Starting school is an exciting time for your child, and it helps to be prepared.
Learning is based on our ability to take in and process sensory information, combined with motor skills and coordination. Success in the classroom, and throughout life, depends on a good foundation of sensory motor skills developed during infancy and early childhood.
These foundations, built in the first seven years of a child’s life, prepare them for lifelong learning in all areas – social, emotional, physical, behavioural and academic.
Screening for School Readiness
Learning happens when we are relaxed and able to take in and process new sensory information.
Screening for classroom readiness before your child starts school helps to identify immaturities in their early sensory and motor development. Addressing these gaps will help your child to have the best start, and prevent them from becoming major problems later on.
Children who struggle with academic learning often show signs of anxiety, becoming easily overwhelmed in a busy classroom. This makes it harder for them to focus and pay attention. Taking in new information becomes extremely difficult as, feeling threatened, they are now in an instinctive survival mode.
Learning to read is a complex process, and requires your child to have a good foundation of sensory and motor skills. They need to be able to sit still, maintain balance, move their eyes across the page, and listen all at once. It helps if they are developmentally ready for this to happen without too much stress.
Well-developed auditory or listening skills enable your child to block out the background sounds, and focus on the teachers voice. It also helps them to interpret the sounds connected to the letters on the page.
Both eyes need to be able to move together smoothly across a page of writing. They also need to be able to converge, that is, focus on a single point on the page. Then your child needs to be able to decode these shapes into sounds and words, and make meaning them.
Children who struggle with learning to read are often described as being dyslexic. Screening for developmental delay invariably reveals gaps in early development.
Importance of Free Play
Reading readiness does not come from computer programs or workbooks. It comes from being given time to grow and develop naturally, from childhood experiences rich in sensation and movement. This happens naturally through play and lots of outdoor physical activity, as well as supportive relationships with parents and carers.
Time spent playing with your child and snuggling together to share stories are important for your child’s early development. Your child also needs time to run, jump, ride bikes, swim, climb trees. Rhyming and clapping games are fun and are another way to prepare your child for learning to read.
These activities build new neural pathways in your child’s brain, helping them to process new sensory information. This gives them the strongest foundation for learning.
The Good News
The good news as that these gaps can be addressed through an individualised 1:1 developmental exercise program. Working together, we can help your child to fill in any gaps in their early stages of development. This has the potential to bring about significant change, as evidenced by testimonials and case studies.
A simple screening for developmental readiness for school can help your child to have the best possible start to their school career.
If you would like to learn more about helping to prepare your child for this new stage in their life, please give me a call on 0474 095 432 for a free 15 minute chat.