Is your child school-ready?

September 17th, 2009    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: Community

School buses are back and taking the kids to school. Parents check on those important last minute details: school supplies, school schedule, teacher’s name, pick and drop off times and – off they go.

Many of us watch our hurried friends and neighbors and know this day will come for us. Before we know it, Alex who just turned three will get on a school bus for his first day of Kindergarten. We ask ourselves: will he be ready?

A lot has been written about school readiness. Many studies mention the importance of language and literacy as one of the most critical elements of school success; others emphasize social skills and the ability to interact with others and of course one cannot underscore the connections between health and nutrition and the ability to learn.

Berta Velilla and her son Alex learn about letters at the Child Focus Preschool Academy, a new, state-of-the-art full or part-day school readiness program with degreed teachers, small ratios and research-based curriculum.
Kindergarten teachers have a list of basic skills and expectations for children entering their classrooms. The list includes things like recognizing name in print and spelling their first name, the ability to recite the ABC's, name basic colors, sort and classify similar two and three dimensional objects, compare objects by size, cut with scissors and identify and name numerals 0-9. The list also includes things like the ability to communicate basic needs, engage in problem solving and get along with others.

So what can we do to prepare children for school?

Ensure your child's healthy development with regular check ups and proper nutrition; we can foster language development and literacy skills by reading books, singing songs, creating rhymes; Use routine activities as learning opportunities: encourage sorting and classification while folding the laundry, sorting dishes or clipping coupons. Shapes, numbers and colors are all around; use trips to the supermarket, gas station or park to learn about same and different, big and small, heavy and light.

When looking for a preschool program, look for programs that have experienced certified teachers, small ratios and places that follow research-based educational practices.

"Quality preschool programs have teachers who build strong relationships with children, teachers and create learning environments that promote exploration, discovery and curiosity," Berta Velilla, Director of Child Focus, Inc. said. "Teachers in all our early learning programs, including the new Preschool Academy of Union Township are constantly looking for ways to make learning fun and expand on children's natural curiosity to teach them about their environment and the world."

Early Learning Programs at Child Focus were recently selected as the Reader's Choice Best Day Care Award.

"Child Focus, Inc. has provided educational programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers for over 30 years. We are honored to have been selected by readers not only as the best employer and most community involved organization, but also as the best day care in Clermont County," Tara Dawson, Marketing Director for Child Focus, Inc. said. "The Preschool Academy will allow us to take our expertise and provide exceptional preschool education to a larger group of children."

For more information call (513) 528-7224 or visit www.child-focus.org.
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