As parents, we want our children to succeed in school. We want them to grow up and have good jobs and happy lives. Experts say that if we want our young children to do well in school, we should be teaching them before they even get to Kindergarten.
Most parents believe this means teaching a child to recite the alphabet, identify colors, and count to ten. While these are important, the most critical skills a child needs to be successful in school are social and emotional skills.
As any teacher will tell you, social emotional skills are essential to school success. A child is socially and emotionally ready for school if he or she can:
– Get along with others
– Make friends
– Share and take turns
– Care about how other people feel
– Communicate feelings
– Calm down when upset
– Ask for what he/she needs
– Pay attention to the teacher
– Follow simple instructions
– Stay in his/her seat
– Stick with the task at hand
– Try new things
– Solve problems
It is never too early to build social and emotional skills. The idea of Kindergarten has changed a lot in the way it functions over the last 15 years.
According to Columbia Public School Kindergarten teachers, children entering kindergarten this year are expect to have these behavioral skills ALREADY mastered:
– Capacity to develop relationship with others
– Ability to communicate emotions
– Ability to follow directions
– Ability to be attentive
Learn more about School Readiness here.