Some Points to Ponder...

School Readiness is defined as "the ability to cope, learn, and achieve without undue stress." Memorizing a list of facts is not the same as having the developmental processing skills and maturation needed for success in school. School Readiness and intellectual capacity (I.Q.) do not necessarily correlate. Each child is a unique human being who grows and develops at his/her own individual rate. The decision as to when a child should enter the school system, either public or private, is one of the most important decisions a parent must take. Many states and schools have an age requirement for school entrance that says a child must be five years of age on or before a specific date. The majority of states and private schools use a date that falls between June 1 and September 1.

In the past years, California has legislated performance standards for each grade level including Kindergarten. Along with these standards, legislation was enacted eliminating the practice of social promotion. Research has indicated that a child who has not begun the reading process by First Grade becomes at risk for learning. There has also been new research about the importance of early intervention for those children who are demonstrating delays in their processing skills. The observations of a young child by their parents and extended caregivers becomes crucial in helping to make decisions about the proper school setting and age at which to begin the formal learning process.

Different types of curriculum and the delivery of that curriculum require certain maturation levels in processing skills, attending maturity, and social-emotional maturity. It is important that parents are aware of the demands of the Kindergarten curriculum in the school setting in which their child will be attending. Questions as to the expectations of reading, writing, and staying self-directed at a task are important. Class size is also important to know, as all schools do not have 20 to 1 ratios at the Kindergarten level.

In reviewing the content standards for the State of California and also reviewing curriculum demands from many of the private schools in Southern California, Chancy and Bruce Educational Resources, Inc. has found that a child should be developmentally between 5 to 5 1/2 years of age (regardless of their chronological age) to be successful in school and to begin the reading process no later than First Grade. Many private schools have an expectation for reading to begin by the end of Kindergarten. Children who are demonstrating delays in their processing skills are best supported with appropiate intervention strategies. Children who are developmentally young do best in school when they are given the opprotunity to develop and mature in a setting that does not put undue stress on them. This would be a Pre-K, Preppy K, or a Junior K setting and is provided through a Pre-School, Private School, or Public School.

We would be happy to share with you our research and the components of what a developmental 5 - 5 1/2 year old look like. It is recognized that children grow at different stages and are on different developmental timetables, which makes the need for parent education in this area critical. Chancy and Bruce has assessed over 250,000 children since 1982 and has completed longitudinal studies following children from Kindergarten through high school and 4 years post high school.

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