In today’s world, expectations for your child’s academic performance are higher than ever. Occasionally, the requirements for school are actually above the developmental norms, causing even typically developing children to have trouble in school. Luckily, we know more than ever before about how to best support early development.
Speech and Language Skills Come First:
Good speech and language skills are the foundation for learning to read. Difficulty in this area will lead to further difficulty down the road. If children cannot say the sounds correctly, they have more trouble associating them with the correct sound. If children have difficulty with the content and grammatical aspects of language, they will have trouble comprehending the concept of how to read and how sentences are constructed.
Before kindergarten, children should have an early comfort with the alphabet. They should know most letters by sight and be able to identify the easier letters when given their sound.
During kindergarten, the beginnings of structure start to create a foundation for the typical academic day. Children should be able to attend to basic directions provided and transition into/away from a variety of environments. Mastery of letter and sounds becomes the pavement for academic success during this time. Memorization of sight words becomes part of the learning program. Social skills are also beginning to be tested as children learn to communicate with others in order to enjoy their play.
So how can you help your child be ready for school?
The National School Readiness Indicators Initiative breaks it down into its corresponding pieces:
- Ready Family: A secure and structured home environment that encourages learning.
- Ready Community: A community with resources and support available for children and families.
- Ready Services: High quality, accessible programs to support development.
- Ready Schools: Institutions prepared to provide for and support a variety of children’s needs.
Keep in mind that parents can be the best role model for their children: if you’re child sees you enjoying reading, modeling good attention and demonstrating appropriate social interactions, he will consider that the norm. Check out the blog: Learning Through Playtime With Your Toddler for ideas on how to spend more time teaching and learning with your child. For more ideas on how to talk with your child’s teacher, download our Parent/Teacher Conference and Learning Disabilities Checklist below.