The question that parents ask me most often is, “Is my child ready for kindergarten?” Every child is unique, and what may work for one child’s development may completely be inappropriate for another. As an admissions administrator, this is a difficult question to answer without having an in-depth knowledge of your child, as well as your family dynamic. It is so very important for each parent to look at their child’s development in areas of social/emotional, physical and educational experience. It may be difficult for a parent to objectively look at their child, so rely on a strong communication with your child’s pre-K teacher to help guide you in this decision.
As a guide, your child is probably kindergarten ready if he or she:
1. Follows simple directions.
It's important that your child can listen to a teacher and complete instructions. A year in a pre-K program can help a child start being exposed to these skills.
2. Sits still.
Your child should be able to remain in one spot long enough to listen to a story and participate in class activities.
3. Uses the restroom.
Your child should be able to know when they have to go to the bathroom, and be able to manage by him or herself.
4. Recognizes some letters.
It is helpful that a child can recognize some letters of the alphabet.
5. Has a depth of fine and gross motor skills.
Your child should have some practice jumping and running, throwing a ball, and holding a pencil and using scissors.
6. Social competence.
It is beneficial for your child to know how to get along with peers. It helps to have experience in sharing and taking turns, but those are skills that are practiced on a daily basis, regardless of age.
7. Handles emotions.
It's important that a child knows his or her feelings, and has coping strategies. This, too, is a continual work in progress.
8. Shows an interest in learning.
It helps if your child has had exposure to listening to stories, music and books and that he or she seems stimulated by the information.
The more excited a child is about school, the easier the transition will be. It is also very important that a child is cognitively ready to learn. It is so very important for each parent to look at your child’s development in areas of social/emotional, physical, and educational experience. It may be difficult for a parent to objectively look at their child, so rely on a strong communication with your child’s pre-K teacher to help guide you in this decision.
Interested in learning more about kindergarten readiness? Download our free e-guide, "15 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten," or join us for an in-person Spotlight on Kindergarten Readiness by visiting www.oakknoll.org/openhouse and registering for an upcoming event.