Pathways to Wellness

conversation • connection • commitment

Ready, set, school

Getting ready for school begins long before your child is ready to enter kindergarten.  In fact, you could say that everything children learn from the first days of life helps prepare them for school. 

You might think that knowing the ABCs or how to count to 10 is the best predictor for how kids will do in kindergarten, but in fact a child's social-emotional and communication skills are better predictors of school readiness.  When kids enter school, they need to be able to

  • Communicate their ideas, needs, and wants to their teacher, and to other students;
  • Express and manage emotions appropriately (called self-regulation) and
  • Work and play with other students using good social skills (like taking turns, sharing, playing cooperatively).

Social-emotional and communication skills continue to be important throughout the school years and are important predicators of success in the workplace too!  Also see the Raising happy kids section.

Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman calls social- emotional learning “soft skills”.  Listen to this short video and learn the hard facts about soft skills.

Learn more