It is ‘Back to School’ season. School supplies are flooding the aisles of stores everywhere. With it being ‘Back to School’ season, you may be asking yourself “How can I prepare my child for school?” Did you know that school readiness doesn’t start the summer before they go to Preschool or Kindergarten? School readiness actually begins in infancy.
School readiness is a term we use to refer to a child’s ability to transition into school. We tend to think of school readiness as the child’s ability to understand and know their ABC’s and 123’s, shapes and colors. While those skills are great, it takes many more skills for a child to be ready for school. Skills necessary for children to be ‘school ready’ are self-regulation, sensory processing, language skills, social and emotional skills, executive functioning skills, and so many more. Self-regulation is the ability for the child to maintain and change emotions, their behaviors, and their attention for each task or situation. The child must also be able to process sensory stimulation occurring in both the environment and within one’s own body. Sensory stimulation can affect the ability for a child to sit still, pay attention, and learn while a teacher is in front of the class teaching. Children need to be able to understand language and use language to communicate with peers and teachers. Children will need to understand their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, to maintain and follow social norms.
You can see that there is much more to school readiness than academics. So, how does it begin in infancy? It goes back to brain development and how during the first 3 years of life, positive social interaction through playing, talking, and reading to children wires the brain for later school success. So how can we as caregivers and parents ensure our children are ready for school? Click Here to check out this infographic from the organization Zero to Three.