With the preschool year coming to a close in June, a lot of parents will be gearing their children up for school. But there’s a lot of time between now and September, and how do you know your child is ready for school?
There is no single factor that will determine if your child is ready for school. You, as their parent, are the best judge of their abilities and readiness. But there are a few skills your child should know before starting Junior Infants.
Learn through play
Much of the Junior Infant curriculum involves learning through play, so you child can expect similar lessons to what they experienced during ECCE or even Montessori.
Ask their minder
If your child has a minder ask for a sit down with him or her to talk about your child’s development and learning.
If your child attends a creche, playschool, Montessori, or ECCE program, ask their Room Leader for their observation sheets. Here you will see examples of your child demonstrating key skills and learning throughout the year.
Certain set of skills
While all children develop differently, there are a few skills that your child should know before starting at school.
Learning to hold a crayon in the pincer grip is vital for school, as soon your child will be learning to write his or her own name.
Writing is preempted by letter tracing, ie tracing a letter made of textured fabric to learn it’s shape and lines. This is early preparation for handwriting, and your child can practice by tracing their own name, or the alphabet.
Games like Simon Says and What Time is it Mr Wolf will encourage and help your child’s listening skills. By school, your child should be able to hear, and follow instructions clearly like ‘Tidy up’, ‘Time to go’, etc.
Toilet and other independent skills
It almost goes without saying that your child should be toilet trained before school. Not only that, but your child should be able to dress themselves adequately in case of any accidents, and also put on their own coat and zip it up.