Schoolreadiness – the questions

Many a parent is so concerned about whether their child is ready for school or not that they completely miss out on the joy and excitement of starting with a new phase in their and their child’s life!

My normal reaction to a parent’s question of “Is my child ready?” is: “What do you think?” Really! You have to answer some crucial questions yourself regarding your child before considering any formal assessment. You know your child much better than any professional will ever do.

So, is your child emotionally ready? Can he or she survive a few hours without you in the immediate surroundings? Can and will they communicate their needs? Do they accept adult’s decisions without a tantrum? Are they generally happy?

Socially? Do you think your child has the social skills to get along with other children in a learning environment? Is your child used to not always getting things his or her way? Do they understand the difference in behaviour at home and in public? Are they well-behaved? Do they have manners (preferably good ones!)? Basic ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ is a very good start!

Is your child physically ready for school? Can they communicate in such a way that a stranger will be able to understand what they say? Can he or she open and close a door? Can they go to the toilet on their own? Can they dress themselves? Can they play – specifically with a ball (catch and throw)?

Do they have the basic knowledge required to kick-start their school career? Can they identify basic items in pictures (cup, comb, key, animals, TV, broom, etc)? Do they know the basic colours? The basic shapes? Count to ten? Left from right?

Do they know where they stay? Where mommy or daddy or any of their grandparents are working? Or give any information required to re-unite with the parents if they get lost at school or with a school outing to the zoo?

Are you as parent emotionally ready to let go and entrust your child to a new environment with another adult in charge?!

Once you’ve positively answered the above and you are still unsure, get a professional opinion!

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