They say that the nights are long, but the days are short. I always thought this was just another saying, but since my son was born, wow do I believe it!! Before I know it, he will be off to preschool. Many of you may be facing this amazing and at the same time scary reality this fall. So what are some of the skills your child needs in order to be ready to succeed at school?
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- Manners. Your child should be able to acknowledge and great others with simple words like hi and bye, use polite language by saying please and thank you, and can understand the concept of words like "excuse me".
- Following directions. Your preschooler will understand how to take turns and the concept of waiting in line (while they make not do it yet!).
- Social skills. Children in preschool will be able to express emotions, identify friends, and enjoy participating in group activites.
- Independence. Your child is able to engage in activities without you for a period of time. They can also spend an extended time away from you, either at a play date at a friend's hour or a sleepover at Nana's.
- Reasoning. Your child can match similar and identical objects.
- Language. Your budding preschooler uses correct words to identify common objects (ball, truck, dog), can tell simple stories, and uses common language in a way that is understood by others.
- Reading. Your child can correctly hold a book (upside down is OK) and knows how to open it and flip the pages. Your child is also interested in reading and can identify a few letters.
- Math. Your little one identifies basic shapes, can sort items into simple groups and uses amount words like "many" or "few".
- Writing. Children can hold a writing took with their first or fingers, "writes" with different types of writing tools, and scribbles in a linear way.
- Science and Social Studies. Your child asks questions about her observations, shows interest in living things, and uses questions to help solve problems.
As well all know, children develop differently, so take this list as a guideline. If you are able to check off a few from each category, there should be no need to worry. If you feel as though your child is not able to do many of the items on the list, talk with the teacher at your child’s school or with your pediatrician, but at the end of the day, you know your child best, Mommy (or Daddy). Trust those powerful instincts!