Discover & learn

How Can I Tell If My Child Is Ready For School?

Choosing the right time to send your child to school is a significant decision, dependent on their unique needs and the family's circumstances. There's no definitive 'right' or 'wrong' choice, as each family is best suited to assess their child's readiness. Still, there are ways to make an informed decision.
How Can I Tell If My Child Is Ready For School? How Can I Tell If My Child Is Ready For School?

 

School readiness is more than just academic preparedness; it encompasses essential life skills that children need to thrive in the educational environment. The reality of school across Australia today is that, for all the great opportunities, initiatives and improvements we have made in primary-school education, there are increased expectations, and a crowded and busy day with little or no time to rest and catch-up.

To ensure a smooth transition to school, several key skills are required:

1. Social Skills

School readiness involves having a general interest in and tolerance of others, the ability to learn from peers, initiate contact and play, develop friendships, take turns, share, and play cooperatively. Following rules and actively listening during group times are also essential social skills.

2. Emotional Wellbeing

Children need to develop confidence in themselves, work independently, manage their emotions, show empathy, and easily separate from caregivers. Coping with changes and dealing with problems or challenges are vital aspects of emotional readiness.

3. Independence

A child showing independence includes developing self-care skills, such as toileting independently, taking care of belongings, dressing independently, and feeding oneself (using cutlery. Fine motor skills, like drawing, cutting, and threading, as well as gross motor skills like running, climbing, and balancing, contribute to a child’s overall independence.

4. Language and Communication

Language skills are essential for school readiness. Children need to be able to attend and concentrate for longer periods, follow multiple-step instructions, answer questions appropriately, formulate more complex sentences, and maintain conversations with peers and adults. Speech sounds and intelligibility are also important.

Early Literacy Ideas

Encouraging book and print awareness and narrative skills in children can promote early literacy. Engaging in conversations about story events, new vocabulary, and print on the page can be helpful. Phonological awareness activities, such as identifying first sounds, counting syllables, and recognising rhymes, are beneficial for language development.

What can parents do to help their child prepare for school?

Your child’s educators can communicate the specific areas they will concentrate on to prepare your little one for school and get them up to speed. Parents can also help prepare their child for school by taking steps such as talking about school positively, reading books with positive school associations, and discussing what school will be like. Visiting the child’s new school, attending orientations, and practicing self-care skills are also beneficial.

Encouraging regular sleep, outdoor play, and family time, as well as providing opportunities for independent decision-making and problem-solving, further supports school readiness.

Starting School – Top Tips

  • Talk positively about school. Ask how they are feeling?
  • Keep things easy…
    • Clothing: there is nothing wrong with Velcro!!
    • Bags: Where can they find what they need easily?
    • Lunchboxes: Bento boxes, cut food up so it is ready to eat
  • Trouble shoot some of the tricky things and provide scenarios to support your child in thinking through possible solutions…
    • What do I do if I am not feeling well?
    • Who do I tell if I get hurt or someone hurts me?
    • I can’t find my jacket, who do I ask?
    • Who will pick me up and where will I find you?

Questions to reflect on to help determine if your child is school-ready:

  • Can they make an independent decision and follow through on this?
  • Do they have ideas of their own?
  • Can they follow two or three instructions at the same time?
  • Can they move on to new activities easily?
  • Do they separate well from their parent / carer?
  • Do they show interest in other children?
  • Do they interact with other children?
  • Can they recognise and express their feelings and needs?
  • Can they concentrate on a task?
  • How do they deal with frustration?

In summary, school readiness goes beyond academic skills and focuses on social, emotional, independence, and communication abilities. By fostering these skills and providing a supportive environment, parents can help their children make a successful transition to school and set the foundation for future academic and personal success.

If you have any questions about school readiness, please speak with your Campus Director or Educators.

You can find more information about school readiness and Only About Children’s preschool/kindergarten programs here:

Session 1 – Grow With Us – School Readiness – An Introduction

Session 2 – Grow With Us – School Readiness – Supporting the Journey

 

Discover how Only About Children supports your child's development

Discover & learn

Only About Children can help your child to grow, make friends and explore the world.

Only About Children can help your child to grow, make friends and explore the world.

Related Reads

MasterChef Tommy Pham's Coconut Turmeric Chicken With Rice & Greens
MasterChef Tommy Pham's Coconut Turmeric Chicken With Rice & Greens MasterChef Tommy Pham's Coconut Turmeric Chicken With Rice & Greens
Health & Nutrition

MasterChef Tommy Pham's Coconut Turmeric Chicken With Rice & Greens

MasterChef Tommy Pham has teamed up with our Dietitians Anna & Alex to create a delicious and nutritious lunch option for children to enjoy in campus - Tommy's Coconut Turmeric Chicken/Chickpea with Rice & Greens. Campus cooks will be preparing Tommy's lunch recipe as part of our delicious, rotating Autumn Menu in campuses. Sound delish? Try the recipe at home!
Unlocking Healthy Habits: A Guide for Parents of Toddlers and Preschoolers
Unlocking Healthy Habits: A Guide for Parents of Toddlers and Preschoolers Unlocking Healthy Habits: A Guide for Parents of Toddlers and Preschoolers
Health & Nutrition

Unlocking Healthy Habits: A Guide for Parents of Toddlers and Preschoolers

Discover the key to nurturing your child's well-being with "Unlocking Healthy Habits." Tailored for parents of toddlers and preschoolers, this guide provides practical tips to seamlessly integrate movement into your child's daily routine.
Relaxing with Birdie: Stress Management Strategies for Children Through Transitions
Relaxing with Birdie: Stress Management Strategies for Children Through Transitions Relaxing with Birdie: Stress Management Strategies for Children Through Transitions
Discover & learn

Relaxing with Birdie: Stress Management Strategies for Children Through Transitions

Empower children through transitions with 'Relaxing with Birdie,' a trusted resource offering calming strategies and resilience-building techniques during periods of change.