School readiness is more than knowing ABCs and 123s. While this is important, it's just as important for children to be healthy both physically and emotionally. School readiness is arriving at school with the knowledge, skills and physical and emotional health needed to successfully participate. It includes having basic human needs such as food, shelter, and loving and nurturing relationships met so that children can focus on learning. The first years of a child's life are critical to their success in school and in life!


Oklahoma Framework for School Readiness


It has been found that, “children who enter kindergarten ready to meet its academic, social, and emotional demands are more likely to achieve later academic and life success” (Stedron and Berger, 2010).  This statement is indicative that school readiness involves more than cognitive ability; children must be ready for school and schools must be prepared to meet the needs of children.


The most effective way to prepare children to enter Kindergarten, or any level of formal schooling, is to provide a dependable, strong support system.  An ideal support system includes supportive communities, strong families, quality early care and education, prepared schools, and ready children. 


  • Supportive communities play a crucial part in supporting families; working together to support children’s school and long term success by providing families affordable access to information and services.


  • Strong families understand they are the most important people in the child’s life. A strong family takes responsibility through direct, frequent and positive involvement and interest in the child. The adults in the family recognize their role as the child’s first teacher.


  • Quality early care and education accepts all children and assists families with a seamless transition to a high-quality formal learning environment.


  • Prepared schools welcome all children while recognizing and reinforcing children’s strengths and individual differences. Prepared schools are sensitive to cultural values and understand children develop holistically and at different rates.


  • Ready children are socially, personally, physically and intellectually prepared within developmentally appropriate expectations.   This includes:


Approaches to learning - To what extent do children show curiosity, enthusiasm and persistence toward learning tasks?

Cognition and general knowledge - Do children have basic knowledge about the world around them? Do they know shapes, numbers, own name, etc.?

Language development - To what extent do children use verbal and nonverbal skills to convey meaning and understanding?

Physical well-being - Are children growing and developing properly? Are they healthy?

Social and emotional development - Do children interact well with others and communicate their feelings in appropriate ways?

school readiness framework


Parents often ask us what school readiness is and how they can promote school readiness with their child. The good news is that there are opportunities all around you, everyday, that are excellent ways to prepare your child for school and life. Remember, all children learn different skills at different times. The list below can help guide you as you work toward preparing your child for school.

  • Good Health & Physical Well-Being / My Child:

    • Eats a balanced diet
    • Gets plenty of rest
    • Recieves regular medical and dental care
    • Has all the necessary immunizations
    • Runs, jumps and plays outdoors
    • Works puzzles, scribbles, colors and paints
  • Social & Emotional Preparation / My Child is:

    • Learning to explore and try new things
    • Learning to work well alone and do many things for himself
    • Given many opportunities to be with other children and learning to cooperate with them
    • Curious and is motivated to learn
    • Learning to finish tasks
    • Learning self-control
    • Following simple instructions
    • Helping with family chores
  • Language & General Knowledge / My Child is:

    • Given many opportunities to talk and listen
    • Read to every day
    • Given books and other reading material
    • Monitored by an adult while watching television
    • Encouraged to ask questions
    • Encouraged to solve problems
    • Given opportunities to notice similarities and differences
    • Encouraged to sort and classify things
    • Learning to write her name and address
    • Learning to count and plays counting games
    • Learning to identify and name shapes and colors
    • Listens to and makes music
  • What to Expect: Newborn to One Year Babies begin to:

    • Develop some control over their bodies but rolling over, sitting, standing and walking
    • Become aware of themselves as seperate from others
    • Play with their own hands and feet, then later show interest in toys
    • Communiticate and develop language skills
  • What To Expect: One to Three Year Olds / Toddlers:

    • Are energetic and curious
    • Are self-centered
    • Like to imitate sounds
    • Want to do things for themselves
    • Have short attention spans
    • Add variation to their skills like walking backwards
    • Begin to see how they are like and unlike other children
    • Increase spoken vocabulary
  • What to expect: Three to Five Year Olds / Preschoolers:

    • Start to play with other children, instead of next to them
    • Are more likely to take turns and share
    • Are increasingly self-reliant
    • May develop fears
    • Recognize numbers
    • Like silly humor, riddles and practical jokes
    • Understand and follow spoken directions
    • May attempt to read
    • Can identify at least 10 alphabet letters, particularly those in their own name
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