Is my child ready for prep? Literacy and Numeracy Issues
You’re probably worried that your child isn’t ready for prep if they are struggling to write their name, count to 10 or recognise the letters of the alphabet. While there are tons of online educational resources available, it can be stressful for you and your child when the lessons just don’t “stick”.
If you’re wondering whether to keep them at home another year based on concerns over whether their literacy and/or numeracy skills are up to speed or not you’ll be pleased to hear that school readiness is not based on how well they can read, write or count – these skills will be taught and covered in their prep year. The first term of prep is used to try to catch all students up to the same numeracy and literacy level.
What your child will learn in their prep year
The following are some of the many literacy and numeracy skills that are covered in your child’s prep year using play and enquiry based learning.
- Language development and communication
- Sight words
- Sentence structure
- Early mathematical understanding
- Counting to 1000
- Counting in 2’s, 5’s and 10’s
- Addition and subtraction
- Grouping objects and placing objects in order
- Learning about size, shape and weight measurements
If you’d like to know more about what literacy and numeracy skills will be covered in your child’s prep year, read our parent friendly guide – ‘What will my child in prep?’ The national Foundation Year Curriculum is used by prep teachers in Queensland state schools and most private schools.
Preparing your child for prep
Many Queensland early childhood education and child care services run approved kindergarten and school readiness programs that will begin to prepare your child for prep the year before they start – often called ‘Pre-Prep’. Whilst there is some focus on early literacy and numeracy, most emphasis is on emotional preparedness for full time prep. Literacy and numeracy skills that are covered in kindergarten include how to recognise numbers, letters and the sounds letters make.
Remember that this will also be covered in your child’s first term at prep, so your child will not be at a disadvantage if they don’t yet have these skills.
If you are still concerned that your child will struggle with numeracy and literacy in their prep year, talk to their school about what support and educational resources are available to you. It’s also worth talking with your local kindergarten about how they can help to get your child ready for prep. You can search for your nearest approved kindergarten and school readiness program on the Queensland Governments Early Childhood Education and Care Service website. To learn more about how a kindergarten program can help prepare your child for prep, visit The Kindy Program website.
Home support resources
One of the most important ways to prepare your child for prep is to spend some time reading with them every day at home. Talk with your child about the ideas presented in what you read together. Let them see how you use counting in everyday life, such as counting the number of eggs that go in the cake, how many carrots in your shopping bag or how many plates, knives, spoons and cups are needed to set the dinner table.
If you are looking for further help, private Occupational Therapy services may help you overcome barriers to learning and even raise red flags around learning impediments. If your child is really struggling, it may be worth checking out educational resources for dyslexic kids too.
There is no doubt that reading, writing and arithmetic are essential skills your child will need to achieve their best at school and life. However, most early childhood educators and teachers agree that your child’s emotional readiness is far more important than their literacy and numeracy skills.