18 June 2020

It’s time for school. Or is it? How do I know if my child is ready for school?

It’s time for school. Or is it? How do I know if my child is ready for school?

If your child is born somewhere between January and July, then chances are you’re one of the lucky ones that gets to choose which year they go to school. Will they be 4, turning 5? Or 5 turning 6? But if they celebrate in the Winter and Spring months of August to December, then the decision is out of your hands. They will turn 5 and go to school the year they turn 6.

But with so many options for our Summer/Autumn babies, how do we know what the right thing to do is? To go, or not to go. That is the question.

Every child in NSW must be enrolled in school the term before they turn 6. The cut-off date for this is July 31st, so effectively, if you are born on or before that date, you can go to school in the January. After, and you’re heading to big school the following year.

So how do you choose?

Ultimately, the decision lies with you and your child, but here is a helping hand.

Being school ready is NOT about reading and writing Ask a kindergarten teacher what they expect from children entering school, and it will not be about whether they can recognise every letter of the alphabet, write it and be able to count. True school readiness is about being socially and emotionally ready – will they cope with the everyday tasks?

Ask yourself,

  • Can they sit at the table to complete an activity?
  • Can they make choices about the type of activity they wish to engage with?
  • Can they take care of themselves independently – toileting, washing hands, care of their own belongings?
  • Are they able to resolve conflict between themselves and their peers? The ratios in the playground are far greater than at daycare, meaning less adults per child. If your child has a problem, will they be able to work it out for themselves or will they always need adult support?
  • Can they ask for help if they need to?