School readiness is child's play
I stumbled across a really profound quote this week that got me thinking "No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it". In a team there is more collective knowledge than one person can possess, which is why this month, we’re doing things a little differently. Our network of trained Edu-Profilogists is steadily growing. All are experts in their respective fields - some specialising in a variety of disciplines including Adult assessments, Sports and Pre-school development. This month, one of our Gauteng-based consultants has agreed to share her insights into a current hot topic among parents of pre-schoolers: school readiness. Warm regards Dr. Annette Lotter & Team
Today many parents are unsure of how to get their children school-ready. My twenty years of teaching three to eleven year-olds has taught me that the most important thing a parent can do to help get their children school-ready is to go back to basics. Think back to how we grew up. Confused? Let me explain. Over the last five years teachers in both government and private schools have noticed that the demand for therapies such as Occupational, Speech and Physiotherapy has more than doubled. The increase in the number of children in therapy is not solely due to developments in medical research which allow us to recognise and identify problems earlier. The main reason for the upsurge in child therapy is because our lifestyles have changed radically in the last two decades. We live hectic lives. In many cases, both parents work and there is a small (or no) support system at home. We live in complexes with small gardens, high walls and no trees. Children have to wait for their parents to find the time to watch them ride their bicycles as it is no longer safe to let them roam the streets freely as we did. Our children no longer play in the mud, “baking” mud cakes. Children don’t help in the kitchen (“they might get hurt” some parents worry). They’re not encouraged to invent games. Most children have all the newest toys money can buy, but little time to interact with their parents. The list of woes goes on and on. So what’s the answer?
How does play help little ones become school ready? Simplifying our children’s hectic lives at an early age will help them be more emotionally secure and physically ready to deal with the growing demands of school and society as a whole. It is our responsibility as parents to make sure young children exercise their “RIGHT TO PLAY” as it is through play that children learn best. That play = learning has been confirmed over many years by many theorists, psychoanalysts, neuroscientists, educational therapists and teachers, to name but a few. This critical insight will make a significant difference in any child’s development from as early as two years. Children need to learn kinaesthetically (that is, they need to touch, feel and move) and concretely until the age of twelve. Enjoy the moments with your child. Remember: WHAT YOU PUT IN IS WHAT YOU GET OUT, JUST LIKE YOUR BANK BALANCE!!!!! MAKE THE INVESTMENT IN YOUR CHILD COUNT - THEIR FUTURE SUCCESS DEPENDS ON IT. For more information on our school-readiness assessments, please contact us.
PLAY, PLAY, PLAY IS THE BEST WAY!
Make a special corner in the garden for your child to dig and play in
Encourage sing-alongs to music
A small trampoline is great for muscle tone and development for young and old, so hop to it!
Play dough and plasticine are great “hands on” toys. Display your little one’s art somewhere for the family to admire