According to a new study, parents should be more concerned about their child’s social skills rather than their academic standing during their first year of school. That’s because a child’s social skills in the Kindergarten class room show a significant correlation with their well-being by the time they reach the age of 25.
Children who show earlier signs of social competence were more likely to graduate from high school and college, get a job and stay out of jail than their peers. That’s why many education professionals are urging parents to loosen up on their academic expectations for their kids and instead emphasize on developing their social skills instead.
In other words, it’s a the “soft skills” that a child acquires during their first few years in school that are more important than their academics, or “hard skills.” It’s also one of the reasons why who many education professionals are emphasizing more outdoor recess and free time that instructional time inside the classroom.
Some of the important competencies that children acquire in Kindergarten include how to play well with others, problem solving, and how to label and recognize feelings. Being helpful also requires young children to look beyond themselves. Free play also helps children learn how to control their impulses. These are just a few social and emotional developmental milestones that educators are stressing in order to make a student’s transition from one grade to the next much easier.
Experts also want parents to keep in mind that girls develop much quicker than boys. Or at least they don’t develop socially in the same way or at the same speed. Girls tend to mature faster, meaning that they develop new friendships before boys do. That’s one of the reasons why seating at tables is by design at this stage, as it forces children to interact and share with one another. It’s also the reason why teachers periodically change their classroom seating arrangement, too.
In addition, students who display more maturity have a better advantage at not only academic success down the road, but life success, too. By mid-year, Kindergarten students should learn what is expected and should be comfortable with their daily routine. As a matter of fact, many teachers say that students who come back after their December break come back much differently.
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