There is probably no more sensitive time in a parent’s life than when their children start school. They walk them down the hall of their child’s new school, leave them in the classroom and walk out. There are many questions, expectations, fears, and hopes that are running through a parent’s mind. This all goes without saying.
One of those questions may likely be “Is my child ready?” What does it mean for a child to be ready? What does “school readiness” look like? To put it another way, “school readiness” isn’t simply a matter of formal academic training. All of a child’s early experiences, whether at home, in child care, or in organized preschool settings, are educational. If you have doubts or questions about your child’s readiness for formal schooling, there are a number of things you can do at home to optimize his chances of succeeding in the academic arena. Here are a few suggestions:
- Read books aloud with your child. Get him used to handling books and help him recognize the difference between pictures and print
- Engage in informal counting activities. This will strengthen your child’s understanding of numbers. Familiarize him with the alphabet
- Develop reading readiness by promoting your child’s phonological awareness. You can do this by reading books, singing and clapping along with songs, and playing games with rhyming words
- Spend time talking, playing, and cuddling with your child. Take steps to stimulate informal conversation. Give him opportunities to ask lots of questions. Encourage play that promotes creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills
- If your child has trouble sitting still, practice having him concentrate on a task for a short period of time (ten minutes). Over several months, increase that time until he can remain focused for 30 minutes or so
- Create and maintain a regular routine in your home. Emphasize mealtimes, naptimes, bedtime, etc. Help your child to become comfortable with this rhythm
- Encourage behaviors and activities that develop a sense of responsibility in your child (e.g., simple chores) and that demonstrate respect and courtesy
- Look for opportunities to develop your child’s social skills through playgroups or more formal preschool activities
The bible has much to say about preparing a child for life. The essence of the Christian worldview for parenting is this: it is NOT about them. When they are young, kids naturally feel that it is ALL about them. Your job as a parent is to move them from that end of the spectrum toward the other. To move their hearts and minds in the direction of seeing their life through God’s eyes. Of seeking His will for their lives. In this way, they will be better prepared for what awaits them…which will include both failures and victories.
[NOTE: portions of this article were taken from https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-qa/evaluating-your-child-for-school-readiness/]