RETHINKING SCHOOL READINESS

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Going from pre-school to school is a significant transition for young children and families and parents always want best outcomes for their child’s wellbeing at both physical and cognitive levels .Often they wonder whether their pre-schooler child should spend most of his time playing naturally or in parallel does he needs a structured learning atmosphere. Experts reckon, a balance mix of both is needed!
The benefits of a good school readiness program cannot be undermined. A good program goes beyond literacy and numeracy. Parents may worry that the current trend to focus on pre-math and pre-literacy skills in preschool cuts into important play time and pushes a child to grow up too fast. It’s a confusing issue, especially with friends and family offering different opinions and advice.
Researchers worldwide opine that a child has natural ability to learn and absorb more at early age than what is deemed ‘enough’ by parents. Children often enter school with marked differences in the cognitive, non-cognitive and social skills needed for success in the school environment. These initial differences are predictive of later academic and occupational success and often later attempts to compensate for un-readiness are less effective.
To support child’s learning and development through early stages of childhood, a variety of approaches are being proposed and implemented. Participation in high quality school readiness programs can contribute positively to children’s development during the early years.
Following are the benefits of a good school readiness program:

1. Improves Child’s oral communication and motor skills, pencil holding grip, vocabulary, and group based learning routine and sharing.
2. Enhances child’s social and creative abilities through interactive and fun based learning.
3. Encourages child’s logical and rational reasoning skills. The children are introduced to flash cards and other activities such as this encourage a child’s logical and rational reasoning.
4. Develops child’s language and cognitive aptitude. Between the ages of 3 and 5, a child’s vocabulary grows from 900 to 2,500 words. A child starts engaging in longer and more complex sentences and gets to engage in songs and stories. The question and answer session after story-time, further helps a child to think and answer.
5. Children learn to care of themselves, their environment, and others. By engaging in activities like ‘circle time’, clean-up and sharing their experiences with each other, the children become independent. They listen to instructions and respond. They try and help each other with activities and learn from one another as well.
6. Activities boost pre-math and numeracy skills though a wide variety of games and activities that help children acquire the pre- math and literacy skills prepares children for the academic demands of school.
We all know that reading opens the door to all learning. Maureen Pollard, the creator of Little Learners Love Literacy, is passionate that all children can achieve success in reading, spelling and writing. It is for this reason she has developed an explicit, multi-sensory literacy program that works for all children. Children love the engaging approach and teachers are very excited about the outcomes their students are achieving. Little Learners Love Literacy focuses on ‘phonemic awareness and alphabet knowledge’ giving children the skills they need to read, spell and write with confidence. This sequential program has 7 stages and it is developed from evidence-based literacy research. Children start ‘reading’ real stories once they know the first 8 ‘sounds’ introduced in our core resource, the Milo’s Birthday Surprise storybook. Parents and teachers are supported with additional resources such as the Milo Activity Book and Milo’s Read and Grab games. Children practise their skills by reading text, decodable stories about Pip and Tim.
Matching games, sorting games, counting games, and board games build children’s understanding of number, categories and sequence, which supports later math learning. Putting together puzzles encourages children to
notice patterns, plan ahead and problem-solve.

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