School readiness is a multidimensional concept that conveys various vital advantages and mainly refers to whether a child is prepared to make an simple and successful transition into school. School readiness can be actively facilitated with a little forward planning to ensure that children regularly participate in activities that develops the appropriate skills required to help optimal learning when they start school. Children who enter school with early skills, for example, a basic knowledge of math and better reading comprehension, are more likely to attain higher levels of education and achieve academic success compares to peers. This causes many parents focus on academics such as writing their name, understand the sequence of numbers and alphabet letters, knowing the colours, etc and think it is the important school readiness skills. However, school readiness actually means to a much broader range of skills. Not only academic basics, school readiness also included self care (independent toileting and opening lunch boxes), attention and concentration, physical skills (having the endurance to sit upright for an entire school day), social and communication skills, language skills and emotional regulation.
When a child has trouble with school readiness, they might experience other difficulties such as self care skills (hard to dressing and toileting independently), fine motor skills (having problem with writing, cutting, opening lunch box, tying shoelaces), social skills (less likely to engage in reciprocal interaction with peers either verbally or non-verbally, to compromise with others, unable to recognise and follow social norms), executive functioning (lower order reasoning and thinking skills than others), receptive language (inadequate understanding and comprehension of language) and so on.
So, some of the activities can be done to improve school readiness skills?
1. Parenting expectations: Increase expectations of the child around self care tasks such as dressing, toileting, eating, and getting ready to leave the house. Provide only verbal rather than physical ‘help’ to complete the tasks where possible.
2. Social skills: Encourage the child to develop relationships with other (unfamiliar) children of a similar age, and arrange suitable ‘play dates’ for social interaction practice where the adults actively facilitate this play practice.
3. Early preparation: Start preparing the child for school at the age of 4 by talking about expectations at school, appropriate behaviour, and regularly engaging in ‘sit down’ activities.
4. Books: Expose the child to books to prepare them for literacy so they learn to sit through the entirety of a book.
5. Collaboration: Work with the child’s preschool teacher to identify any signs of deficit or slow development so that these areas can be targeted before the child starts school.
6. Visual strategies: Use visuals (such as picture schedules) to help the child understand the routine of their day both at home and at preschool (kindergarten). You could even make visuals for school in advance (note: many commercial books serve as a rough visual schedule as a starting point). Transition visits are a good time to ask the teacher what the rough schedule is likely to be, and ideally to take some relevant photos at the same time.
7. Outings: Prepare the child for school excursions by going to places such as the library, the zoo, the shopping centre and help the child to understand appropriate behaviour in these environments. Visits to the school playground, toilet block and classroom door on the weekends or during school holidays before school start may also be helpful to familiarize the child with the new setting.
8. Fine motor skill development: This is an area that will be a large part of the activities undertaken at school, so developing these skills will enable the child to participate in activities much more easily and willingly. This really means practice cutting, colouring, drawing, and writing their name.
当孩子在入学准备方面面临困难时，他们可能也会遇到其它问题，例如自我护理技能（难以独立穿衣和上厕所），小肌肉运动技能（写作，切割，打开午餐盒，系鞋带等问题），社交技巧（ 不太可能在口头或非口头上与同伴进行互惠互动，与他人妥协，无法识别和遵守社会规范），执行功能（低阶推理和思维技能比其他人），接受性语言（理解和理解不充分） 语言等）。