As children grow, they develop at different rates so age may not be the best indicator of school readiness. You must consider all aspects of your child’s development because if they enter school before they are ready to cope, their chances of failure and low self-esteem increase dramatically. They can lose confidence and feel they can’t cope.
Young children change so fast – if they can’t do something this week, they may be able to do it a few weeks later.
Is your child able to….
- 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 basic shapes
- 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 without being upset
- 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 alphabet letters
- Recognize some common sight words like “stop”
- Sort similar objects by color, size, and shape
- Recognize groups of one, two, three, four, and five objects
- Count to ten
- Throw, catch & bounce a ball
Is My Child Mature Enough to Start Kindergarten?
An important element in deciding school readiness is asking yourself whether your child is emotionally mature enough to start school. You should also consider the length of their attention span.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is your child eager to participate, wanting to learn?
- Are they interested, motivated, and confident?
- Are they willing to attempt new experiences?
- Can your child cooperate with other children?
- Are they able to handle the rough emotional trials – cliques & name calling – that are usually part of school life?
- How do they handle these situations? Do they react by either falling apart or becoming a bully?
- Can they negotiate with friends?
- Is your child able to respond to all adults? A lot of schools rely on volunteers to help in the classroom.
- It is essential that your child has learned to listen and respond to adults who are not their parents.
- Can your child handle large group situations?
- Can your child sit still for 10 minutes?
- Can they do it in a group of 15-30 other children?
- Can they go the bathroom independently?
- Can they handle their lunch and look after their own belongings?