Kindergarten marks the beginning of formal education. The child’s initial school experience can influence the way he feels and acts to future school activities. I will also affect the way he relates to other people and his environment for the rest of his life. Success or failure at this stage can affect his well-being, self-esteem, motivation and perspectives. Lack of kindergarten readiness may also lead to his being held back in the next grade level. School readiness is defined as the “ability to cope, learn, and achieve without undue stress”.
In the Philippines public and private schooling begins with kindergarten, when a child is about 5 years old. Kindergarten is 3 to 4 hours a day or depending on the specific requirement of a particular school. While most of the activities in kindergarten are play activities like singing, storytelling, and drawing, children are also learning basic skills through these activities that will be needed throughout their lives. These skills include listening to direction, using and managing time well, being patient, sharing, and working in cooperation with others. Kindergarten helps children adjust to school slowly, going only a few hours each day.
It bridges the gap between the age when kids spent their days playing at home or in a daycare or nursery school and the more formal learning that will begin once a child moves on to the next level. Many parents still believe that kindergarten is just an introduction to school. They merrily think that children just enjoy playtime, art, story time, and maybe even learn their colors, alphabet, and numerals while they are at it. However, at present the expectation s for kindergarteners have leveled up and are much stricter than before. Today, there is actually a set of curricum that must be followed and expected to keep up.
Parts of the curriculum include reading readiness, writing, math, science, social studies and other subject related. Children are also taught about proper manners, classroom rules, hygiene and sanitation. Parents should take a personalized approach and focus as their children’s potentials and skills and see if they are already prepared for kindergarten school. Parents must take the initiative to actively participate in home base learning before they heed on out to school. It is important to keep an eye on the children and decipher their behavior, to come to conclusion if they are ready to attend kindergarten or not.
Some children tend to develop skills a lilltle later depending on what they have been exposed to and how fast they can grasp these things depending on their surroundings. Specialists in the field of child development feel strongly that readiness is not something that a child is trained for but is the understanding of the child’s unique development and grow pattern and what types of activities will enhance the natural development of a child in the areas of motor development, visual processing skills, auditory processing skills, language skills, numerical skills, conceptual skills, and social-emotional behaviors.
TheNatioanl Association For The Education Of Young Children (NAEYC) stated that school readiness is defined as the state of early development that enables individual child to engage in and benefit from early learning experience, As a result of family nurturing and interactions with others, a young child at this stage has reached certain level of social and emotional development, cognition and general knowledge, language development, physical well-being, and motor development. (AnneArundel and Harford).
Parents are the first and most important teachers in their child’s life. Staying involved and providing children with a supportive, nurturing environment will help strengthen the learning process. Parents must allow their chilred to make choices and simple decision making so that children will achieve a reliable sense of right and wrong. Language helps to shape the brain, and teaching children to speak according to Jerome Brunner helps them not only organized words in a sentence but also helps organize their minds.
Children need many types of language experiences which include being read with and also participation in family conversation. Storytelling, nursery rhyme and reading enrich the language experience. Parents must spend time with oral language activities for a strong foundation in reading and spelling (Graue. 1992). There are several factors affecting the school readiness of public kindergarten pupils namely: maturation, relevance of materials and methods of instruction, emotional attitude, personal adjustment, social status and tribe.
Other contributors to the readiness gap are environmental stress, family income, parents’ literacy, nutrition premature birth, health, early childcare, experiences, low birth weight and genetic endowment. Maturation affects the readiness of the kindergarteners because the child has not reach yet a sufficient stage of mental and physical development needed to perform school tasks characteristics of that particular grade level which entails a higher level of performance than that of which he has at the moment. Experiences determine the kindergarten readiness for learning.
Exposure to environment and varied activities will help the child learn. Children learn from seeing, hearing, touching and these experiences will help the child get to know his environment better. To interpret reality, children must experience their surroundings through imagination and discovery. Rooted in the experience of early childhood are the values that individuals will carve for themselves in later years, their capacity to live according these values, and their attitudes towards themselves and the human community. (Bredekamp,1987).
Research shows that relevance of materials and methods of interest affects children’s readiness; children are more ready to learn if the material meet their needs and fits their interest. They are more ready to learn if they are having fun doing the tasks. (Karweit,1988) Emotional attitude and personal adjustment plays a great influence in children’s readiness. Emotional stress blocks them from learning especially those resulting from unmet needs, rejection from home, over protection, experience of failures, home difficulties, poverty, peace conflict, and other related issues.
( Shepard and Smith, 1986). Greg Duncan and Katherine Magnuson documented that children who live in poverty with poor socio-economic status are more likely not ready for kindergarten school since their parents will most likely spend for basic needs than materials for learning like books and other learning kits . Parents in families with low socio-economic status are less likely to talk with. Read with. And teach young children since they would rather spend their time looking for sources of income. Environmental stress affects school readiness according to Kimberly Noble, N.
Tottenham, and B. J. Casey. They explained that chronic stress or abuse in childhood can impair development of the hippocampus the region of the brain involved in learning and memory, and reduces a child’s cognitive ability. Thus the impact of stress on brain development during childhood may explain a large portion of the gap in school readiness. Health is another factor that affects school readiness according to Janet Currie, child’s health combined with maternal health and behavior may account for success or failure of kindergarten pupils.
Children’s who are not in the best health condition may not be always present in the classroom those will be missing development of skills and knowledge. Nancy Reichman reported that premature birth and low birth weight can seriously impair cognitive development. A renting which include nurturance, discipline, and home base teaching are greatly link to the development of children’s cognitive, social, and emotional skills. Feelings of self-worth develop as a child feels good about his environment and the way he interacts in that environment.
The most important gift a parent could give his child is quality time. Children need unhurried periods to explore and experiment, to understand and affirm through idea of freedom. They must also be provided with the security, acceptance, love, thoughtful and appropriate restrictions. (htpp://www. mayoclinic. com/health/kindergarten-readiness) Everyone agrees that a child’s future academic success is dependent on being ready to learn and participate in a successful kindergarten experience. Yet, defining (readiness) can be a very difficult task.
Due to children’s different prekindergarten education experiences and development, they enter kindergarten with varying skills, knowledge, and level of preparedness. Parents and teachers have different expectations for what children should know and be able to do before starting kindergarten. Furthermore, discussions of readiness do not always include how schools and community can enhance and support children’s and kindergarten readiness. It is within this premise that the researcher would want to conduct a study and find out the factors affecting the school readiness of public kindergarten pupils in Lanao Del Sur 1 B.
Theoretical Framework This study is anchor on various theoretical perspectives. Several theories of child development of child development and learning have influenced discussions of school readiness. These have had profound impact on kindergarten readiness practice. These three theories include the maturationist, environmentalist, and constructive perspective of development (Powell, 1991). Maturationist Theory The maturationist theory was advanced by the work of Arnild Gessell. Maturationists believe that development is a biological process that occurs automatically in predictable, sequential stages over time (Hunt, 1969).
This perspective leads many educators and families to assume that young children will knowledge naturally and automatically as they grow up physically and ecome older, provided that they are healthy (Demarest, Reisner, Anderson, Humphrey, Farquhar, and Stein, 1993). School readiness, according to maturationist is a state at which all healthy young children arrive when they can perform tasks such as reciting the alphabet and counting; these tasks are for learning more complex tasks such as reading and arithmetic.
Because development and school readiness occur naturally and automatically, maturationist believe the best practice are for parents to teach young children to recite the alphabet and count while being patient and waiting children to become ready for kindergarten. If a child is developmentally unready for school, maturationist might suggest referrals to transitional kindergartens, retention, or holding educators, and parents when a young child developmentally lags behind his or her peers.
The young child’s underperform at the level of his or her peers. Environmentalist Theory Theorist as John Watson, B.F. Skinner, and Albert Bandura contributes greatly to the environmentalist perspective of development. Environmentalist believe the child’s environment shapes learning and behavior; in fact, human behavior, development, and learning are though of as reactions of the environment.
This perspective leads many families, schools, and educators to assume that young children and acquire new knowledge by reacting their surroundings. Kindergarten readiness, according to the environmentalist, is the age or stage when young children can respond appropriately to the environment of the school and the classroom (e.g. , rules and regulations, curriculum activities, positive behavior in group settings and directions and instructions from teachers and other adults in school).
The ability to respond appropriately to this environment is necessary for young children to participate in teacher initiated learning activities. Success is dependent on the child following instructions from the teachers or the adult in the classroom. Many environmentalist-influenced educators and parents believe that young children lean best by rote activities. Such as reciting the alphabet over and over, copying letters, and tracing numbers.
This viewpoint is evident in kindergarten classrooms where young children are expected to sit at desk arranged in rows and listens attentively to their teachers. At home, parents may provide their young children with workbooks containing such activities as coloring or tracing letters and numbers-activities that require little interaction between parents and child. When young children are unable to respond appropriately to the classroom and school environment, they often are labeled as having some form of leaning disabilities and are tracked in classroom with curriculum designed to control their behavior and responses.
Constructivist Theory The constructivist perspective of readiness and development was advanced by theorist such as Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori, and Lev Vygotsky. Although their work varies, each articulates a similar context of learning and development. They are consistent in their belief that learning and development occur when young children interact with the environment and people around them (Hunt, 1969). Constructivist view young children as active participant in the learning process. In addition, constructivists believe young children initiate most of the activities required for learning and development.
Because active interaction with the environment and people are necessary for learning and development, constructivist believe that children are ready for school when they can initiate many of the interactions they have with the environment and people around them. Conceptual Theory This study takes into account the independent variables and dependent variables. The socio demographic factors which include age, sex, health, parents’ literacy, socio-economic status, experience, child abuse and child stress.
The independent variables are presumed to affect or influence the dependent variables which are the school readiness of kindergarten pupils which include gross motor skills, fine motor skills, visual discrimination skills, auditory discrimination skills, language skills, math-numeracy skills, and social-emotional behaviors. Base on the outcome of this studies, the writer aims to find the factors affecting the school readiness of the kindergarten pupils to insure that this children will have an opportunity to enhance their skills, knowledge, and abilities.
Furthermore it aims to encourage the parent to have hands-on training of their children. The researchers seeks to encourage the teachers to recognize pupils individual differences, re-enforce and extend their strengths, assist them in overcome their difficulties and develop in them sensitivity to community values. Finally, the writer would want to learn what the public kindergarten pupils in Lanao Del Sur 1 B know and able to do as they enter kindergarten level. The writer wishes to find an in-depth study for the strengths and needs of individual learners, motivation for learning instruction, and interventions.
The researcher believes the child’s inputs, reflections, and self evaluation are essential to the process of leaning and development. ? Schematic Presentation of the Conceptual Framework of the Study Independent Variables Dependent VariablesResult Statement of the problem This study seeks to investigate the factors affecting the school readiness of public kindergarten pupils. It is the objective of the researcher to determine whether or not age, sex, health, parent’s literacy, socio-economic status, experience, child stress, child abuse, and socio-emotional behavior can affect or influence the school readiness.
This study also aims to answer the following propositions: 1. ) What are the factors affecting the public school kindergarten pupils in terms of: 1. 1Gross motor skill 1. 2Fine motor skill 1. 3Visual discrimination skills 1. 4Auditory discrimination skills 1. 5Language skill 1. 6Math-numeracy awareness 1. 7Social-emotional behavior 2. ) What are parents, community stake holders, teachers, and schools intervention program to enhance pupil readiness for kindergarten? 3. ) Is there a significant relationship between this interventions and pupil’s school readiness?
Scope and limitation of the study This study is conducted in the public Central School in Lanao Del Sur 1 B in the school year 2011-2012. The study is focused on the factor affecting the school readiness of puplic kindergarten pupils in Lanao Del Sur 1 B. The pupils, teacher, and parents are randomly selected. Data are gathered through the questioner which is composed of pupils, teachers, and parents questioners. This study is delimited to the public kindergarten pupils in the Central School in Lanao Del Sur 1 B. Significance of the study.
This study aims to identify the factors affecting the school readiness of public kindergarten pupils to give life on the perceptions of the parents, teachers, and school administrators. Furthermore, it wishes to determine if parenting and nurturance, maturation, health condition, experience, teachers expectation, and school curriculum has some important role in the school readiness of the kindergarten pupil. This study would investigate the underlying reasons/factors which affect the school readiness of the kindergarteners.
Finally this study aims to be a significant contribution to provide opportunity to enhance the skill, knowledge, and abilities of the pupil. This study will provide an assessment of young children not only in measuring it but in their ability to work through activities, to solve problems, to work independently, and to reflect on their thinking. To The pupils- this study could assist the young learners to respond appropriately to the environment of the home, classroom and community (rules and regulations, curriculum activities, positive behavior in group setting, directions and instruction from the teacher other adults in the school).
To The parents- this study will help the parents to provide appropriate time and management to engage their children in learning task such as reading and writing the alphabet, basic counting skills, identification of colors, size and shape. This will also encourage the parents to be patient and loving, waiting for their children to become developmentally ready for kindergarten. The parents are urge to provide their young children with workbooks containing such activities in coloring, tracing letters and numbers.
To The teachers- this research study will help the teacher to understand and support the child natural curiosity and the diverse way in which the child learns. The teacher is also encourage to give the child some individualized attention and customize the classroom curriculum to help the child address his difficulties.
To The school administrators- being conscious of the factors affecting the school readiness of the kindergarten pupils the school administrators could provide small classes with higher teacher-pupil ratio, teacher with bachelor degree and training in early childhood education, parents-teacher training component that will re-enforce what teacher are doing in school to enhance children’s cognitive, social and emotional development.
To The Curriculum Makers- this study will give a new perspective that will lead to the formulation of a curriculum that is cognitively stimulating and child center base. To The Community of Lanao Del Sur 1 B- this study will act as a catalyst for positive change.
Local government and community agencies will have to work together to enhance programs for the learning development of kindergarten pupils. Definition of terms The terms use in this study is conceptually and operationally define for better understanding and clarity. Maturation – conceptually defined as the appropriate stage of mental and physical development, when a child is ready to perform school tasks characteristics of that particular grade . Operationally it means the chronological age of a child which is legally acceptable to enter a grade level.
Experience – means the teaching exposure, learning materials, methods of learning, practices, facilities, and structures in home and in environment which help the child learns and develops in ways that are most natural and suitable for their ages and levels of maturity. Operationally defined as the results of work done by the child in whom the child retains memory, mastery, knowledge, and skills. School readiness – conceptually means the ability to cope, learn, and achieve without undue stress. This is the proficiency level of the child in specific area of a grade level.
It is also the developmental stage whom the child is ready to learn new things. Operationally it means that the child is already of age to enroll in a grade level. This could also mean that the child has the ability to participate in classroom activities, work as instructed and cooperate with his classmates in group works. Fine motor development – means the coordination of small muscles in the hands and fingers. These skills are essential to complete task such as writing, tracing, cutting, holding things, moving little pieces of object, putting together of parts of a whole.
These skills are needed in taking precision in the hand-eye coordination. Gross motor skills- are the developmental awareness and coordination of large muscles activity. These skills are needed in walking, running, jumping, dancing, and playing. Visual discrimination skills- means the ability to visually differentiate the forms, and symbols in the environment . This is needed in the matching, and sorting of colors, sizes, shapes, and quantities. Visual memory skills – means the ability to recall accurately prior visual experience. It is also the ability to remember what has been done.
Heard, touched, smelled, and tasted and seen.. Auditory discrimination skills refer to the ability to receive and differentiate auditory stimuli. It is the capacity and ability to identify ,distinguish, imitate, differentiate the sounds heard. Auditory memory skills – means the ability to retain and recall auditory information. It also means the ability to remember, recite, repeat, tell, and do what is heard. Receptive language skills – refers to the ability to express oneself verbally, to say what the child thinks and feels and to engage in simple group conversations.
Comprehension skills – refers to the judgment and reason as the child understands his environment. It is the ability to make comparisons, understand differences and recognized cause and effect. Social – emotional behavior – refer to the ability to relate meaningfully to others and be accepted in both one-on-one and group emotions. This also means the ability to act among other children, to cooperate with the group, to show feelings, and to demonstrate responsibility. Math and number awareness – refers to the ability to identify and recognize numerals, to count on, recognize patterns, and sorting and classifying of objects.