When the calendar turns to a new year, parents of preschoolers generally start to think about kindergarten and wonder if their child will be ready. Moms and dads are looking for a good entry point when their child will be challenged but not overwhelmed! Since the enrollment season is underway, we’ve compiled some solid indicators for parents to consider when making this important decision. The answer is yes — they’re probably ready — if most of these benchmarks have been reached.
- Counts to ten
- Identifies common objects
- Knows most letters and basic shapes
- Listens to and follows simple directions
- Prints first name
- Shows interest in reading
- Recognizes the need to listen to and obey those in authority
- Shows age-appropriate self-control
- Demonstrates growing ability to respect others’ feelings, needs, and possessions
- Able to throw or catch a ball
- Can skip or hop on one foot
- Cares for clothing and bathroom needs independently
- Draws simple pictures
- Maintains proper pencil grip when shown
- Sits still and listens for 15 minutes or longer
- Can separate from parents
- Shares toys and take turns
Should We Wait?
Conversely, situations that might suggest waiting include:
- Maturity that doesn’t correspond to apparent intelligence
- Language delays
- Difficulty finishing tasks
- Infantile speech
- Lack of self-control
- Preference for playing with younger children
- Aggressive behavior with peers
- Tension-reducing behavior (e.g. lip biting, chewing clothing, hair twirling)
These aren’t hard and fast rules, but if several are present, they might suggest taking a closer look or seeking some professional advice.
Ways Parents Can Help
If your child is currently attending preschool, this might be a good point in the year to ask the preschool teacher for an early opinion on readiness. Bear in mind, though, that a lot of maturation will take place between now and the start of the next school year! In addition, there are many ways that parents can help strengthen a child’s readiness. Suggestions include:
- Play memory games. Draw specific shapes and objects from memory. Talk about what something looked like when you are not looking at it.
- Spend time drawing together. Thread large beads and put toys together to increase small motor skills.
- Use time in the car to play sequencing games. “Do we wash our hands first, or do we eat first?” Find sequential relationships in everyday activities!
- Emphasize the relationship between left and right. “Which way do we turn when we get to our street?”
- Play games that require balance.
- Allow your child to use a large, thick pencil to help develop a proper pencil grip.
Choose the Right Kindergarten
Look for a kindergarten that respects the unique timetable that God has built into your child’s development. The private kindergarten program at Indian Rocks Christian School gives Largo, FL students a solid start that will serve as the basis for confidence and success in their elementary years and beyond. IRCS’s caring Christian teachers provide an accepting, encouraging, and loving environment where creativity and curiosity are fostered!
Ready to learn more? Tour the kindergarten at IRCS.