The age at which children start school varies, and some children are more prepared for this transition than others. To get our kids off to the best start possible, we do our best as parents to help make their transition smooth as we prepare them for the new journey that awaits. So how can you help your child be ready for school and ensure that they will be off to a great start?
School readiness is about equipping our children with essential fundamental skills that will help them transition to school successfully. You can help your child prepare as they embark on this new journey by following these tips!
Help strengthen your child’s fine motor skills
Hand and finger coordination are some of the most essential skills young kids will need to develop as they begin the academic years. These skills are necessary for mastering one’s grip for pencils, scissors, and manipulating other objects. Give children plenty of time to explore and play with toys that can help them strengthen these skills.
For example, let children help you water your lawn and plants in the garden so they can practice using their hand muscles. Give them Play-Doh so they can practice using their fingers as they shape and mold objects out of clay.
Let your child have opportunities for social interactions
Developing social skills prepare young children for group work in a classroom setting. Playing games like “Simon Says” or “Patty-Cake” are examples of how you can promote cooperation between children as they learn how to interact while working toward a shared goal. Encouraging your child to interact with peers also provides opportunities to develop friendships!
Reading together is one of the best ways to increase your child’s school readiness. Encourage reading at home as early as possible. Reading books together that are at your child’s reading level can improve vocabulary skills. It can also help foster children’s imagination and creativity and improve their concentration skills and attention spans.
When you read with your child, remember to stop to ask questions occasionally about the story and the characters. This encourages children to think about the story while reading critically. It also makes reading more fun and engaging!
Foster their emotional intelligence
A child’s emotional intelligence is critical in helping them adapt to the school environment. The earlier you start this process, the more skilled your child will be when handling challenges and emotion-provoking situations.
So how can parents help nurture children’s developing emotional intelligence? It starts by helping them identify and understand their own emotions. Kids are not born with the skills needed to recognize and regulate emotions. Therefore, it’s our job as parents to help them. For example, if your child is upset about a broken toy, you could say something like, “I know you’re upset because your toy car is broken, and I’d feel the same way if that happened to me too. Let’s see what we can do to fix it.”
Allow kids to have some independence
For children, going to school entails learning how to become more independent and self-reliant. In the classroom, there are some things kids will need to do on their own with little to no adult assistance.
You can help your child become better prepared for this by giving your little one more room to practice independence at home. Try to provide children with the chance to accomplish tasks on their own whenever possible. For example, teach small children how to put on their own clothes, tie their own shoes, make their beds, and even complete a puzzle without help.
Reinforce your child’s ability to focus
Many kids struggle with processing information and concentrating, as their attention spans are generally shorter than those of adults. This can make it more difficult for children to follow through on tasks. Therefore, it’s important for parents to reinforce concentration skills at home in order to help improve their kids’ attention spans.
So how can you make that happen with your child? Consider giving your child fun challenges like mazes, puzzles, and other games that require focus, concentration, and cognitive skills. Just be sure to select games that are appropriate for their developmental pace and age.
It’s normal for the transition to include a combination of excitement, anxiety, fun, and stress. But at the end of the day, it is still one of the most significant milestones in the lives of both children and parents. Make sure your child is ready to embark on this new journey by following these tips to boost school readiness.
For more parenting tips, or if you’re looking for the best child care center for your child, please visit Early Childhood University.