It can be tough to know when your child is ready for school. They may seem independent one day and then regress the next. Most parents can’t seem to get a good gauge on whether their child is ready for school or not. However, there are some definite signs that your child is ready to take that big step into kindergarten or preschool. Here are five of them.
Your Child Can Follow the Instructions
As any parent knows, children can be impulsive and easily distracted. However, it is important to remember that children develop at different rates. Some milestones, such as being able to follow instructions, indicate that a child is ready for school. For instance, following instructions requires paying attention and understanding, and remembering what has been said. It also involves being able to resist the urge to do something else.
All of these skills are important for success in school. If your child can follow simple instructions, such as “put your coat on” or “brush your teeth,” they are likely ready for the added structure of a classroom setting. Of course, every child is unique, and some may take longer than others to develop these skills. It is always best to consult your child’s doctor or teacher if you have any concerns.
Your Child Can Play Well With Others
Many preschool programs now require that children be able to play well with others before they are admitted. This is because preschool is not only a time for learning numbers and the alphabet but also for socialization. Children who cannot play well with others are often disruptive in class, making it difficult for other children to learn. If your child is having difficulty making friends or playing peacefully with other children, there are some things you can do to help.
First, try to provide opportunities for your child to interact positively with other children. You can sign them up for sports teams or classes or take them to the park to play. You can also talk to their teacher about strategies for helping them to interact better with their classmates. With a little effort, you can help your child develop the skills they need to succeed in school and life.
Your Child Can Attend to Tasks
One of the biggest signs that your child is ready for school is that they can attend to tasks. This means they can sit still for a reasonable amount of time and focus on what they are doing, whether listening to a story, completing a puzzle, or working on a project. Of course, all children have moments when they lose focus or get fidgety, but if your child can generally stay on task, they are likely ready for school.
If you are unsure if your child is ready for this level of attention, try doing some activities with them that require sustained focus. If they can do them relatively quickly, then they are probably ready for school. If not, there is no need to rush; school can wait until they are older.
Your Child Is Potty Trained
This one is pretty self-explanatory! All children who attend school must be potty trained. This doesn’t mean that they are accident-free, but that they understand bodily functions and have mastered the mechanics of using the toilet. Most children learn to use the toilet between the ages of 2 and 4.
However, some children may not be ready until they are 5 or 6. If your child is interested in using the toilet, then it’s time to start potty training. The best way to potty train your child is to use positive reinforcement. Reward your child with praise, stickers, or small toys when they use the toilet successfully. With patience and persistence, your child will soon be a master of their own bathroom habits.
Your Child Is Excited About School
If your child is excited about the idea of going to school and making new friends, they’re likely ready for the experience. They may talk about their teacher, their classmates, and all the things they will learn. They may also be eager to show off their new backpack and school supplies. If your child is showing signs of excitement about school, then it is likely that they are ready to take on the challenges of a new academic year.
The bottom line
Deciding whether or not your child is ready for school can be tough. However, if you keep an eye out for the five signs listed above, you should have a good idea of whether or not your little one is prepared to take on the challenges—and rewards—of schooling!