We are often asked ‘What can we do at home to develop our child’s School Readiness Skills?’
Home preparation in School Readiness is different to how we teach School Readiness in our classes.
This difference is important.
Children in the preschool age range need to be developing their social and emotional skills at home and preschool settings. They need to learn through play and exploration.
The academic skills we encourage during school readiness classes are provided in enough detail during the class. EDSpecially4U classes offer structured learning activities as an introduction to school, but they are not how your child should spend the majority of their week.
There are some nice ways that you can reinforce the learning from our classes through play and exploration.
ED Specially 4U recommends these activities
10 easy activities you can try at home:
Ideas for developing rhyme skills are available in our phonological awareness blog. Read these ideas here
Sharing rhyming books with your child is one of life’s little pleasures!
There is a reason that these songs/rhymes have stood the test of time. They teach early literacy skills while the children are having fun! It is easy to assume that your child might be tired of these, but if you revisit them during the year, you will probably find they love singing these with you. We give ideas for introducing the ED Specially 4U Nursery Rhyme resource packs with your child. Read all about it here
Children learn through play and music. When you combine enjoyment and singing with our visual singing resources you will be amazed by how motivated your child will be to sing these over and over again. Our resources are perfect for home/classroom/preschool/playgroup settings. See our whole list of Singing Resources here
Preparation for school is a great time to revise Fairy Tales with your child. It is surprising that a lot of children start Kindergarten without knowing fairy tales. Enjoy this time to revise favourite Fairy Tales and discuss the meaning with your child. We have some hands on learning resources for popular Fairytales – you can find them here
Phonics Work -I spy:
is a great game especially if you spend any time in travel by car, bus, train etc. A great game to reinforce the beginning sound in words – remember at this stage, it is best to refer to the sound instead of the letter name, ie. I spy with my little eye…..something beginning with /t/ (rather than saying the letter name T). For younger children, this game can be adapted to- I spy with my little eye, something that is________ (name a colour)
Phonics and Alphabet – Make your own book:
This is a fun interactive activity to reinforce the phonics learning we have been introducing. You could choose to make an alphabet book – revising all of the letters that we have learnt this year. Children can draw pictures, or find photos on the internet that start with these letter sounds. Once the book is complete, this book can be shared with someone else to allow your child to display their knowledge. This activity develops a lot of confidence.
ED Specially 4U offers a large array of Phonics Resources that you can purchase and play at home with your child. All of our resources use our unique learning system, with colours and graphics remaining the same throughout all of the resources to assist students to learn in a multi-sensory manner.
Visit our shop to see the resources currently available – here
Reading with Understanding (Comprehension):
As always, enjoy sharing books with your child. Now is a good time to start to develop some comprehension strategies. Comprehension is essential for reading competence and is often a reading skill that is not taught at this age. In our School Readiness classes we reflect on comprehension, so reading at home is an ideal time to build on this skill.
make connections- how does that make you feel?, how would you feel if you were that character? has this ever happened to you? does this remind you of something? how is this different to what you do?………
question – I wonder why they are doing that? I wonder what is in the lunchbox? I wonder where they are going? ………
predicting – make a prediction to work out where the text is leading to. Predicting assists with reading skills.
review – the text. Talk about what has happened in the story, what was the sequence of events
Of course, at this age reading for enjoyment is very important. You should not try to incorporate all of these comprehension strategies into every book that you share with your child. Use some of the strategies as best suited to the text you are reading.
Fine Motor Fun:
Throughout our program we spend time each week developing the children’s fine motor skills through playdough, cutting, shaving cream, ripping paper, threading and art/craft activities including painting, gluing and stamping.
During the school holidays you might like to work on some of these strategies with your child as well.
Now that our students are doing so well with their name writing. They could practice writing their name on their own and forming the letters independently. Our program teaches name writing offering the most to least assistance. We start with individual letter matching and build up to writing independently. Whichever point your child is at, this can be reinforced at home. Speak with your child’s class teacher to learn more about their individual letter if you are not sure. Work samples from class will be able to assist you with this also.
ED Specially 4U offers School Readiness Resource Packs including letters, numbers, and writing resources aimed to reinforce the learning in our School Readiness Programs.
These resources can be found here
We also offer letter and number writing cards which you might like to encourage with your child. They can be found at the following links:
Our blog provides great writing and fine motor ideas. Read the blog
Maths: Offer your child opportunities to count.
Shopping for fruit and vegetables is a great activity for reinforcing counting skills. Ask your child to gather 5 pears, 4 apples, 3 bananas, 10 carrots etc.
You could extend this activity by creating a fruit book at home. Each fruit or vegetable can be drawn and the corresponding numeral written with it. For example: 1 banana, 2 apples, 3 pears, 4 oranges etc.
This worksheet is fun for reinforcing supermarket number practice:
Shopping is one example of an activity which encourages counting and numeracy skills – look around at your everyday life and you and child will find many others
Don’t forget that maths needs to be more than rote counting numbers. Read all about the number skills your child needs in our blog:
Give your child lots of opportunities to play.. Play is the basis of all good learning at this early age. Make sure your children enjoy play opportunities such as gross motor (play equipment at the park is perfect for this), make believe and construction play.
Play with your child when you get the chance.
Role play how to speak with each other, how to share and take turns.
These skills are invaluable when your child reaches school.
Have a great time and play with your child, as well as making arrangements for play opportunities with children at the same age. Some of our school readiness students have organised play dates with their class friends during these holidays, a fantastic chance to work with your children on these essential play skills!
Don’t forget to Relax and Have Fun
Precious time with your family is the best educational experience for your child. Happy, confident children need time to enjoy themselves and relax in their own environment.
For the Love of Learning