Kindergarten readiness is something that can really worry parents. Is my child ready? Are they going to be behind? What do they need to know before they start? There are all kinds of questions about what you need to do as a parent to get your child ready for kindergarten. Many of the skills a child needs to posses for kindergarten readiness are simply things that come with age, growing up a bit, and physically developing. Others are academic things that you want to work on with your child, either yourself, or put them in a preschool where they will learn these things before school starts.
The following are some of the developmental things and skills your child should posses to be kindergarten ready:
1. Your child should be starting to develop a longer attention span. It is still going to be less than ten minutes, but they should be able to listen to stories without interrupting. If they can’t kindergarten will be challenging for them.
2. A child about to enter kindergarten should be able to pay attention to adult-directed tasks without getting distracted or losing focus, at least for a short time.
3. Kindergarten ready kids should have some basic reasoning skills, and understand actions have both causes and effects. For example, do they know when a light turn reds, it means stop, that when you mow a lawn it gets shorter, etc.?
4. Kindergarten ready kids are typically aware of their environment, and can tell you where they are, what time of day it is (generally speaking, morning, afternoon, or night), and should be able to identify weather, as in, it is cold, it is hot, it is raining.
5. Before you child is ready for kindergarten they should be in the mode where they can share both time, attention, and items with others.
6. Kindergarten readiness means being able to follow rules, even if they don’t do it all of the time.
7. Kindergarteners are going to have teachers, so they need to be able to recognize authority figures outside of their parents.
8. A kindergarten ready child will have the basic skills to control themselves physically and emotionally, even if they don’t do it well.
9. They ought to be able to go to school without separation anxiety.
10. They need to be fully potty trained.
11. They should be able to dress themselves, get a coat off and on, do up their clothes, etc.
12. They should communicate in multiple word sentences, and be understandable when they speak.
13. They should be able to make up a story and use their imagination.
14. They should be able to bounce a ball, throw a ball, etc.
15. They should be able to communicate their need for help.
The above mentioned skills are about physical and emotional readiness and maturity, the following items deal with academic readiness for kindergarten.
Before kindergarten, your child should be able to do all of the following:
1. Count to ten
2. Cut with scissors
3. Trace shapes
4. Recognize colors
5. Identify rhyming words, or make rhymes
6. Identify the sound of some letters
7. Identify some alphabet letters by shape, both lower and uppercase
8. Recognize a few common sight words like “the”
9. Sort objects by color, size, or shape
10. Group objects together by similar qualities.
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