49% of children from middle class families in Virginia do NOT know their alphabet!!!

February 10, 2011

WOW!  Really?  I am completely appalled at this statistic.  Parents are not the only ones to blame.  Yes, parents NEED to read to their children every night, talk to them,  explain how things in their environment work and make sure their children attend high quality preschools.  But, parents can’t do this alone.

Didn’t Hillary Clinton say “it takes a village to raise a child?”  Well, I think it is time for the states to become more involved in Early Childhood Education.   This needs to be a priority for our state and local governments.  Why is it we try to fix education from the top down and not from the bottom up?  Quality early childhood programs have time and time again proved to improve the quality of life for millions of children, reduce crime, make the workforce of the future more productive, and strengthen the overall economy.  Not to mention early childhood education is much more economical than building prisons, rehabilitating drug abusers, and supporting a welfare system.  Based on the research compiled by Robert Lynch, he discovered long term findings of children who participated in quality early childhood programs:

• Higher levels of verbal, mathematical, and intellectual achievement

• Greater success in school, including less grade retention and higher graduation rates

• Higher employment and earnings

• Better health outcomes

• Less welfare dependency

• Lower rates of crime

• Greater government revenues and lower government expenditures

Given the consistent results of why a quality early childhood experience is necessary, I urge you to make sure this is a priority for your family by supporting schools that provide exceptional programs and support initiatives to increase funding for early childhood education.

Is my child ready for Kindergarten? How do I know?

August 12, 2010

Many parents ask this question  every spring, “Is my child ready for Kindergarten?”  I think the real question should be, “Is my child ready for school?” Kindergarten is the first BIG step for many children into formal education.  Kindergarten is chalked full of many social expectations, but add to that reading, math, handwriting and content area subjects, and the demands on your child begin to mount.  Making sure your child has a solid foundation to build upon is essential in deciding if this is the year to start Kindergarten.   As you think about your child’s school readiness, it is important to consider some of these following questions:

.  We need to ensure your child has a solid foundation to build all these new skills.  It is important as you think about your child’s school readiness to consider some of these following questions:

  • First and foremost, your child MUST be five years old by September 30th to be eligible for Kindergarten.
  • Can they take care of their personal needs?
  •  How does your child handle their emotions, specifically anger?  Do they choose words or do they act out physically?
  • Can your child follow two-step directions without constant reminders?
  • Does your child ask questions about the world around them?
  • Does your child play well with others?  Does he share?  Does she take turns?
  • Can your child hold scissors properly and cut on a designated line?
  • Does your child hold a pencil correctly?
  • Can your child draw a person?
  • Does your child write his first name independently?
  • Does your child run, jump and hop?
  • Can your child throw a ball?
  • Can your child attend to an activity for 15-20 minutes?
  • Can your child complete a simple pattern?
  • Can your child tell a story?  Does it have a clear beginning, middle and end?
  • Can your child count to ten?
  • Can your child write their name in order starting on the left side of the paper?
  • Does your child speak in complete sentences?
  • Can your child retell the general story line of a book?
  • Can your child correctly label at least five colors?
  • Can your child label at least four shapes?
  • Can your child recognize in isolation AT LEAST the letters in his/her name?
  • Can your child ask question and answer questions appropriately?
  • Can your child complete a simple rhyme: bat, rat, cat….?
  • Does your child speak in complete sentences?
  • Does your child recite a simple nursery rhyme or song?

Ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself.  Answering “no” to a few of these questions may raise some red flags for your child’s school readiness.  If you are concerned about your child’s readiness, Little Scholars offers Kindergarten Readiness Testing to give you the confidence you need to help you make an informed decision about your child’s school readiness.

Click here for a complete Kindergarten Readiness Checklist.

To find out more about our Kindergarten Readiness Assessments, please contact us.