By the time the child is six his pre-school years will be over and he will be off to school. This is a new experience, even for those youngsters who have been to nursery school or kindergarten. For now school days really start. The child must be ready to hold his own with other boys and girls in the schoolroom and on the playground. He will meet boys and girls of all ages and kinds, most of whom are older and bigger than he. He is away from home for a longer period each day and during this time is expected to be able to take care of himself, to fit into the school situation, and to accomplish a certain amount of work. This is a great and important experience for the child, and his parents want him to be able to meet it with confidence.
During the pre-school years there are many things which parents are able to do to help their child be ready for school. First, of course, is the self-confidence they can give him through the affection and warmth of their relationship with him. The child who knows that he is accepted for himself has grown more sure of himself through his first six years. This relationship is basic to his ability to learn.
In the second place, if parents have observed and learned to understand their youngster as he has grown from babyhood to school age, they will have an opinion about whether he is a child who learns rapidly and easily, or whether he requires more time to master knowledge and situations. They will have noticed, too, whether he uses his hands well, or whether his co-ordination is poor so that he needs help in learning such skills as writing or may have difficulty in keeping up with the other children when they climb or throw a ball on the playground. Parents should pass this kind of information on to the teacher, so that when their child begins school he may be helped within his own capacities and pattern of learning. (Continue below to page 2)
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