Most parents and children look forward to the first day of school with mixed emotions, ranging from excitement and anticipation to anxiety and maybe even sadness. Early childhood education represents a significant milestone as it marks the beginning of a child’s academic journey. Have you ever given school readiness a thought long before your little one begins attending school?

What is school readiness?

School readiness goes beyond acquiring the important academic skills young will kids need in order to be ready for the first stage of academic learning. In addition to becoming familiar with letters, counting, starting to learn how to read, school readiness also involves helping children to develop emotional and social skills that will help them make a smooth transition into school. 

You can make your child’s first school experience a positive and remarkable one. Consider these tips to support your little one’s school readiness!

Be your child’s first teacher

The very first learning experiences that children acquire come from their parents. From the first word little ones utter, the first letter they write, and the very first few numbers they recite – all of these concepts are learned from parents. 

Be your child’s first teacher by encouraging learning early on. Spend time engaging children in activities that will help build the foundations they need for future academic experiences. There’s an extensive range of activities you can explore to help make this happen in your home. For instance, you can teach your child about colors by doing some watercolor painting. Spend time reading books with young children to expose them to a wide array of words as their vocabulary expands. Encourage them to count the number of steps in your staircase, the number of cookies in the jar, or anything else they see as a way to boost their counting skills.

Start talking to your child about school

Another important piece of advice  to help you promote school readiness at home is to start talking to your child about school. Set their expectations about the things that may happen in a classroom, like reading, counting, writing, playing and other fun learning activities. Don’t forget to tell them about the exciting things they will do,  such as meeting and playing with new friends, playing fun games and other fun activities. This will help give your little one something exciting to look forward to and help manage and reduce feelings of anxiety. 

Teach your child important social and communication skills

Before your child even learns how to read and write, they learn how to speak and listen, which are crucial building blocks of communication. Communication skills are important not only when it comes to your child’s academic performance but also in creating and maintaining healthy relationships with their peers and teachers.

Provide your child avenues for developing their communication and social skills by practicing open communication at home. Establish routines and set rules. Talk to children about the importance of listening and responding. Set up playdates and other opportunities for your child to interact with others. 

Help your child build independence and self-esteem

One of the things that can make transitioning to preschool or kindergarten challenging for kids is learning how to do things on their own without their parents. Make sure your little one is ready for this transition by teaching them the skills they need right at home. 

Empower children and help increase their independence by teaching them important self-care skills. Help your child learn how to get dressed on his or her own. Let children learn how to put on their own socks and tie their own shoelaces. Teach them how to unpack their own lunch and book bag.

Encourage reading at home

Helping your child develop a love for reading is another helpful way to increase school readiness. Cultivate a culture of reading in your home and develop this habit by spending more time with your little one and reading books together. Surround your home with fun reading materials in which your child is interested. Discuss stories together and ask your little one about the characters and events to confirm their understanding.

Transitioning to preschool and kindergarten is a lot easier when we start preparing our kids early. Follow these school readiness tips and help make the start of your child’s academic journey a smooth and exciting one!

For more tips on parenting, or if you’re looking for the best childcare center for your child, please visit Cornerstone Learning Center.