Tonight, my little boy has kindergarten orientation! He’s growing up so fast! His time at preschool is quickly coming towards its end, and as that end approaches, I’ve wondered if he was ready for kindergarten. He’s excited enough about it, and wants to go, but I can’t help but wonder if my child is mature enough physically, socially, and cognitively. I didn’t really think about it until about a month ago. My mother in law is a kindergarten teacher and initially approached the subject of how ready Brendan is for kindergarten. She discussed his language skills, listening skills, motor skills, etc. She touched on the areas he was excelling in and areas we needed a little more work on. It was the first time I stopped and thought about how prepared my little boy is for kindergarten. Kindergarten readiness was suddenly a very prominent thing on my mind.
What is kindergarten readiness?
Experts say no single or simple factor determines whether a child is ready for kindergarten. Instead, a child’s development needs to be evaluated on several fronts. His ability to think logically, speak clearly, and interact well with other children and adults are all critically important to success in school. A child’s physical development also needs to be considered.
In reality, very few children are equally competent in all these areas. Many children who are advanced mentally may lag behind emotionally, while children who are extremely adept physically may be slower in terms of language development.
But most early childhood educators agree that a child’s brain development is the most important gauge of readiness for kindergarten. In other words, your child may be small for his age, and lagging behind other kids socially and physically, but if his language, thinking, and perceptual skills are in place, then he’ll probably do well in kindergarten.
Knowing your child is ready.
My mother in law put together quite a bit of information together for me to help determine whether or not my little boy is ready for kindergarten or not. There’s also plenty of information available online, but this is a copy what my mother in law sent me.
To get ready to be a kindergartner, you can…
- Learn your personal information: address, phone number, and birthday.
- Practice being a good listener!
- Eyes are looking at the speaker.
- Ears are listening.
- Mouth is closed.
- Hands are still.
- Feet are quiet.
- Practice good manners.
- Say “please” and “thank you”.
- Practice taking turns.
- Learn to write your first and last name.
- Say the letters in your name.
- Ask your grown-ups to read to you every day!! Talk about what happened at the beginning, middle, and end of the stories.
- Read books with rhyme and play games with rhyming words (You and your grown-ups can take turns thinking of words that rhyme with other words.)
- Practice naming and writing upper and lower case letters.
- Practice counting. How high can you count? (The goal is for kindergartners to count to 100 by the end of the year.)
- Count items one by one.
- Learn to name numbers 1 to 10.
- At the end of each day, tell all of the things you can remember from the day! What did you do first? What did you do last?
***Parents, these are skills that you can work on, as your child is ready.
It’s nice having something to help my husband and I to know what to focus on over the next few months. We’re working hardest on listening skills (still hands and quiet feet), getting better at recognizing letters, and working on recalling what happens during the day, and remembering his phone number.
One site I’ve found that I have found particularly helpful is http://www.kidzone.ws/. You can print “tracer” pages off to practice writing letters with. I’ve also printed off ABC Bingo cards to work on letter recognition. There are gobs of coloring pages, pages to practice cutting skills with, writing skills (as mentioned earlier), number worksheets, etc. There are lots of great activities for preschool children up to grade five, and there are a variety of topics to choose from (math, science, language, geography, etc). I just printed off an Itsy Bisty St. Patrick’s Day book for us to work on tomorrow.
Additional Kindergarten Readiness Resources
- http://www.covenanthome.com/kready.htm (a readiness exam)