The law requires that, in order to start school in the Fall, a child should be six years old by May 31st of that same year. This, however, does not always go hand in hand with school readiness. A school maturity test is available to evaluate a child’s biologic, psychologic and social maturity.
The role of the kindergarten teacher is very significant in evaluating a child’s readiness for school since it is the teacher who is in daily contact with the child and is, thus, able to determine the child’s maturity level. By correctly evaluating a child’s readiness, we can avoid possible feelings of failure that a child might develop when entering school early and also prevent behavioral disorders, dyslexia, dyscalculia or dysgraphy.
How is school readiness evaluated?
Biologically, children between the ages of 6 and 7 go through physical changes: the belly disappears, they grow taller, their limbs lengthen, the boys turn more boyish, the girls more girlish and right or left handedness develops.
The purpose of the test is evaluate whether a child will be physically and psychologically capable of meeting school expectations. The child will be expected to sit, pay attention and concentrate for 40-50 minutes at a time. Sitting in the school bench will be straining to the spine, the limbs and the muscles. The child should be between 115 cm and 120 cm in height in order for the feet to reach the floor and hold the body stable. The child’s weight should be between 22 kg and 24 kg to be physically fit. It is also important that the carpal and finger bones be mature for writing.
What examinations will be necessary?
The sensory organs: sight and hearing should be checked and the condition of the teeth, the skeletal muscles, the entire body mechanism and the development of the nervous system assessed. The latter will also be an indication of the child’s behavior, temperament and the appropriate expectations for the child. It is important that children with behavior problems, the hyperactive and those who suffer from chronic disorders, be identified.