Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten....from a kindergarten teacher's perspective

Many of my friends ask me what to think about when determining whether or not their child is ready for kindergarten. Here is a checklist that I have taken from and have edited and revised it with what I think is important to know. First, let me say that I attended an incredible seminar by David Thomas of DayStar counseling and the author of Wild Things The Art of Nurturing Boys. He said that if you have a boy and they are on the young side (this would be my son), it is best to WAIT a year before starting kindergarten than to push them through. I couldn't agree with this more. Boys mature more slowly than girls. There attention span is shorter. Their need for physical movement is greater. I refuse to start my son out as a 4 year old in a kindergarten class filled with 5 1/2 year olds and mature 6 year olds. I have seen first hand how large of a gap those few months present and it is very difficult for a 4 year old boy to make friends and be on the same maturity level socially as the majority of his peers. This can go for girls too. If your child is on the younger end and academically ready for kindergarten but is still not quite as mature as many 5 and 6 year olds, I would really reconsider enrolling in kindergarten. So here are some things to help you decide:

Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

While there's no perfect formula that determines when children are truly ready for kindergarten, you can use this checklist to see how well your child is doing in acquiring the skills found on most kindergarten checklists.
Check the skills your child has mastered. Then recheck every month to see what additional skills your child can accomplish easily.
Young children change so fast -- if they can't do something this week, they may be able to do it a few weeks later.

  • Listen to stories without interrupting
  • Recognize rhyming sounds
  • Pay attention for short periods of time to adult-directed tasks
  • Understand actions have both causes and effects
  • Show understanding of general times of day
  • Cut with scissors
  • Trace  and name basic shapes 
  • legibly writes first name
  • writes numbers 0-10
  • Begin to share with others
  • Start to follow rules
  • Be able to recognize authority
  • Manage bathroom needs
  • Button shirts, pants, coats, and zip up zippers
  • Begin to control oneself
  • Separate from parents easily
  • Speak understandably
  • Talk in complete sentences of five to six words
  • Look at pictures and then tell stories
  • Identify rhyming words
  • Identify the beginning sound of some words
  • Identify ALL upper and lower case alphabet letters
  • Identify ALL letter sounds 
  • Understand basic concept of print 
  • Sort similar objects by color, size, and shape
  • Recognize groups of one, two, three, four, and five objects
  • Count to ten 
  • Bounce a ball 
  • has a good pencil this link for practice: Teaching correct pencil grip

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