When we hear the term “school readiness,” the first thing most people think of is children knowing academic basics that will help them meet the demands of the classroom. And while these cognitive skills are important, teachers feel that skills in the other areas of child development are just as, or more important. Social, emotional, and physical skills are also essential to the success of a child in school. Preparing children this way helps them be in a classroom feeling secure.
Teachers are important in helping develop the whole child, although, their main goal is to teach cognitive skills that will lead to academic success. For that to happen, however, children must possess other development skills in the areas of social, emotional, and physical development. Amy Graham from Charles Darwin University conducted a study and found that 45% of the teachers she interviewed were more concerned with a child’s confidence, independence, and self-regulation skills when in the classroom. Studies from the UK have had the same findings. As one teacher said, “We can teach them to write their name, but it’s important to have kids who can function in the classroom.”
This information is powerful for parents to know. While they generally focus on cognitive skills, there are many other things parents do, unintentionally, in their day-to-day routines. Things such as teaching kindness and respect to others, encouraging children to follow simple instructions, and playing to improve motor skills are just a few. Another important thing that children learn from their parents is self-regulation. Managing thoughts and feelings is a big undertaking for a child but they can learn this easily by having their parents as role-models for appropriate responses. They key to instilling these things is by creating more purposeful opportunities for learning so their readiness in these areas is greater.
One of the best ways to do this is by giving children a chance to experience life outside of the home and away from family for periods of time. This increases their confidence and helps them be more comfortable when it’s time to attend school. The SKILLZ program provides that type of experience. The program is a skill-based martial arts system that is grounded in child development. This cutting-edge, 4D approach encompasses the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development of children. What better way for a child to excel in school than by participating in a program based on the developmental needs of children?
Helping children have a high level of preparation for school doesn’t happen overnight, and it isn’t restricted to very young children, either! Kids ALL ages need help in today’s world being “school ready,” or, as we sometimes like to say, “school better.” Providing kids with consistent, purposeful experiences that support their overall development, gets them started on the road to school readiness, and keeps them going to greater levels of readiness. Doing this in a skill-based, nurturing environment that focuses on developing the whole child sets the stage for an easier time in school and the classroom environment.