How Parents Can Help Their Child Getting Ready for School?
It is not a surprising fact that 'Getting ready for school begins at birth.' Scientists who study how the brain works have shown that children learn earlier and learn more than we once thought possible. From birth through age 5, children are developing the language, thinking, physical, emotional and social skills that they will need for the rest of their lives.
Parents should know what they can do to get their baby or toddler off to the best start by using their everyday interactions to teach the basic skills she/he will need to cooperate, get along with others, and be an enthusiastic learner.
Children are born ready to learn. Children are naturally curious beings who are motivated to make sense of the world around them. The brain is the only organ that is not fully formed at birth. During the first 3 years, trillions of connections between brain cells are being made. A child’s relationships and experiences during the early years greatly influence how her brain grows.
Children learn best through their everyday experiences with the people they love and trust, and when the learning is fun.
To become eager learners, children need to develop skills which are language and literacy skills, thinking skills, self control and self confidence.
Language and Literacy Skills
Language provides the foundation for the development of literacy skills. Learning to communicate through gestures, sounds, and words increases a child’s interest in—and later understanding of—books and reading. Talking, reading aloud, and singing all stimulate children’s understanding and use of language, and help them learn to become good communicators and eager readers.
Thinking SkillsChildren are born with a need to understand how the world works. They start by making basic associations such as, “I call out, dad comes.” As they grow, they develop more and more complex ways of figuring things out. In their everyday experiences, children use and develop an understanding of math concepts, such as counting and sorting and problem-solving skills that they will need for school. For example, a 2-year-old figures out that she needs to get one more cookie because another friend has come to the snack table.
Self-control—the ability to express and manage emotions in appropriate ways—is essential for success in school and healthy development overall. It enables children to cooperate with others, to cope with frustration, and to resolve conflicts. Young children learn these skills through interactions with others and guidance from you.
Self-ConfidenceWhen children feel competent and believe in themselves, they are more willing to take on new challenges, a key ingredient for school success. Self-confidence is also crucial for getting along with others and working out the many social challenges—such as sharing, competition, and making friends—that children face in school settings. Self-confident children see that other people like them and expect relationships to be satisfying and fun.
Your beliefs and values shape what you teach your child. Ultimately, what you teach your child reflects the values that are most important to you and your family. For example, one parent may not like her child playing with his food, while another may see this as an acceptable way to explore and learn about different textures. A family’s beliefs
and values can have a particularly strong influence on attitudes about potty training, sleep practices, the degree of independence parents encourage in their child, and how children are taught to express their emotions. Being aware of your values and how they influence your parenting will help you make good choices as your child grows.
Research shows clearly that children are more likely to succeed in learning when their families actively support them. Families who involve their children in activities that allow the children to talk, explore, experiment and wonder, show that learning is both enjoyable and important. They motivate their children to take pleasure in learning and to want to learn more. They prepare them to be successful in school and in life.
*Early learning.org offers 'Getting School Ready' booklet, a helpful guide on preparing your child for kindergarten. You can view this booklet online.