Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?
Starting kindergarten is a big step – and an exciting rite of passage – for young children (and their parents). You love your child and want him to get off to a good start in school. Maybe you have doubts about his development, or you simply don’t know what will be required of him in the kindergarten classroom.
Below are some of the key developmental milestones a child will ideally have reached by the time he starts kindergarten. These requirements aren’t set in stone, however, and not every child will have mastered every skill by the time he sets foot in the classroom.
Kindergarten readiness involves four areas of development: Intellectual, physical, social/emotional, and self-care.
The ABC’s of academic success in kindergarten require that your child:
- Is interested in books and reading.
- Holds a book upright and turns the pages.
- Knows some songs and rhyming games.
- Identifies some letters (especially those in his name).
- Identifies labels and signs at home and in the neighborhood.
- Pretends to read and write.
- Knows his first and last name, names of family members.
- Can describe an experience and tell a familiar story.
Kindergarteners use their bodies as well as their brains! To thrive in kindergarten, your child will need both small and large motor skills, such as:
- Drawing with crayons, pens, and pencils, with control.
- Copying simple figures and shapes, such as a straight line, circle, and square.
- Running, jumping, and hopping.
- Bouncing and catching a ball.
Social and Emotional Development
School and learning involve more than academics. A key to success in kindergarten (and beyond) is being able to get along with others. In kindergarten, your child should be able and willing to:
- Listen to an adult and follow simple directions.
- Cooperate and play well with other children.
- Sit still for short periods (15 minutes or less).
Taking Care of Personal Needs
Taking care of one’s personal needs is not only practical, it’s also a sign of independence and growth. And, for most young children, it’s a source of great pride! To start kindergarten, your child should be able to:
- Use the bathroom without assistance.
- Wash his hands.
- Eat without help, using utensils.
- Dress himself and work snaps, buttons, and zippers
- Tie his shoes.
- Recognize his own belongings (such as a jacket or lunchbox).
Want more details? Check out this kindergarten readiness checklist
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