have fine and gross motor skills and exhibit them by being able to use scissors and crayons in the classroom, and climb and jump on the playground.
Social skills for entering Kindergarten also include:
- following simple multi-step directions,
- communicating with and getting along with other children,
- beginning to regulate their emotions, and
- easily separating from parents.
They are also able to communicate their needs, their feelings and have some skills in understanding and helping with other's needs too. Ideally, by the time a child enters Kindergarten, adults and teachers have been models of empathy and conflict resolution that they can take with them into the classroom.
Based on the National School Readiness Initiative Indicators Report, school readiness for the child has to do with the following areas:
- Physical Well-Being and Motor Development.
- Social and Emotional Development.
- Approaches to Learning.
- Language Development.
- Cognition and General Knowledge.