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Ready to Learn

by Jacque Sell
September/October 2011
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/ready-to-learn/5020130/

There is currently a great deal of attention paid to whether or not young children are ready for kindergarten and ways to reduce the ‘achievement gap.’ With such a focus on this gap and the effect it has on academic concepts and skills, parents tend to have as much concern about these areas of their children’s learning as their overall growth and development. Research has repeatedly shown that both academic and nonacademic school readiness skills at entry to kindergarten are significantly related to eventual reading and mathematics achievement in fifth grade. Unfortunately, readiness is still narrow-ly interpreted as a child’s ability to perform isolated academic tasks, rather than a more holistic assessment of a child’s readiness to learn.

Content in kindergarten-readiness workshops has evolved over the past several years and is currently more often referred to as ‘school readiness.’ This change is in response to considering a child’s developmental readiness, as well as academic readiness, for a formal education environment rather than the specifics of ‘kindergarten.’ Using the phrase ‘ready to learn’ empowers parents to recognize the importance of growth and development as indicators of children being ready for a formal education setting. Throughout infancy and early childhood, growth, development, and mastery ...

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