Is your child ready for school?

Posted in Arts and crafts, Play. Posted on by Jacob Lett
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Starting art education at home during the preschool years will help your child be prepared for the basic requirements of learning in a classroom setting. At this age they are interested in learning about their world; how things look, taste, feel, and smell. Art gives them an opportunity to visually express their experiences.

Starting art education at home during the preschool years will help your child be prepared for the basic requirements of learning in a classroom setting.

The following are the top skills needed to be successful in school:

1. Strong fine motor skills

In kindergarten your child will begin to learn and write the alphabet. This will require strong hands and good eye coordination. Drawing, coloring, cutting with scissors, and pasting will help prepare your child to hold a pencil in their hand and draw letters of the alphabet.

2. Enthusiasm toward learning

Art is full of new materials to explore and discover. This “play time” combined with learning a new skill will help demonstrate learning is fun. In art there are obstacles and frustrations to overcome, such as: missing a needed crayon color, tubes of dry paint, uncertainty how to draw something, or having limited time to complete a project. Learning to repeatedly overcome similar obstacles will teach your child to stay positive and to think of creative ways to overcome them.

3. Ability to listen

Having a set time to work on art projects together will help teach your child to listen to your directions and then apply what they have learned when they are working by themselves. This is a great way to see if they are actually listening as you observe and comment on their work.

4. Desire to be independent

When teaching art at home, you will be able to spend a small amount of time giving instruction and then your child will be free to explore and create on their own. This personal creative time builds independence and personal expression of ideas.

5. Ability to play well with others

Together as a family, you can work on art projects. During these teachable moments, you can encourage the sharing of art supplies, staying calm and patient when something goes wrong, saying positive things of each others artwork, and helping each other.

6. Solid oral language skills

Studies from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development have shown that for children with difficulties learning to read, a multi-sensory teaching method is the most effective. The best teaching method is to involve the use of more of the child’s senses, especially the use of touch and movement. This will give the child’s brain tactile and learn-by-doing memories to hang on to, as well as the ones they see and hear.

An example of this would be to have your child draw an orange. Start out by having your child practice saying the name of the fruit out loud. Talk about the fruit’s color, shape, taste, and texture. Your child will have a clearer mental image to reference in their drawing because they first observed the details of the orange.

This school readiness article has a collection of 30 resources to help parents prepare their children in the areas of social skills, math, and language.

What other skills do you think are important for school readiness?

Leave your answer in the comments below.

Free eBook: How to Teach Your Kids to Draw

How to Teach Your Kids to Draw

Teach Your Kids to Draw is a 26 page ebook that identifies the top four reasons parents should teach art in the home and encourage their child's creativity. The ebook also includes 14 worksheets to begin teaching your child how to draw lines — the building blocks of shapes, letters and numbers.

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