Young children develop rapidly, however the pace differs between individuals. It is very important to determine a child’s development progression - is it at the rate expected for his or her age and can he/she cope with the learning demands of formal schooling?
It is recommended that school readiness assessments are done during the Grade R year, at the average age 6 years.
Assessment includes: cognitive readiness, social readiness, emotional readiness and perceptual readiness.
- Cognitive readiness: Children should be able to pay attention and complete simple tasks. They need to be able to trace basic shapes and importantly they need to understand cause and effect.
- Social readiness: Children should feel adequately socially integrated and less egocentric. They must be willing to share, ready to engage and play with other children and should be able to identify with a group. Having a positive self-concept is an important attribute for meaningful interaction and engagement.
- Emotional readiness: Self-confidence and the ability to ask simple questions is a necessary component of school readiness and the child needs to be able to
disengage confidently from his/her mother for a period of time.
- Perceptual readiness: This applies to the normal development of a child’s perceptual functions – auditory and visual perception skills.