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Do you ever wonder if your child is developing according to their age and meeting their milestones? While each child’s growth and development differ, there are simple milestones that they should unlock in order to be ready for school. And that is why school assessments exist, well at least the ones that actually assess your child’s skills and don’t expect your child to be a little Einstein.
We spoke with Imperial College Egypt (ICE), a school following the STEM learning approach, to understand what motor and sensory skills they expect a child to have before a school assessment. However, ICE made it very clear that parents should not stress children about assessments as it is important for a child to be relaxed and comfortable. ICE also mentioned that it is unrealistic to expect high education expectations from young applicants as that is the school’s role and duty to empower them with skills and knowledge. Instead, there are certain things a child should develop to be able to grasp educational material at school. These include the following:
Fine motor skills
A child should not be frustrated by endless activities to improve their motor skills, it is best for their playtime to involve activities that can help develop such skills. By the age of 3-4, a child should be able to improve their hand-eye coordination, as well as be able to pat, squeeze, mold, pick up and release objects. This means that a child can easily hold a crayon between their thumb and index finger and be able to color within the page even if they end up filling up the whole page with color as they improve their hand-eye coordination.
According to ICE, one of the aspects that are usually assessed in a school interview is a child’s ability to communicate. This can be through their eye contact, following basic instructions, and interacting with others in a fun and friendly environment. You can practice at home by giving your child simple instructions and making sure they understand and are able to express or communicate a response. You can also have them recite what they’re doing as they’re doing it. For example, a child at this age should be able to say, “Look mama, I’m making spaghetti out of playdough!”
At the age of 3-4, a child should be able to follow basic, clear instructions such as ‘Pick up the red triangle’, ‘Color the duck in yellow’ or ‘Count the number of crayons on the table”. This indicates that the child has developed the skills needed to be able to receive input and follow instructions in a dynamic learning environment such as that of ICE. Give your child simple tasks and break down instructions in a clear, simple way to help improve their ability to follow instructions. This could be as simple as “Please take off your shoes and put them in the closet”.
Emotional and mental development
At Imperial College Egypt, the social and mental behaviors of a child are important factors during a school assessment. The school includes the counselor during the assessment to ensure that the child has developed the social and mental behavioral skills of their age such as being able to interact with others in a normal, fun, and friendly environment, being able to respond to questions, and showing emotions relevant to the situation.
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