Earlier this week, I posted an entry about attending the kindergarten open house at the school where my oldest daughter will begin a new era of learning adventures this Fall. Evidently, I wasn’t the only one thinking ahead to the next school year – specifically being ready to have a kindergartner in our midst. Just yesterday, PBS KIDS released the results of a “School Readiness Survey,” and the results showed concern from parents of children ages 2-6 when it comes to social and emotional skills, along with basic reading and math in terms of getting kids prepped and ready to take that next step. Here’s some numbers, along with some tips on school readiness from the PBS KIDS Team…
School Readiness Tips for Parents
Understanding that the first five years of a child’s life are a time of physical, emotional, social and cognitive growth, parents and caregivers should look for resources and tips to help prepare children to enter school, including the following PBS KIDS tips:
1. Be involved and make learning fun. Research shows that children are more likely to succeed academically and socially in school when their parents or caregivers actively support and encourage them to take pleasure in learning.
2. Talk with your child. Young learners need to be in language rich environments. Talking to your child about a book you read together or exploring an educational app together are ways to help your child build language and acquire the skills needed to learn how to read.
3. Help your child explore. Encourage kids to ask questions and try different ways of using materials, offering them a wide range of new experiences. When choosing media, follow your child’s interests and look for educational content that builds on their excitement.
4. Let your child experiment. Kids experience great satisfaction when they try and finish new things. Give them a bit of support when they need it, but be careful not to take over completely. Simple household tasks, art projects and experimenting with various musical games are all ways that children can experiment and build confidence.
5. Nurture your child’s natural curiosity. Allow your child to chase a butterfly or watch a hermit crab peep out of its shell. Encourage them to investigate everyday objects as a way to develop curiosity and an interest in learning more. Look to media resources and characters like Curious George and Daniel Tiger from PBS KIDS, who help kids discover the world around them.
PBS KIDS has a multitude of tools and materials available for kids, grownups and teachers, all of which can be found online at PBSKIDS.org.