What does being “school ready” mean?
Studying at school is a very important and difficult period for both the children and their parents. Mom and dad are very worried about the first day at the school of their child. They have a lot of questions and doubts, for example:
- At what age is it better to send a child to school – 5, 6, or 7 years?
- Will a child be able to concentrate, sit, and listen to the teacher throughout the lesson?
- Will it be able to make friends with classmates and work with them in the same group?
- How to get ready for the first day of school?
And this is not the whole list of typical questions. There are a lot of them and they all deal with the child’s school readiness. The most important criteria of school readiness are described in pedagogy and psychology. We will try to answer your questions and you would be able to determine whether your child is ready or not.
Social and psychological school readiness
- The future first-grader should understand the importance of learning at school and it is interested in learning;
- The first-grader is able to interact with other children, it has its desire to communicate with peers;
- It understands the role of the teacher, and starts considering the teacher’s opinion authoritative;
- The children should be able to control their behavior, cope with the number of impulsive reactions, and be emotionally stable;
- It must be ready to do tasks that may not be very funny and entertaining (lessons will not always be like a game).
Intellectual school readiness
This doesn’t mean that your child should be the smartest in the first grade: count to 100, to do division and multiplication or read 50 words per minute. All this is not so important because the main task of the elementary school is to teach every first-grader all that. Teachers and parents most often pay attention to the intellectual development of the child. But it often happens that a child knows a lot as for his age, but it doesn’t know how to behave and it has difficulties in communicating with other people/children.
The intellectual school readiness includes the following indicators:
- It has fairly well-developed cognitive processes: thinking, memory, attention, perception, speech skills;
- The first-graded can focus attention on the information provided by the teacher (within 15-20 minutes);
- It is also important to be able to distinguish phenomena (objects) and compare them.
If a child can count to 10 before going to school for the first time, writing his name is certainly good, but it doesn’t mean that it is really ready.
Psychophysiological school readiness
The first-grader should be able to orient in space: to understand where the bottom and top, left side and the right side is. It should also understand what it means to move forward or backward and visually distinguish where there are more subjects and where there are fewest.
The child should have developed hand muscles (fine motor skills), i.e. it can confidently use a pencil and knows how to hold (use) scissors.
One more important skill is the ability to transfer a simple graphic pattern from a picture or book to its exercise book.
Another important indicator of school readiness is a child’s desire to go to school and be educated. At the moment of entering the school, it should have a positive attitude to:
- The teacher;
- Educational activities;
- Itself (it understands and it is trying a new role as a pupil).
The kid goes to school in order to gain new knowledge, face difficulties, and solve them. Parents, for their part, should understand the seriousness of their child’s new role and support the first-grader at all stages. Before going to school you have to teach your child that it will not always be praised (admired) for the result of its work and that it is normal to make mistakes. If a child wrote a bad test it doesn’t mean that it is bad as a person but that the teacher has to assess the result of the pupil’s work. Accordingly, it shouldn’t be offended and cry, the child should calmly accept the comments and work to correct the mistakes.
We know that you are very worried about your child and want it to be as prepared as possible for the first meeting with the school. But you don’t need to overload the first-grader with math, reading, and writing in the last summer days before school. As a result, your child may hate all school processes before they even cross the threshold of the temple of knowledge.