Here are what it’s expected from your child around aged 5:
Between the ages of four and five, children should be prepared to be separated from their parent or main carer.
Children should be able to clearly demonstrate their ability to listen and follow age-appropriate instructions
Children should show an interest in a variety of subjects, paying attention to the subject or activity they are taking part in
Children should have enough of a range of vocabulary and language to express their needs, feelings, thoughts or ideas
Children should be able to identify themselves by name, age, state factors in their life, name family members etc…
To be able to interact in an age-appropriate way with another child or adult
Children should be able to interact, share and play, taking responsibility for their actions, understanding the repercussions for their actions
Focus on and also show interest in the work they are undertaking
To be able to observe, notice, discuss and ask questions about their environment and experiences
To be able to engage with books, have some understanding of words and language
Respond to boundary setting
Vocalise their needs such as toileting, thirst, hunger illness etc
While the government aims that children achieve those skills by age 5, the issue is that most children start school at 4 years old, even if it’s not mandatory until their 5th birthday.
What the Montessori education shows us is that their reach many social skills only when they are 5 or 6 years old.
In fact, we expect far too much from a young 4 years old.
I like how the Unicef talks about this topic, exploring how the child is ready for school but also how the school should be ready for the children and parents should prepare themselves for the transition.
I believe that a slow-paced, respectful childhood at home will provide all the necessary foundations for those skills. I’m sure that if you prepare a beautiful home with activities that follow your child’s interest, your child will be ready for whatever comes next.
I know that the Montessori system of education emphasizes all those skills, naturally. Those skills are developed through the practical life activities, the community life and the creativity and questioning that we foster in the classroom.
Never the less, you have chosen to send your child to school so let’s try to make the transition as easy and respectful as possible.
In this blog post, I share tips for the first day in school or nursery.
In fact, your attitude towards school will set the tone for the year ahead.