Should I Be Teaching My Preschooler to Read and Write?

My little one is about to enter big school. Like most mums, I’m a little concerned at just how ‘ready’ she is. Sure, she can open her lunch box, carry her backpack, put on her school uniform and wipe her own bum (most of the time). 

But is she ready for the academic aspect of school? What about the social side of things? Have I done enough to prepare her for what “big kid” school is all about?

Begin Bright

These are questions I often have. Usually at night, while lying in bed willing myself to go to sleep. And convincing myself that, tomorrow, I will make flashcards and teach her something of value (other than how to make a cup of tea).

After talking to several other mums and dads, it turns out, I’m not alone. Like me, many mums are concerned that they haven’t spent enough time teaching their preschoolers their ABCs and numbers. Like me, many mums would simply rather watch Pixar movies and make animals out of play dough.

Honestly, I can think of like 20 other kid-friendly activities I’d rather be doing than teaching my daughter her ABCs. I’m not lazy. Or a bad mum (I promise!). I simply like colouring in, baking (ahem, burning) cookies and going on bike rides more than doing maths. Barbies, yes. Sight words, no thanks. And don’t even get me started on glitter…

Bright Sparks school readiness programs

So how can we help our children gain the confidence, the social skills and the academic edge to excel in school without sacrificing that precious play time? How can we make learning fun for our little ones without feeling like an alphabet drill sergeant? And how can we escape the guilt that maybe, we’re not doing enough to prepare our babies for school?

I’ve found the answer. And it’s one of the cleverest programs I’ve ever stumbled across.

Begin Bright – and say stop to the preschooler mum guilt!

If you haven’t heard of Begin Bright’s School Readiness Program before, then let me bring you up to speed. It’s a weekly program for toddlers and preschoolers which focuses on learning. It incorporates all sorts of fun activities to help your child feel confident in a ‘school’ like setting.

Like other term programs out there, such as kindy gym or swimming lessons, Begin Bright’s School Readiness Program offers different levels depending on the ability of your child.

Children at Begin Bright school readiness program

There’s the pink program for early learners which is all about introducing kiddies to learning, focusing on things like colours and shapes.

Then little learners move to the green levels where they are introduced to the world of literacy and numeracy. Oh.. and handwriting!

The final stages are the yellow and orange levels, and if you have a kiddo starting school for the first time in 2019, this is where they’ll want to be. Over the weeks and months, it will prepare your kids for the challenge and adventure of “big school”. Kindy kids start in yellow and are taught to write words, understand sounds, write numbers one to 20, add and subtract single digits and develop problem-solving skills. 

These are the things that teachers often focus on during the first lessons in school. Knowing that your child has already been exposed to these subjects means they will be more willing to participate, more confident to speak up, and more excited to learn what’s next.

Tell me more Begin Bright

More than just the alphabet

While Begin Bright is all about learning, it’s so much more. It’s about helping children gain the confidence, fine motor and social skills to start school. Kids are spending time with other kids, a qualified teacher and without mummy (just for the duration of the class), which, again, prepares them for prep.

School readiness at Begin Bright

The classes are short (one hour once a week) and small, which means more one-on-one teacher time. Plus, it gives you an hour to yourself to get the groceries done without having a child clinging to your leg. #doublewin

It’s social, but structured. It’s fun, but learning-focused. And, best of all, it’s widely available. There are 30 different Begin Bright centres across Australia, all of which provide the same level of educational quality and care and work with materials aligned with the Australian National curriculum.

Have I done enough?

As I prepare to send my daughter off to school I’ve realised that there is no magic potion that will alleviate the fears that I haven’t done enough for her. Well, there’s wine. But wine wears off.

But there is also no magic ‘place’ where she, or any other preppy, should be academically when they are dropped off on that first day. Every school is different. Every teacher is different. And every child is different.

student at Begin Bright school readiness program

Children learn at different rates. But what Begin Bright can do is help our children develop these learning skills, so that, no matter where they are academically, they have the confidence and the motivation to continue. And, to make it even easier, you can enrol online,

Regardless of whether your little one loves the idea of school, or, like mine, would prefer to stay home and make animals out of dough for the rest of her life, Begin Bright can give you the confidence that, yes, your child is ready. And yes, you’ve done enough.

This is a sponsored article for Begin Bright
Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar of Blossom

    Teach your children how to spell and write their Name. Teach them the alphabet and to count to 10 then gradually increase to 20 . If they are eager they may want to count to a higher number. make sure they can tie their shoe laces. Make sure your child speaks clearly and doesn’t mumble.

    As a Mum you need to prepare too. Make sure your child has a backpack suitable for his/her size not too big or heavy as it will impact on their shoulders and back, possibly their neck too. Lunch Boxes and Drink Bottles. Put your child’s name on everything.
    Most schools require you to take your child to the classroom in the morning and collect them from their room at the end of the day. If you want to give permission for other people to collect your child you need to fill out the necessary paperwork. If possible have the person meet the teacher before this has to happen. The teacher will not let the child leave otherwise and will contact the parent/guardian. After a certain length time you will be able to collect them in the school yard, later outside the school gate or further away.

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