Laying the Foundation: School Readiness

So this isn’t quite a Course Notes post, but I absolutely loved this Continuing Ed seminar I took a couple weeks ago on core foundational skills essential for learning. It especially informs our thoughts on school readiness and I want to share it with you all. So here we go!

Ready or not, your little one will soon attend school and you will most likely have concerns if they’re prepared or not. School readiness refers to the range of proficiencies — language and literacy, cognition, social and emotional skills — needed for your child to easily transition into school.  But to be successful in these skills, certain foundations need to be in place.

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Coffee Chat: Patti’s First Week of School

I’ve been beyond excited for this school year since April. After reading The Most Important Year and the girls acceptance into our state-funded Pre-K program, I was determined to give my kids the best school experience ever.

I did everything I could think of to be ready. Their school supplies were bought in June. But the entire week before school started, I had the worst sleep. I kept thinking that I had forgotten something. That they weren’t prepared. That they were going to hate their big elementary school. That somewhere there was a mistake and they weren’t registered. It was spiraling black hole of worry.

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Coffee Chat: Mary’s First Week of School

It’s been about a month since my 5-year-old officially became a kindergartner. As much as I would like to say that I was fully prepared for this transition, I was not emotionally ready for the relationship changes between us.

For some reason, I thought this school year was going to be like the preschool ones before it. I’d get a “Love you!” and a quick hug at drop-off and then chat about his day afterwards on our way home. Yeah, I didn’t get any of that.

Instead, I had a kid who just popped out of the car in morning and stayed quiet on our walk from the bus stop in the afternoon. Like, what was happening?

Although I knew that his silence was most likely just him processing everything from his school day, it was still a hard pill to swallow. It’s the realization that my kiddo is growing up and these moments of connection with him were shifting.

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Making Sense About Speech: Sensory Integration and Speech

Speech and language are not easy skills to achieve. Before we can talk or make sense of what people are saying, our sensory foundations must be established. This explains why most kids aren’t fully conversational until around 3 years old.

For example, intelligible speech can’t happen without the cooperation of the vestibular (movement), proprioceptive (body awareness), and tactile (touch) systems who govern the fine motor movements, coordination, and motor planning of the throat, lips, and jaw. If we are to understand a conversation, our auditory (hearing) system needs to differentiate between sounds of words to not mix up what someone is communicating to us.

This all ties back to sensory integration.

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Your Kid’s Learning Style: Is it Important?

There are a lot of identifiers that give a bit of insight into how people tick. Identifiers like our zodiac sign, what Hogwarts house we belong to, our Myers-Briggs type, and even what learning style best suits us. But when it comes to kids, does knowing their learning preference make a difference?

Recently, my husband and I were discussing how we learn best. My husband absorbs information best auditorily while I find myself to be a visual learner. This talk came as we were trying to figure out what type of learners our kids were, especially when it came to our 4-year-old who was struggling to recall and apply information (like knowing what day it is or when his baseball practices were).  We were trying to determine the best way he obtains knowledge in order to help him succeed.

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