How can I help my child be school ready?

While child development experts look at many factors, parents can think of school readiness in a couple of ways. One, where is my child in their language and learning development? And two, how well suited is my child to participate in a classroom setting?

Parents can help their child be ready in both areas and can also decide if they think their child may need extra help along the way.

Language and learning

In kindergarten, children learn that letters and sounds make words, and those words can be written in sentences they can learn to read. Children also learn about numbers and counting, about how to write letters and numbers, and how to tell stories and express themselves. Parents can help children get ready for these lessons in many simple ways by:

  • Talking with their babies, toddlers, and young children
  • Reading to children at every age and stage
  • Pointing out letters, numbers, colors and shapes on signs
  • Counting objects at the grocery store or in the kitchen
  • Encouraging children to draw pictures
  • Helping a child learn to write their name

Of course, every child develops differently but all children are using their learning abilities from birth. That makes parents their first and most important teachers.

If you think a child may need extra help, First Five SC can connect you to experts, and families shouldn’t wait to ask for help. Screening a child for development delays and getting involved early to support learning can help children be more successful throughout their lives. Learn more about those services here

Life in the classroom setting

When children enter kindergarten, they’re getting an introduction to how life in a classroom works. They’ll be asked to follow directions, take turns, share, pay attention, and work on their own and in groups.

Child care programs including pre-school and 4-year-old kindergarten can get children ready for these expectations. Other group activities, such as story time at the library, can help a child develop these social skills.

Just by encouraging your toddler to play with other children their age, you’re getting them ready for school.

Help for parents

This series of short videos gives parents guidance on school readiness and what they can do to help a child prepare for kindergarten. 

First Five SC also links families to many resources, including scholarships for quality child care that support school readiness. Find out more here.

Ready for kindergarten is more than being the right age by the right date. Years of study have shown that when children enter kindergarten with certain abilities, they are better ready to learn. Starting off well in kindergarten helps children be more successful through their years in school.