As we enter the second half of the year many families are faced with the tough decision about whether their child is school-ready. I am one of them.
Having a June baby (the cut off month) means the child will start Prep aged only four and a half, with children in their class up to 12 months older. Even if your child shows no obvious signs of unreadiness it is difficult to foresee the impact five full days of school will have, the fatigue factor, and the greater expectation that will be placed on your child. You need a crystal ball!
Researching the topic actually makes the decision harder as you can find powerful arguments for and against. Listening to the car-park gossip just makes you fearful and may cloud your judgment.
What I found useful was talking to the key people involved such as current and future teachers and getting an understanding of what being school ready involves. Ultimately it means making the best decision based on your child and your family, then committing to it.
The aim is not to give your child an advantage over others, it is to give your child a positive start to the whole school experience, not just Prep, but the early learning years of grades 1, 2 and 3.
Things I found out...
Readiness is about emotional and social maturity and has little to do with academic skill
Being ready for school is critical as you don't want your child to just cope but rather to thrive and flourish
Children who are thriving tend to make the most of all opportunities. Children who just cope or don't cope at all tend to have a harder road to travel
Curiosity, persistence, the confidence to 'have a go' and resilience are positive learning dispositions
If you are struggling to make a decision grab yourself a copy of Ready Set Go (How to tell if your child's ready for school and prepare them for the best start) by Kathy Walker.
Also an interesting article about a frustrated mother who thinks it would be a whole lot easier if everyone stuck to the system in place!
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