It is Spring 3-Way Conference time! I love meeting with parents and discussing their children’s growth and improvement over the school year. This is an especially exciting time for the children who have turned or are turning five- they will be moving up to Kindergarten in a few months.
In early childhood, children learn through play and imitation. Up until the age of six or seven, the child’s brain is still developing the capacity to remember and perform operations of logic. Preschool teachers look for and assess the developmental milestones which indicate a child is ready to advance to the more formal academic expectations of Kindergarten. When assessing whether an individual is ready for academic learning, a teacher focuses on the child’s constitutional health, social skills, movement, play, and artwork. Milestones I especially look for include:
Intellectual– Phonemic awareness is developing. The child can hear the individual sounds in words.
Physical– The child has established a dominant hand. They naturally and effortlessly cross the horizontal and vertical midlines of their body.
Social- The student plays socially and cooperatively with their peers, often verbally planning play rather than playing.
More and more educational studies are revealing the long-term benefits of allowing children to wait until they are ready before beginning formal academic learning. Allowing your child to stay in the magical realm of early childhood without pushing cognitive development provides a sound basis for later health and creativity.