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When children are ready for school, they are ready for life

August 29, 2017
David Lawrence Jr. and Vance Aloupis
The Miami Herald

As a new school year begins, more than 230,000 Florida children are stepping into kindergarten to begin their primary education, and perhaps 30 percent of them won’t really be ready to succeed.

In Florida, age is the sole determining factor for entry into public kindergarten programs. But child education experts — and common sense — will tell you that age alone is not the best way to measure readiness.

Researcher Dan Gartrell, writing for the well-respected National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), said, “New brain research is helping us understand what readiness really is. Readiness doesn’t mean just knowing the academic basics. It means a child has a willing attitude and confidence in the process of learning: a healthy state of mind.”

Where can young children develop those traits during the most formative years from birth to 5? The first place is obvious: Learning begins at home. Parents play a crucial role in teaching their children important life skills such as the ability to focus, read and speak well and exhibit self-control.

The next best place is by attending a quality early-learning center, where they will learn how to communicate and listen, how to get along with others and deal with adversity, and so much more.