A Guide for Parents - A Project over Time
How parents can help their children to master the many movement and mental tasks that are needed for the classroom and playground.
The Aims of the School Readiness and Fit for School Project
The first aim of the Ready and Fit for School Guide is to help parent to understand why and how children experience difficulties with school tasks and routines, in particular those that have a strong movement component (sitting on the floor or working at a table, hand tasks, drawing and handwriting, cutting with scissors and so on).
Understanding why and how children find tasks difficult is the first step, the next step is to provide opportunities for improving task performance. So the second aim of the Fit for School guide is to provide suggestions for task training, addressing both the mental and movement aspects of task performance.
Step One: A Checklist
Checklist are useful in identifying a child's strengths and weaknesses. So I start of by listing the many movement related tasks that children need to master during the first two years at school.
Step Two: More About Each Task - With Training Ideas
The SfA School Readiness and Fit for School Checklist
Here is a list of the many movement and mental tasks and challenges children encounter in the classroom. Click on the links for more information.
Self care activities
Over the course of the first year or two years of formal school (reception class and grade one) young children are expected to be able to look after themselves, including the following tasks:
- Take off outdoor clothing, hang it on the right hook
- Put their schoolbag in the right cubicle
- Request permission to go to the bathroom
- Use the bathroom without assistance
- Eat their snack (sandwich and fruit) in a timely manner
- Take off and put shoes and socks
- Change for PE - in a timely manner
Over the course of the reception year young children are expected to learn to perform the following tasks with increasing levels of proficiency:
► Stand and wait in line, minding their own own business, be relatively quiet, and listen to and follow instructions
► Sit quietly on a mat for morning ring, story time and other group activities, minding their own business, and pay attention to the teacher, wait their turn and respond when spoken to.
► Comfortably sit at a table for table-top work for 15-20 minutes (drawing, writing, cutting with scissors, doing puzzles). Read more
► Use a pencil (marker crayon) effectively to draw long and short straight and curved lines and write letters
► Cut out with a scissors - following straight and curved lines
► Play reception class sorting, matching, pegboard, board and card games.
The following mental abilities are important for successfully performing the many tasks young children engage in during the school day.
- Listen to, remember and carry out instructions
- Ask for help
- Stay focussed on a task
- Mind their own business
- Take turns and wait for their turn
- Co-operate with classmates to do a task
Playground and PE activities
Young children need to following basic gross motor abilities to fully participate in outdoor (recess) and PE activities:
- Ball skills - catch, throw and kick a ball at an age appropriate level of competence. Read more
- Balance skills - stand on one leg, walk on a beam.
- Keep up with peers in running activities
- Climb on the climbing frame, go across the monkey bars and come down the fireman's pole
- General strength, flexibility fitness tasks
Have I left out any important tasks or activities?
Do you have questions,or suggestions about this list?
Join the Ready and Fit for School Facebook group for updates and to post your ideas, suggestions and questions
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