How Will I Know When My Child is Ready to Start School?
Consideration of your child’s behavioral or developmental age is important when determining school readiness, particularly in the context of the individual school or classroom setting. The expectations of individual Kindergarten settings vary widely from school to school, as does the readiness or ability of the schools and classrooms to meet the needs of the individual child.10
Regardless of these expectations, though, coping with school routines requires that a child be able to adhere to rules, listen to and follow directions, wait one’s turn, and much, much more. Children are ready to start school when they can cope with the complexities of the particular school environment, meet the developmental expectations of the classroom, and learn at the same time.
The teachers and administrators at your child’s school are your best source of information in helping you to determine the readiness of your child to meet the expectations in his or her prospective Kindergarten setting.
My child is very bright. Won’t that make a difference?
Intelligence is only one part of school success. While some children may seem advanced in one or another aspect of their development, such as language skills or the ability to read, this alone is not a good indicator of overall readiness. Social, emotional, and physical, as well as intellectual readiness are necessary for a child to succeed and be happy in school. When children are not fully ready for the many demands of school, stress often gets in the way of their ability to learn, and to feel happy and successful.11
My child went to preschool. Doesn’t that make her ready?
Preschools, educational stimulation, and other environmental factors can support and enhance development and foster curiosity, but they can not hurry or change the overall development of any child, nor can they speed up a child’s unique rate of growth and development. A quality preschool provides the experiences and opportunities that are appropriate for that age and stage of development, but these experiences do not set a timetable for development.12
How will I know when my child is ready to start school? You Are Here
Reprinted with permission of the Gesell Institute. Copyright © 2010, Gesell Institute of Human Development. All Rights Reserved.
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