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School readiness at home

 
When thinking about how to get children ready for school, parents often think pre-school is the best, if not the only place to gain the essential skills that they need. However, with childcare agencies now able to deliver educational programmes, a nanny or an educator will be able to get your children ready for school as well as any pre-school.
When thinking about how to get children ready for school, parents often think pre-school is the best, if not the only place to gain the essential skills that they need.

However, with childcare agencies now able to deliver educational programmes, a nanny or an educator will be able to get your children ready for school as well as any pre-school.

Indeed, many skills like the ability of a child to cope independently in a new social environment are more important for school readiness than being able write, count and read simple words.

Lauren McRailt, Administrator & Visiting Teacher for the Hop, Skip, Learn programme run by KiwiOz Nannies, tells us what skills are essential for children to be ready for school and what her nannies are putting in place.
 

7 Essential Skills for School Readiness


1. Academic knowledge
  • Teaching the names of basic colours and shapes is important.
 
  • It makes a difference to interest children in seeing the basic shapes in letters and numbers and noticing how shapes are different. Road signs or letter boxes are great for that.

2. Knowledge of the world and the environment
  • Going out and about, visiting different places, traveling on different vehicles (eg boat, bike, bus, train, plane), talking with different people, seeing and trying different things are essential.
 
  • Giving children lots of varied experiences will help them adapt to their new school environment.

3. Self-help skills
  • Supporting children to learn to dress and undress themselves, go to the bathroom and wash their hands unassisted and without being reminded, tidying-up after play and hanging up and folding their clothes. 
 
  • Once at school they will need to be able to do all those things without the help of an adult.

4. Listening skills
  • Reading to children on a regular basis is crucial.
 
  • Talking with children about things and focusing their attention on what they are seeing and hearing helps them to listen to what their teacher will be telling them.

5. Curiosity and questioning skills
  • Responding to children’s questions and sharing in their curiosity by discovering answers and new information together will help them question the teacher when they don’t fully understand things.

6. Fine motor and coordination skills
  • Helping children build their hand muscles by providing drawing and cutting activities, puzzles, water pouring, play-dough and clay, threading large beads and hammering activities, will make holding a pen and writing much easier.

7. Independence and responsibility
  • Fostering children’s independence by arranging visits to their friends and extended family members, and staying for a short time without their parents is a good idea.
 
  • They need to be praised when they do something that shows independence.
 
  • If your nanny or educator is enrolled in education programmes like Hop, Skip, Learn, not only will you make sure that your child is getting ready for school in the safe and reassuring environment of their own home, but you also get access to ECE subsidies.

Learn more about the Hop, Skip, Learn programme.

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Source: This article was written by Helene Girard at KiwiOz Nannies - NZ’s most referred nanny & educator placement agency.
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