As parents and caregivers, we all want our children to be successful in life. To have the richness of experience and the ability to pursue their dreams.
This inevitably means achieving success in learning and education, which can take many forms, but, for simplicity in this post, we will focus on academic preparedness. In other words, being ready for school.
So, here, we explore the idea of “school readiness”, signs that someone is actually ready for school and discover how reading improves school readiness in young children…
School readiness refers to the skills, knowledge, and behaviours that children typically acquire before starting formal education. It’s often what we expect a child to learn in preschool or kindergarten.
But recent research publications by the American Academy of Pediatrics remind us that school readiness goes well beyond just preschool
“All of a child’s early experiences, whether at home, in child care, or in other preschool settings, are educational,” the report says. And therefore school readiness also depends on “the ability of the family and community to support optimal early child development”.
Meaning you as a parent have as much of a responsibility and influence over your child’s school-readiness as kindergarten.
There are some general and broadly agreed-upon indicators of school readiness, including cognitive development, language and communication skills, physical development and health, social and emotional development, and level of self-sufficiency.
But a child's temperament, motivation, interest, and family and community support also play a role.
And it’s also important to note that every child develops at their own pace, and being "school ready" is not just a one-time assessment, it is an ongoing process that can evolve as the child moves through their educational journey.
Reading aloud and regularly with your child is proven to impact almost all of those developmental milestones – see the benefits of reading with your child.
Reading is proven to boost your child’s:
Reading aloud to children exposes them to a wide range of vocabulary, concepts and ideas, which can help to build their general knowledge and improve their understanding of the world around them. Reading together also encourages children to think critically and ask questions, helping them to develop problem-solving and reasoning skills.
See how reading develops imagination.
As a child hears different words and sentence structures, they become more aware of how language works, helping them to develop their own language skills. Reading together can also give children opportunities to express their own thoughts and ideas, encouraging them to speak clearly and communicate effectively.
Learn how reading improves listening skills.
Listening to stories read aloud also helps children to develop their phonological awareness, which is the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in words. This is an important skill that is needed for learning to read and spell.
As we sit together and share the experience of reading, we build stronger bonds between parents and children, which promotes feelings of security and self-confidence. Reading can also expose children to different perspectives and emotions, helping them to develop empathy and understanding of others.
Regular reading can also help children to develop independence as they learn how to read by themselves. They can develop the ability to sit quietly and focus for longer periods of time, which is essential for success in a classroom setting.
In conclusion, it's important to make reading a regular part of our children's lives, as it will not only improve their readiness for school but also set them up for success in the long term.
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