In a sense, young children are preparing for the school years to come from the time they start to walk and talk. While most official school readiness programs you hear about are targeted at preschool-aged children of around 4 years old, it’s important to prepare kids for schooling much sooner than that.
This article will be focusing on some school readiness skills for toddlers aged 12 to 24 months and what type of school readiness activities will provide children in this age bracket with school readiness skills. It’s all about placing a focus on early learning skills for children 1 to 2 years of age.
Developing Language and Literacy Skills
As parents, you can really help your child prepare for the school years to come by getting them started on language and literacy skills; skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Now while reading, writing and math will be at their most basic level for kids of this age, now is the prime time to get them started and, most importantly, get them interested in learning these vital skills.
However you choose to teach your children, it’s important to remember to keep it fun. Forcing boring academic lessons upon them usually isn’t particularly effective at such a young age and can even deter them from being interested altogether.
At 12-24 months, these lessons need to occur in a more natural, everyday kind of way. For example, read to your child regularly (stories they want to hear) and have them participate in the reading from time to time to develop their reading and language skills. Discuss what you read, ask questions and explain anything they don’t understand.
Numeracy skills can be acquired in a variety of fun ways. Even the basics of counting can be learned through picture books, puzzles or even counting pieces of fruit or their favourite snacks. Basic addition or subtraction can be learned through the same methods.
Developing Thinking Skills
Everyone thinks at any age but you want your toddler to think in better ways so they advance their thinking abilities. Toys, objects, puzzles and fun games can all help to get them thinking about what things are, how they work and the answers to basic questions.
Any activities that involve a degree of problem solving will be extremely beneficial to your child’s cerebral growth and their ability to think. Even having them help out around the house forces them to think and focus on the task they are assigned, no matter how simple it is.
Allow your young child the freedom to make basic choices. Even something like choosing the clothes they are going to wear that day gets them thinking and analysing things.
The Development Of Self-Control
Self-control is often about temperament and tempering emotional responses. Even the youngest of children still possess a mind of their own and so many toddlers fall in love with saying the word “NO”. It’s a way of asserting some degree of independence, even at a very early age. It’s human nature.
Toddlers are wanting to do so many things but are not yet capable of doing what they desire to do. This can lead to frustration and emotional outbursts. It’s important to remember that kids at this tender age have yet to master their emotions or even understand what they are feeling.
Determine your child’s natural temperament by observing patterns regarding how they react to things. When you understand their temperament, you’ll be able to empathise with them and work with them to develop skills of self-control.
School Readiness and Early Education Centres
Early education centres focus heavily on school readiness for toddlers and preschoolers. Those who devise the curriculum understand exactly what’s required for children to develop the necessary skills that will see them successfully negotiating the school years ahead.
Toddlers who attend an early education centre will discover the basics of academics through fun-filled activities and interaction with other kids. They will develop self-control, thinking skills and their self-confidence will continue to flourish. Important social and communication skills will also be developed in a major way.
A combined effort by parents and the attendance at an early learning centre will set young children on a positive pathway to help ensure success during the school years.