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Is Your Child Ready For Kindergarten?

Kindergarten Readiness 

How do you know if your child is ready for kindergarten? Kindergarten readiness is a frequently asked question of the principal. Only you as the parent know the answers to these questions. Below are some items to ponder, keeping in mind that students are in a classroom with 30 other children at times and need to be as self sufficient as possible. Teachers look at readiness in five major categories. Notice that a child's intelligence is not a factor for consideration. The categories are as follows:

Social Skills and Kinesthetic

Does your child...

  • Share with others willingly?
  • Play alone without adult assistance?
  • Cooperate?
  • Work individually and in small groups?
  • Ask questions?
  • Have the confidence to separate from a parent or caregiver and stay with another adult. Is he/she a cling on?
  • Know how to roll, throw and catch a ball?
  • Know how to run, hop on one foot, jump, swing and gallop?

Academic Readiness

Does your child...

  • Show an interest in print and books?
  • Write his/her name in upper and lower case letters?
  • Use pencils, crayons, and markers?
  • Draw and recognize objects?
  • Count 10 objects and recognize numerals 1-10?
  • Know shapes and colors?
  • Recognize the names of upper and lower case letters out of sequence?
  • Know most letter sounds?
  • Sit still for 10 to 15 minutes?
  • Follow simple two-step directions?
  • Enjoy coloring and drawing?
  • Recognize his/her own name?

Hygiene Skills

Does your child...

  • Wash his/her hands?
  • Use a tissue to wipe nose?
  • Attend to bathroom needs with total independence?

Verbal Communication

Does your child...

  • Use the English language to express personal needs?
  • Express himself to be clearly understood by other adults beyond just family members?
  • Speak in complete sentences?
  • Engage other children and adults in conversation?

Personal Autonomy

Does your child...

  • Dress self?
  • Feed self?
  • Tie shoes or close Velcro?
  • Clean up after self?
  • Zip, button, snap clothing?

There are definite developmental issues unique to each child that can determine a child's successful transition into kindergarten. It has little to do with a child's intelligence. My gifted child was the least ready to enter kindergarten with a summer birthday. I often think that moms know in their hearts what's best for their child. We need to listen to our heart. The gift of an extra year for a young child may be just what is needed to allow time for a little extra maturation. That time should be wisely spent preparing students for the items listed above.

girl holding letter A