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 enter 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 entering 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 when they prepare their child for school, 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 game-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 prepare for school then by participating in a program based on the developmental needs of children.
The best part of the SKILLZ system is that it is divided up by age groups from 3 to 14 years old. More specially, in relation to school readiness the Early SKILLZ (3-4 years old) is top-notch in preparing children for success in school. Each class focuses on the four developmental stages that were designed precisely for that age. Early SKILLZ students work on things such as following and listening, while also learning higher level skills such as kicking, blocking, and punching. These skills build on each other and each level provides a foundation for the next.
Helping young children prepare for their first day of school doesn’t happen overnight. Providing them with consistent, purposeful experiences that support their overall development, early on, will get them started on the road to school readiness. Doing this in a game-based, nurturing environment that focuses on developing the whole child, will set the stage for an easier adjustment to school and the classroom environment.
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SILVER DRAGON KUNG FU – CERTIFIED CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT CENTER
30a Hill Street
Daly City, CA 94014
(650) 756 – 8899 https://www.silverdragonkungfu.com
Author: Melody Johnson of Skillz Worldwide.
With over 30 years in martial arts, Melody has achieved many accomplishments in her journey, including dedicating a lot of her time researching and developing some of the best methods for teaching children. Melody’s latest career move is the development of her age-specific curricula branded as SKILLZ. The very first of its kind, SKILLZ is getting a lot of attention for its systematic approach to skill-based Martial Arts training, and is endorsed by some of the nation’s leading child psychologists, including the late Dr. Ruth Peters. Currently there are over 1100 licensed SKILLZ schools on almost every continent.