As parents, it can be hard to gauge sometimes where our children really are on their path of growing from little ones who are fully dependent on us to adults who have a family of their own. Life is full of milestones and our kids start hitting those milestones very early on in their lives. One of the biggest “little” milestones is getting them ready for Kindergarten.
In just a couple of short weeks, my oldest (Sabrye) will start Kindergarten. I’ve been counting down the days to when she will start. Her and I are a lot of like and have clashed quite a bit this summer. I know without a shadow of a doubt Sabrye is ready for Kindergarten. She has mastered all of these things at a very early age; however, each child learns and completes milestones as his/her own pace. If your child has a summer birthday or if you’re wondering if you need to wait another year to send them to school, here is a good list to gauge by and get them away from pretend play and into a classroom with friends.
Of course, each school will have their own requirements for starting Kindergarten, but it can be hard for parents to know if their ready to even consider starting. Take a look at the list below to see if your child is ready or what you need to work on to start school. If your child has all of these things down pat, head to the school and grab their requirements to check as well. If they aren’t quite there, don’t sweat it. Keep working with them at home and they will be there soon enough. This will give you more time to think about their academic future too as many parents struggle with the dilemma of private school vs public school so at least you’ll have the opportunity to reach a reasoned and informed decision on which route you want to take them down.
Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?
Is your child potty trained with no accidents?
If your little one is still having accidents during the day, chances are they aren’t ready to go to school yet. Work with them on making it to the potty every time before you enroll them.
Can your child fully dress themselves including a jacket or coat?
While the teacher may be willing to help them zip their jacket, they may also not be willing. Make sure your little one can dress his/herself before you send him/her off with the big kids.
Can your child follow simple directions?
Things like “Hang up your bag and sit down on the Reading Rug” are common in Kindergarten classrooms. If your child hasn’t quite got the hang of it, they aren’t ready yet.
Can he/she sit still?
While your child will not be attending a Broadway show, your child does need to be able to sit through story time, show & tell, or a quick presentation without coming out of his/her seat.
Does he/she recognize a few letters and numbers?
Contrary to popular belief, your child does not need to know how to read before they start school. They do, however, need to know how to recognize a few letters and a few numbers before they start. If you’re wanting to start working on letters with your child, try starting with your child’s first name. Children are excited when they can put together something they can relate to.
Are they excited about school?
As with anything involving kids, the more excited your child is, the better and easier the transition will be. Get them excited about school and you’ll have an easier time when school starts. See a list of books to read with your child to get them excited about school here.
While thinking over sending your child to Kindergarten, consider using this list as a starting point. Be sure to reach out to local schools in your area to get a complete list on what your child needs to know to start Kindergarten.