Getting ready for school is a big job for any preschooler, but the everyday experiences of your family are the foundation of school readiness. School readiness is defined as the skills, knowledge, behaviors and accomplishments that children know and can do as they enter kindergarten in the following areas of child development: social and emotional development; approaches to learning; language and literacy development; creativity and the arts; cognition and general knowledge; and physical well being and motor development.
Every day you can support your child’s readiness for school in many ways. Here are a few:
- Talk to your child about what is happening around you. Use lots of vocabulary words and describe the action.
- Help your child understand how the world works – how did you know how much gas cost or how you knew where to catch a bus.
- Make a grocery list with your preschooler and show them how to find the items in the grocery store.
- Walk and talk with your preschooler. Go to the park or provide other opportunities for your child to develop strength, endurance, and motor skills.
- Take your child to places and events in your community – block parties, museums, orchards, swimming pools and lakes, etc. These events are rich sources of vocabulary words, problem-solving and new information.
- Follow routines so that your preschooler will understand structure and can predict what will happen next.
- Love your child, read to them, and have fun!
Help the children you care for be ready to learn!
Excerpt adapted from an article by Eileen Nelson; M.A. , Early Child Specialist, Minnesota Department of Education