The biggest conversation that we start having as our children start growing and getting to school age is Private School versus Public School. I always think this debate can be a sensitive one and can be almost like discussing religion; you have to tread lightly. Without getting into this biggie, I always say to people that we chose our son’s school based on his needs and personality, our values and ambition. Rather than worrying about this crazy debate I think the most important thing is getting your child ready for Prep!
We are in Queensland and I believe other states have Kindy as an equivalent to Prep. What I learnt is that the biggest sign of school readiness is independence and social skills. Children in this age group are expected to be playing well with other children and making friends without difficulties. Biting should have ceased completely in this age group. They may have conflict when playing with toys and still not want to share but this is normal and caregivers can work with their children.
By the time your child starts prep they should be able to recognize their name in print and writing their first name. This is when parents start to regret naming their child Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Don’t fret ladies and gentleman as I am sure your child’s name has a story and great meaning behind it and we should not let school dictate your child’s name. Your child will work it out but you may need to start sooner than little Ty next door.
Your child should be able to draw a straight, horizontal line, a circle and a T. Letter formation is determined by pencil grip and so it will be helpful to start correcting that pencil grip. Children with bad handwriting are usually not holding their pencil the right way and can be slow at writing. I remember writing my GCE exams and writing so fast I believe if entered the Guinness world record I would have won. Don’t slow them down, they will need to write fast one day.
Pencil grip goes hand in hand with feeding themselves with a spoon or fork and not holding it like a fist. Let them feed themselves early and stop worrying about your floor and the mess they will make. It will get better I promise.
I toilet trained my son in a day and I will share tips in another blog post. Your child should be fully toilet trained and can use the toilet independently. That goes hand in hand with dressing and undressing, zippers and buttons and tying shoe laces. Tying shoe laces can be a difficult one but you can start by teaching them how to tie a knot and then a bow.
Can your child open and close their lunchbox? How about their water bottle? More picnics are great for practicing.
Please add counting, number recognition, writing the alphabet, writing numbers, shapes, colors and jolly phonics to your list.