Check that your child is ready to go to school
It is very stressful for a child to go to first grade. Both for the student and the parent. The child enters a new world, he faces new requirements, expectations and roles. A parent is worried if a young child will be able to handle sitting for several hours at a bench. And because recruitment for the first grades begins in spring, it is worth starting to analyze your child's school maturity as soon as possible.
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Although the law recently passed by the Sejm abolishes the obligation to go to school for six-year-olds, and imposes it on children one year older, those parents who want to send a six-year-old toddler to school will be able to do so. The condition is obtaining a positive opinion from the family clinic and the child completing the so-called kindergartens.
However, before visiting the clinic, it is worth observing your child and answering the question whether he is ready to enter the school education path. The scale of school readiness will help to answer this question. This study is mainly carried out by kindergarten teachers, but its elements can be tried at home.
1. What is it about?
The School Readiness Scale is a test to determine if a six-year-old is ready to start primary school education. By filling in the questionnaire and after conducting the observation, the teacher assesses school skills, cognitive competences, motor skills, independence, non-conflict and social activity.
These pedagogical terms, although they sound quite serious, are basically nothing more than elements of adapting a six-year-old to learning and to functioning in a group. Each of these skills was assigned the maximum number of points that a six-year-old should score. Also, ranges have been developed in which it can be seen whether the degree of readiness is as expected or lower than expected. There are also three levels of school readiness: high, medium and low.
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2. In practice
So much theory, and how is it in practice? The school readiness scale is usually tested by kindergarten teachers after long-term observations of the preschooler. They know his character, the history of the development of various skills, and the family situation. However, if you want to check if your child is ready to sit at school even though he is six, not seven, you can do so.
Try to remember your child's behavior in areas such as reading, writing, speaking, and counting. It will also be important whether the preschooler dresses up on his own, cleans up after himself, obeys orders, gets along with his peers, is he tearful, or maybe very serious.
3. Cognitive competences
That is, the behavior and skills of a six-year-old child related to his interests and achievements. At this point, the parent will have to answer the questions whether the six-year-old is interested in science, what is happening around him. To what extent does the child try to explain phenomena (e.g. weather), whether he chooses numerical and mathematical games while playing, likes to talk about his interests, reads, writes and counts - all these issues need to be considered during observation.
4. Motor skills
If a six-year-old child enjoys physical activities, is eager to run, dances, swims or rides a bike, efficiently catches the ball and holds the crayons correctly - most likely he is ready to start learning in the first grade of primary school. Gross motor skills are an area where most children are good at moving. This is due to the natural need for exercise of a few-year-old child.
But something else - fine motor skills. With regard to the information about more and more children spending their time in front of the computer, and not with paints or plasticine, it can be said that this area of child development is neglected. Therefore, when assessing whether our son or daughter are ready to learn, it is worth paying attention to how they hold a pencil, whether they can use plasticine, how high a tower they are building from blocks. These skills will be needed when learning to write.
Parents are there to teach a child to be independent - this is true as old as the world. Because independence is one of the conditions for going to school and being successful in it. So pay attention to whether your six-year-old is efficiently dressing himself, whether he is interested in the result of his work, makes attempts to cope with various difficulties, shows initiative in actions.
You may have cause for concern if he or she blindly mimics the behavior of others, avoids situations and tasks that require commitment, asks for help too quickly, and tries to stay close to them. Such behavior, if frequent, may indicate emotional immaturity towards going to school.
6. Non-conflict and social activity
A child who enters the first grade should remember the rules of safe behavior in a group, resolve conflict situations in a peaceful manner and clean up toys and teaching aids.
However, if a 6-year-old often causes conflicts, constantly takes offense, runs away, acts aggressively, does not follow instructions - he is probably not ready to study to some extent.
The issue of social activity is also important here. A six-year-old child will cope with the challenges posed by the school, if he is sociable, has good relations with his peers, tries to help other children, expresses his feelings boldly, and asks questions to the teacher.
School readiness is calculated in points. However, every parent, after carrying out a long and multifaceted observation, will feel whether his six-year-old should start the adventure with primary school. An important point - if we are not sure whether the child will cope with it, and the opinion from the clinic will not dispel our doubts, let us give the child and ourselves time. The world won't collapse if she goes to school as a seven-year-old.