Is My Child Ready To Start School?

Speech therapy

When it comes to education, we all want the next generation to get the best start for a productive and exciting life. As your child grows and learns about the world around them, you will inevitably wonder if they are reaching similar milestones to other children their age, and if there is anything more you can do to help them progress.

Some children seem more than ready to enter the school system at the required age, while others may prompt concerns that they may not be. If your child has difficulties with their speech and language skills, it is understandable to feel worried that they will struggle when they start school. Afterall, a heavy component of schooling is based on reading, writing, and communication. However, there are ways to help your child.

At Chatterbox, we are passionate about supporting children who require speech therapy and language assistance as they prepare for school and are happy to discuss how we can help you and your child.

What Skills Does My Child Need To Start School?

As a parent, it is useful to understand what abilities students require to get the most out of their schooling. These cover a variety of areas, and many can be worked on before their first term begins.

Literacy, Speech And Language

Having an adequate ability in reading, writing, and communication before starting school is highly advantageous. This includes skills such as:

  • Understanding the sounds associated with at least some letters.
  • Speaking in sentences that are grammatically correct and using a wide vocabulary.
  • Identifying words that rhyme.
  • Recounting an event or a story.
  • Asking for assistance.
  • Recognising shapes, colours, and numerals up to ten.
  • Following at least three instructions in the given order.
  • Maintaining attention when someone else is talking.

Fine And Gross Motor Skills

There are some abilities that directly impact literacy and communication that are easy to overlook or discount. These can include skills such as:

  • Holding a pencil and a pair of scissors correctly.
  • Holding a book and turning the pages in the correct direction.
  • Drawing identifiable pictures.
  • Catching a ball.

Social, Emotional, And Self-Care

There is also a variety of other life skills required to be able to participate and learn successfully and productively. These can include:

  • Engaging when not with their parents.
  • Accepting rules and instructions given to them.
  • Dealing with minor disappointments and difficulties.
  • Playing and interacting with other children fairly and in a friendly manner.
  • Dressing and toileting independently.


Being able to fulfill these examples of fundamental requirements means that children can focus on the knowledge they will be provided and the new skills they can learn. It will also enable them to integrate successfully for a more happy and safe schooling experience with other students.

However, many kids reach school age and still struggle with some of these skills. This is not something to feel ashamed of or overwhelmed by. There are steps to take that can help many children.

What To Do If Your Child Does Not Seem Ready For School

Children acquire skills at different rates with varying levels of ability. There is no definitive check list that each child should be able to complete upon entering school. But knowing if your child struggles in certain areas means you can help to provide them with the best foundations possible. Seeking professional help, such as speech and occupational therapy, can be highly beneficial in many situations.

Our paediatric speech pathologists  and occupational therapists are skilled and experienced professionals who will fully assess your child and their background to develop a suitable plan that will develop the skills they may be having difficulties with. We will support them as they grow and educate you on how you can assist them too.

If you would like to discuss your child’s abilities and whether they are ready for school, please call us to make an appointment. We can work with you and your child to find the best course of action to help them make the most of the great opportunities that education presents.