Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ready for School?

Isla's kindy sent home a really interesting hand-out this week about school readiness. I've never really thought twice about not sending her to school once she reached the age where she could start. Now I'm reconsidering.

I'll share it with you..It's called "Am I Ready for School?"

Dear Mum and Dad,

I was born after March so please carefully consider my readiness for school
next year before enrolling me.
Remember that the legal starting age for school is 6 years of age.
Remember that I may be a whole year younger than children who will start
next year, and I may not have the social and academic skills necessary to
compete with these children.
These things may not show up until the later years of schooling and the
decision you make will affect my entire life and attitude to learning. Please
give this matter some serious thought.
To cope with school I need to be self-confident and have a positive self
image, not just at home where everything is familiar, but also in a large group
I need to be able to communicate freely and be verbally understood. I also
need to be able to follow complex directions.
I have to be able to concentrate on any activity for a set amount of time
to complete a task.
I have to be independent and able to care for myself - toileting, dressing,
and taking care of my belongings.
I also have to have social skills - being able to deal with frustration,
anger, being able to co-operate, respect others and their belongings and to

Mum and Dad...being able to write my name, know my ABC and how to rote
count are not so important. If you are going to teach me these things, please
make sure:
Writing should be taught in the NSW foundation style. It has special letter
formation and the direction of the hand movements to form the letters is most
important. It is very confusing for a child to be taught one way at home and
another way at school. Please put a capital letter at the start of my name only
eg: Kylie not kylie.
Knowing my ABC does not really help me read. It is more important for you
to read to me, listen to me and talk with me.
In order to be ready for school, I need to have developed my:

  • Fine Motor Skills - hold pencil and brushes, thread items, manipulate
  • Eye-Hand Co-Ordination - Threading, cutting
  • Gross Motor - active play, climbing, throwing, catching, running
  • Concentration - ability to participate in group discussions and
  • Social Skills - able to cope with emotions, have ability to take

The 50 most important skills for children commencing school:

  1. Use the toilet independently.
  2. Follow verbal instructions
  3. Dress & Undress
  4. Identify/recognise own name in print
  5. Look after own belongings
  6. Share with peers
  7. Express/indicate needs/wants
  8. Hold pencil to make marks on paper
  9. Keep still for short periods of time
  10. Separate from parents at school
  11. Take turns
  12. Speak clearly
  13. Identify own school bag and belongings
  14. Open lunch box
  15. Use tissues
  16. Say their name
  17. Know to/how to wash hands after toileting
  18. Play with peers appropriately
  19. Respond to their own name
  20. Communicate with peers and teachers
  21. Ask and answer simple questions
  22. Use scissors
  23. Tie shoelaces (at least practice this lots)
  24. Write their own name in lower case letters
  25. Listen to a story
  26. Put things away after use
  27. Know common colours, shapes and numbers
  28. Listen to instructions
  29. Eat independently
  30. Participate in group activities
  31. Know own name
  32. Speak in complete sentences
  33. Adequate concentration span
  34. Listen to others speak in a group
  35. Awareness of why they are at school/keenness to learn
  36. Count to 10
  37. Show an interest in books
  38. Acceptable behaviour for school
  39. Show respect to teachers/adults and manners
  40. Ask for help
  41. Hold book and turn pages correctly
  42. Eye contact
  43. Share an adults attention with other children
  44. Recite nursery rhymes/simple songs
  45. Know address and phone number
  46. Be familiar with/use pencils. scissors, glue, paintbrushes
  47. Attempt drawing
  48. Fine motor skills
  49. Walk up & down stairs safely
  50. Accept correction/follow request appropriately

So there you have it. Interesting.


Alison said...

Its such a big decision isn't it? We kept E back - mainly because we figured that emotionally she has more to deal with than most other 5 year olds (with A's disabilities and needing a kidney transplant). I will also hold the twins back due to their prematurity. Thanks for posting that info - very useful.

Family said...

Thank you!! My son was just diagnosed with CP type and severity are to be determined. He was born dead with his brother Jaxon who they could not recesitate; my son Hawke has hydrocephalus and is progressing. My wife and I will be gleaming from your post's and experiences, God Bless !!