4 School Readiness Tips to Practice Now from a Teacher
Ready for school? We don’t often think about back to school in the middle of Summer, but it’s a great time to start practicing school readiness! Often, we think school readiness means our kiddos can read, write, and count. But there are so many other important skills to develop first!
Summer is the perfect time to prepare for that transition. Here are 4 key school readiness skills and ways you can practice them over the summer!
1. Children should be able to confidently run, skip, jump and climb.
Why not head to a beach or forest where your child can practice? Encourage your child to walk on uneven surfaces of big rocks, balance their way across fallen logs or climb trees. When they come upon a challenging situation, support them (from a distance) to keep going. This not only develops physical literacy but also perseverance and problem-solving.
Bonus tip: Jan & Jul shoes are perfect for this sort of adventure! The flexible grippy soles bend and move with your child as they climb.
2. Children should be open to new learning experiences.
Let your child explore some new settings! Sit back and watch how they approach different and unfamiliar textures and locations. Explore a working farm, pick some fruit, look for creatures in a creek or tidal pool. Talk with your child about their experiences. What did they notice, see, or smell? Talking together and articulating their ideas is an important school readiness skill.
3. Children should be able to identify and classify groups of items.
Go for a nature walk and collect anything that looks interesting- sticks, rocks, leaves. When you’re ready for a break, lay out all the items and see in what ways you can group them. How are the items alike? How are they different? Can you count them together? Recognizing patterns in size, shapes and colours are some of the key foundations of Mathematics!
4. Children should be able to look after their belongings.
Bring along a small pack for your child on your outings and have them practice keeping track of their items like their water bottle, sun hat and jacket. Pack a lunch with you and have your child practice eating without your support. Make sure they can open their lunch boxes and any containers you plan to send to school. Have them practice putting on and taking off their own shoes, jackets and hats every day.
In our household, we love the Jan & Jul shoes because how easy they are for little ones to put on and take off ALL on their own! A great shoe to start practicing on!
Summer is full of so many opportunities to explore, discover, experiment, and learn! Every time you go on an adventure is a chance to help your child get ready for school. A trip to the playground is a chance to develop those gross-motor skills; walking in the forest fine-tunes their observation of science and nature; every conversation along the way develops their language skills! So go have some fun this summer while prepping for that back-to-school transition. Because learning IS fun!
– Sandra, teacher and mom living in the PNW