Parent Resources Billing InformationHealth LibraryNew Parent ResourcesChoosing a PediatricianInterviewing a PediatricianWhat to Pack in Your Hospital BagNewborn Well Child ScheduleNew Patient Forms School Readiness So you’ve mastered the baby and toddler years. Congrats! Now that your toddler has grown into a school-age child, you may be asking yourself: how do I know when my child is ready for school? What is school readiness? You may hear lots of well-intentioned advice from friends, family, social media and others about when a child is “ready for school.” The true answer is that there is no official age at which all children are ready to go to school. Children grow and develop at different ages and speeds, and it’s important to remember that no child is exactly the same. School Readiness Milestones The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends looking out for a few developmental milestones as you’re considering if your child is ready for school. Sensory development – Does your child use their senses (touch, sight, hearing, etc.) to explore their surroundings? Social, emotional and behavioral development - Is your child able to focus on a task, work and cooperate with other kids and follow instructions from an adult? Cognitive development - Is your child able to communicate their needs and wants using language, and understand how objects and sounds are related to each other? Be sure to tell your child’s doctor about any family history of conditions such as hearing loss, vision problems, or learning difficulties. Also let them know about your child’s birth history and sleep habits or problems (like snoring). Your pediatrician may also ask about the age of your home, as lead exposure in older homes may contribute to learning difficulties. What you can do to help your child become “school-ready” As the AAP says, “you are your child’s first and greatest teacher.” From their very first day, you can build in your child a love of learning and a curiosity for the world around them by talking with them, reading to them and playing together. These simple but cherished moments can help develop your child’s language and math skills, social development and self-confidence, in addition to strengthening your parent-child bond. For an easy-to-remember tool for how to help your child become school-ready, commit to the 5 R’s: Reading – Read to and with your child every day to build their vocabulary and love of learning. Rhyming – Talk, sing and play with your child to build language skills. Routine – Establish a regular schedule around meals, playtime and sleep. Rewarding – Celebrate your child’s successes, no matter how big or small. Relationships – Nurture your relationship by spending time together and help your child develop valuable social skills for interacting with others and making friends.