Smooth Transition: Components of Readiness for School: Emotional and Social Preparation of Children

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Components of Readiness for School

Preschool is more like an extension of daycare. This is because the teaching style offered here is less structured while, schools have more complicated activities to prepare children for formal reading, writing etc. The main components are:

Readiness for School

Readiness for School

Emotional and Social Preparation of Children

  • Follow simple rules and routines

  • Can express own needs and wants

  • Curious and motivated to learn

  • Learning to explore and try new things

  • Have opportunities to be with other children and learn to play/share with others

  • Can be away from parents/family without being upset

  • Can work well alone

  • Have the ability to focus and listen

Language, Math and General Knowledge

  • Use sentences of five to six words

  • Sing simple songs

  • Recognize and say simple rhymes

  • Learning to write name and address

  • Learning to count and play counting games

  • Learning to identify and name shapes and colors

  • Have opportunities to listen to and make music and to dance

  • Know the difference between print and pictures

  • Listen to stories read to them

  • Have opportunities to notice similarities and differences

  • Are encouraged to ask questions

  • Understand simple concepts of time (night and day, today, yesterday, tomorrow)

  • Learning to sort and classify objects

The focus of the school readiness programme is on making sure that children are emotionally and socially mature to succeed in school.

Role of Parents, Schools, Teachers and Other Caregivers

  • When young children enter the school for the first time, they tend to compare it to their home. Therefore, the school environment needs to be stress-free and inviting so that they feel secure.

  • Teachers must try to establish a rapport with them and keep them happy. This would make them emotionally secure. Young children may not enter school well prepared unless their parents, families and communities provide the environment and experiences that support their holistic development to be furthered in the school.

The process of readying children for school includes:

  • Ready children

  • Ready parent, families and communities

  • Ready school

  • Ready teachers and other workforce

Ready Children

  • The teacher should observe whether children demonstrate readiness, are approaching readiness or show emerging readiness, and accordingly plan activities to support them.

  • Such an exercise would help the teacher to adjust the programmes as well as her teaching strategies according to needs of the children. The teacher should note that this is not a one-time activity but a continuous process.

  • The teacher should plan developmentally appropriate activities and provide opportunities and materials for the children and allow them to explore, discover and play, and provide appropriate challenges. This process would help to ready children for the preprimary or primary stage.

Ready Parents/Families and Communities: Their Roles

  • The role of adults is immense in giving children a conducive and stimulating environment. Mothers and adults who are around young children are their first teachers. Their role is crucial in making children ready for school as they can provide them with steady and supportive relationships, and a safe and joyful environment to help generate curiosity and excitement about learning.

  • Just like families, communities play a crucial role in readying the children. Local community groups, business and corporate houses and governments should work collectively to develop early childhood care and education facilities.

  • Parents should try to ensure a smooth transition from home to ECE center where children will, for the first time, be separated from home to move into a new environment. Parents should also make sure that children are toilet-trained and are able to express their needs to the caregivers at the ECE Centre. The role of parents and communities is crucial. They should learn about the various activities they can undertake at home to ready the children and ensure a smooth transition from home to the center.

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