American schools have just gone back to school for the start of the new academic year and schools in the Southern Hemisphere are winding down for the end of the school year. The issue of school readiness is a tetchy one and I addressed it in my post on school readiness here
Whilst I always advocate using real experiences and spending quality and quantity time with your child, many skills can be reinforced using iPad Apps.
One of the fundamental skills of coping in a formal classroom situation is the ability to follow instructions accurately. Encourage your child to repeat the instruction out loud. This also facilitates processing of language and helps with recall of instructions. There are a number of apps that can be used to work on this important school readiness skill.
Splingo’s instructions range from a very early level of language development, e.g. single word recognition, to much more complex, e.g. instructions combining several aspects of language at once.
The app allows you to customize the type and number of words that you want to use. In addition there is a US voice and a UK voice available. There is the option to use the “alien” voice. I have found that most kids really enjoy the alien voice and it encourages them to listen more carefully 😆
Fun with Directions $9.99 More Fun with Directions $9.99
This app can also be customized with 3 different levels to choose from. Concepts that are addressed include: Give, touch, open, close, top, middle, bottom, push, color, erase.
More Fun with Directions targets the following concepts: Above, below, behind, front, on, under, put in, take out, turn on, turn off, up, down.
Ready-K $4.99 i am ready – pre K assessment $2.99
These apps identify and address many of the school readiness skills needed for formal learning.
- Early literacy Skills – Sound Awareness, Alphabet Knowledge, Print Awareness & Vocabulary
- Descriptive Language
- Quantitative language – quantity, measurement, degrees of comparisson
- Positional Concepts
- Language concepts such as shapes, categorization, problem solving, association
- Social Skills and Behavior
Developing the ability to communicate clearly and constructively is another important part early grade 1/kindergarten success. In order to help the listener understand, a child needs to be able to link ideas together.
The ability sequence and link ideas is important for developing problem solving skills (what will happen next) and understanding social situations.
iSequences $2.99 Sequencing Post Office $4.99
Sequencing apps such as iSequences and Sequencing Post office can be used in order to encourage your child to tell the story with and without visual assistance.
The ability to identify rhyme and produce rhyming words is an important pre-literacy skill. Research indicates there is a correlation between phonological awareness (sound awareness) and reading ability. It is therefore important to work on rhyming skills.
Apps with nursery rhymes and songs are interactive and fun. There are also more specific rhyming apps such as
Assist in developing rhyming skills. Encourage your child to not only match rhyming words but to also add additional words to the rhyming words. Encourage them to make up funny rhyming words too.
The ability to express wants and needs verbally, to tell a story, to share ideas and to ask questions, will all be part of your child’s daily interactions with friends and their teacher.
The language skills required for School Readiness involves a number of factors including social – emotional readiness.
Not all of these skills can be overtly taught, but practicing some of these skills will give your child the confidence he/she needs to enter the formal school environment.