This post is in conjunction with Thinkers Inq.
Being a parent brings a new multitude of first times in our life. First smile, first tooth, first steps, first words, first day at Kindy, first day at School.
Just when we thought we had it all figured out we are now in charge of little people who rely on us to be their voice and guide them through all the stages in life and make the right decisions.
Right now I'm looking at what to do next year for my 3.5yr old son. I have to be honest I had no idea. I had no clue how or what to look for. I'm not a teacher. I'm not an education expert but I am a mum who wants to make the best decisions for my son. What school will he go to? Is he ready for school? How do I know? What are we working towards?
I have so many questions and when I started looking into it all I stumbled on a minefield of information, articles and forums.
Are you in the same situation?
Let's think about this together... Grab a cup of tea and take five minutes to consider the points below...
(If your super organised even start making your own notes.)
I've found these points are a great starting point to look at school readiness or stepping stones to work on with your kindy child:
PLAY BASED SITUATIONS:
Look at how your child plays - can they make friends in group play dates or Kindy?
Can they introduce themselves and join in on games? Will they let other children have a turn with the game or take turns with the toys in the game.
COPING WITH INTERRUPTION OR CHANGE:
What happens when an older child joins in - can your son or daughter cope with interruption or change with a game?
Can your child ask an adult for help if he or she has a question or needs assistance?
IMAGINATION TAKES US EVERYWHERE
WHAT WHY WHEN?
Is your child asking questions?
Do they want to touch, feel and explore new things?
WHAT'S that noise? HOW do wheels go round? WHY is the sky blue? WHY is your tummy so big mummy...
WILLING TO LEARN:
Are books or crafts considered a fun part of daily learning and discovery?
When new things are introduced can they cope? Do they want to learn about it or discover more?
LITTLE INDEPENDENT PEOPLE:
Being independent is a skill we need to teach our children. Look at:
Completing tasks: can your child finish a puzzle or follow through in a craft acitivity. If they face a problem - like pieces that do not fit in puzzle- will they try and work it out or even ask for help?
Meal times: can your child select foods to eat? Open a lunch box or pack their lunch away when finished.
Communicate: can your child ask for help if they need their water bottle filled? Can they talk to their teacher to express needs. Do they greet teachers at drop off and settle easily.
DRAWING AND WRITING: can your child use a pencil to imitate writing and draw? Research shows being able to write their name can be a great way to demonstrate that children are making connections between sounds and written letters.
BUTTON, ZIP, POP: Look at buttons, jumpers, laces and bags: is your child able to open, pop on or unzip what they need?
• Independent play: can your child nagavite playgrounds e.g. climbing, running, balancing, swinging
Now I have my list to work with I'm going to ensure my Kindy are also working with me next year so we can confidently move forward with my children's education and readiness. Already I see areas that we need to work on. As a mum I feel more empowered with my new knowledge to make sure I make the right choices for the kids and seek help with Kindy in some areas I see we need to work on.
I have tried to make this an easy summary that I can work towards with my 3.5yr old and 2.5 yr old twins and I hope it may help you! As they say "a mum does better research than the FBI".
What have I missed? Tell us below if you have anything else to add!
Thinkers.inq is an early years school for 3-5 years in Terrey Hills. They offer a dynamic and flexible preschool program combining creative and critical thinking with purpose-filled play to develop active and confident problem solvers. Thinkers.inq is open from6:45am to 6:30pm, 50 weeks of the year to offer flexibility for families who need that little extra support. Visit www.thinkersinq.com or call 1300 697 737 to make an appointment to find out more about their program.