How is a parent to know if their child is truly ready for kindergarten?
While it can seem overwhelming for your child to venture into their next step on their educational journey, there are key markers that both parents and teachers can be on the lookout for to ensure a child is ready. Here at Children’s Discovery Center, we enjoy partnering with parents on their child’s educational journey and helping along the way as their children reach various stages of growth.
There are certain milestones children should reach prior to entering kindergarten. These skills are fundamental to a child’s success, and often set the stage for a positive learning experience.
Fortunately, there are simple things parents can look for, and prepare for, in the months leading up to the start of the school year.
It’s not necessary for children to know how to read or do math before going to kindergarten, but it is important for them to have basic academic skills concerning letters, numbers, shapes and patterns.
Here’s a quick list of things to look for in your child:
- Talking in clear, complete sentences
- Writing their name (or attempting to write their name)
- Recognizing some letters of the alphabet
- Reciting rhymes and repeating facts
- Understanding basic concepts of on/off, in/out, over/under, etc.
- Counting to ten or higher
- Recognizing most numbers 1-10
- Identifying colors
- Recognizing what comes next in patterns of shapes, numbers, or colors
How children manage socially in kindergarten might be a big concern for parents, but with a few simple directions at home, your child will integrate into the classroom with ease.
Here are a few key social skills your child will need:
- Being able to follow simple instructions
- Sitting still for several minutes at a time
- Recognizing teachers as authority figures and responding respectfully
- Interacting with other children willingly
- Solving problems through communication with teachers and peers
- Asking and answering basic questions when called upon
- Trying new skills and activities with curiosity
- Participating in clean-up time
Every child enters kindergarten with their own set of strengths. Some children display advanced skills while others start slowly and build from there. No matter where your child is in their development, you can encourage basic personal skills to help them succeed.
Here are a few personal skills to watch for:
- Having the fine motor skills to draw, trace, cut and sort objects
- Exhibiting coordination to run, jump, hop and skip
- Managing bathroom skills and being able to use the restroom independently
- Controlling their emotions when guided and instructed
- Following safety rules
Many parents feel pressured to enroll their children in kindergarten immediately when the child turns 5. However, there are circumstances when children would be better off starting kindergarten a year later, after they’ve grown comfortable with basic academic, social, and personal skills.
You can help prepare your child for kindergarten by implementing daily instruction time at home. Talk with your child about the new and exciting things they will learn, and encourage their academic, social and personal skills for the best start possible.
If you’d like help preparing your child for kindergarten, check out our Pre-school/Pre-K Program. We’d be happy to answer your questions and help you plan the best course of action.