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FAQs Overview
school readiness project
early child development
 

 

 

 

 

 
Frequently Asked Questions

About School Readiness and Early Child Development

What does “school readiness” mean?
What kinds of skills do children need by kindergarten?
How do young children learn these skills?
Doesn’t the real learning start once children go school?
What kinds of experiences are beneficial to young children?
What can parents do to help their young children build a solid foundation for learning?
 

What does “school readiness” mean?
The term school readiness refers to the set of skills children need by the time they begin kindergarten as a foundation for further learning.

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What kinds of skills do children need by kindergarten?
Kindergarten curriculum assumes that each student:

  • can follow simple directions,
  • has a basic understanding of feelings,
  • has a reasonable ability to cooperate during classroom activities,
  • communicates needs,
  • can hop and skip,
  • can use a pencil and scissors,
  • recognizes shapes and colors
  • knows numbers 1 -10, and
  • can distinguish sounds and recognize some letters.

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How do young children learn these skills?
Young children learn these skills gradually, beginning at birth, as part of the natural stages of development. For example, things like picking up a raisin and holding a rattle are early pre-cursors to using a pencil.

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Doesn’t the real learning start once children go school?
No. Learning truly begins at birth. In fact, healthy experiences during the first five years are essential to a child’s later success in school and life. During these crucial years, the brain is building the structure and strength it needs to prepare it for formal learning. Beneficial experiences build a strong foundation for learning while stress can result in a brain that is less able to learn in school.

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What kinds of experiences are beneficial to young children?

  • Close, nurturing relationships with adults and structured group activities with other children cultivate a child’s social development. Early interactions shape the way children learn to live and work with others.
  • Exercise, good nutrition, clean air to breathe, adequate sleep and preventive medical and dental care fuel a child’s physical development. Children form the basis for healthy habits based on their experiences in the early years.
  • Constructive play activities foster a child’s cognitive development. These activities  - especially reading and talking with children - literally strengthen the structure of children’s brains, preparing them for growth and learning.

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What can parents do to help their young children build a solid foundation for learning?

Parents and caregivers can nurture their child’s healthy development in many different ways during the years from birth to age five. The Five Key Ideas leaflet from bornlearning.org identifies and explains more about the following great things parents can do for their children:

  • Understand and respond to your baby’s needs.
  • Take care of yourself so you can take care of your child.
  • Talk, sing and read to your child.
  • Create a predictable world for your child.
  • Provide a warm and loving environment.

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When you are hurting - your child is hurting. Help is available for those experiencing Domestic Violence. www.anewhopecenter.org
 

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