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  • Getting Your Preschooler Ready for Big School: 4 Essential Skills

    Are you worried about your child being ready for big school next year? Mom, contributor and school directress, An-Marie Villarin sheds some light on this.
    by An-Marie Bartolome-Villarin .
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    Read on about social interaction and skills in movement.


    Social Interaction
    Since big school classes are usually large in size, your child needs to be ready to share toys and materials, wait his turn, play in a group, and work out simple problems on his own.  These are very tricky skills for children to learn because, from a young age, children are naturally self-centered.  It is only as they grow up and have experiences in social interaction that they learn the concepts of sharing, borrowing, and turn-taking.  If possible, provide your child with social activities that will help him learn these critical skills by joining playgroups, attending parent-child programs, or by simply modeling these at home when you play together.  Emphasize the magic words such as “please,” “may I,” “excuse me,” and “thank you.”   

    Skills in Movement (Gross and Fine Motor Skills)
    Being able to control movement (gross- and fine-motor) will be good to enhance before big school.  A child who is not sure on his feet and confident in his movement may cause him to be hesitant to join in games and activities.  Allow your child to run, jump, climb, and the like to help develop gross-motor skills.  To help ensure that your child will like to write or do artwork, help develop fine-motor skills with activities like cutting, gluing, coloring, molding play dough, finger-painting, and sand play.  
    In a nutshell, what big school teachers are looking for are children who are curious and look forward to coming to school everyday, who are eager to learn things, who enthusiastically join in activities, and who are not daunted when they make mistakes or do not succeed the first time they try something new. These attitudes can be practiced by your preschooler in play school or at home by developing the four essential skills mentioned in this article.

    Ann Lousie Diokno is a graduate of Family Life and Child Development from the University of the Philippines and is on the way to getting her Masters in Education from the same university.  She has taught children of Kindergarten age and is currently a lead instructor at The Little Gym for children from 10 months to 12 years old.
    Sarah Gil has a Bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Studies specializing in Communication and Psychology from the Ateneo.  She is working on her Masters in Child Education and Development from UA&P.  She has been teaching children from 10 months to 6 years old at The Little Gym.  



    Photography by Jun Pinzon

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