Is Your Child Ready for School In 2020?

If your child is born somewhere between January and July, then you’re one of the lucky ones that gets to choose which year they go to school. Will they be four turning five, or five turning six? If your child celebrates his or her birthday in the winter and spring months of August to December, then the decision is out of your hands, as children must start school in the year they turn six.

 

However, for those with summer or autumn babies, how do we know what the right thing to do is? It’s sometimes a tough decision for parents and it’s time to decide now, as schools are enrolling kindergarten children.

 

Ultimately, the decision lies with you, depending on what is best for your child. The following tips may help you to decide whether your child should start school in 2020 or 2021.

Being school-ready is NOT about reading and writing.

Ask a kindergarten teacher what they expect from children entering school, and it will not be about whether they can recognise every letter of the alphabet, write it and be able to count. True school readiness is about being socially and emotionally ready – will they cope with the everyday tasks?

 

Ask yourself:
– Can my child sit at the table to complete an activity?
– Can my child make choices about the type of activity they wish to engage with?
– Can my child take care of themselves independently – toileting, washing hands, care of his or her own belongings?
– Is my child able to resolve conflict with peers? The teacher to student ratios in the playground are far greater than at daycare or preschool, meaning less adults per child. If your child has a problem, will they be able to work it out for themselves or will they always need adult support?
– Can my child ask for help if she or he needs to?

Find out about your daycare or preschool’s school readiness program

Every centre has a different philosophy, but it will be geared up to support your child’s development prior to attending school. Work out what your child needs from a school readiness program and how your child can be challenged.

Listen to what daycare or preschool tells you

Early childhood educators have a wealth of experience and have seen many children of all ages and stages go to school. They understand the capabilities of your child. Listen to what they have to say and their recommendations.

Speak to “big school”

Check out their open day and speak to the teachers. Take a tour with your child to see what school life is like. If there is no upcoming open day, make an appointment with the principal or kindergarten teacher for a tour. They usually pay particular attention to the youngest students during orientation visits and can give you feedback on how your child coped.

What will life be like in Year 7?

Many people think about the present, whether their child is ready now for school, but don’t often consider the other end of the spectrum. Starting school at four years old means your child will be 11 years old when they go to high school and could be attending with 13 year olds. It’s worth thinking about the differences between those two years, as well as when they finish school. A child who starts school at four can still be 17 for the first few months of university.

Will my child be bored?

This is a valid concern, especially for those children who seem ready to go now or are very bright and wanting to be challenged mentally.

 

The Early Years Learning Framework, the curriculum used at every daycare and preschool, lends itself to play based learning.The educators use this to support your child’s learning and development as they get closer to going to school; so there is no opportunity to get bored.

 

Another way to challenge your child is by enrolling them in activities outside of daycare. Drama, martial arts, dance and sports are great confidence boosters and give them an additional opportunity to practice their social and emotional skills.

 

Whether you choose to send your child next year to school, or stay another year at home, preschool or daycare, it’s your decision. Make the decision that fits your child’s needs and growth and don’t worry about what other parents are deciding.

Enjoyed reading this article? Check out Shire Talk Magazine’s featured articles! 

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