MJ is getting ready to head to kindergarten next month! I know he’s ready to go, he is eager and can’t wait, but I don’t know if I am ready to let my baby go. Maybe this is out of pure selfishness, but I just know that time has flown way too fast and before I know it, he’s going to be leaving the nest and heading off to college. Yes, I will be that blubbering mom that everyone hates every time he starts a new journey. Hey, he’s my BABY!
How can you tell if your child is ready to move on to kindergarten? Many parents have this question, I was one of them! I did a little research and came up with a kindergarten readiness checklist. How does your child compare?
What basic skills are necessary for kindergarten?
Here’s a kindergarten readiness checklist:*
- Reading: Child shows an interest in books and tries reading select words or create the story based upon the pictures. Can read some common sight words (to, is, me, yes, of, I, you, etc).
- Recognition: Child has the ability to recognize numbers, letters, shapes, colors and can recite the alphabet. Rhyming sounds and words
- Motor Skills: Child can handle pencils, scissors, markers, etc, tracing and coloring within the lines with ease. Writing and classroom projects require this.
- Language and Listening: Child can speak in full sentences, listen to instructions and is able to follow them. Also, responds to authority in a positive manner and can pay attention for short periods of time without interruption.
- Independence: Child can use the restroom by himself and can voice when they need to ‘go’. Also, basic actions such as putting on a coat, shoes, snap buttons, and straw in the juice box on their own are necessary.
- Social: Child is able to get along well with other kids, can work together in groups, take turns, and has the ability to compromise with others. Can control self in various situations.
- Drive: Child is eager to learn, curious, imaginative and generally interested in seeing and learning new things.
What kindergarten teachers look for
According to Scholastic, 5 veteran teachers tell all about the skills that they look for in each child when entering kindergarten. Each of them have put in 20+ years of work, knowing what it takes to be successful here’s what they had to say:
- Enthusiasm Toward Learning
- Solid Oral-Language Skills
- The Ability to Listen
- The Desire to Be Independent
- The Ability to Play Well with Others
- Strong Fine-Motor Skills
- Basic Letter and Number Recognition
Hmmm… do these sound familiar?
I decided to make a simple test for my son to see how ready for kindergarten he is. Apparently, he faired quite well, answering all of the questions and followed the verbal instructions correctly! Have your child complete this test, which has one question derived from each of the 7 points on the kindergarten readiness checklist above. If your child does not get the majority of these kindergarten activities right, you may want to look into a transitional class or another year of preschool. Your child will not learn and thrive properly in kindergarten if they are not ready, so be sure to make the best decision for your child and contact schools and educators in your area to verify. Download the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Test (PDF). Print IN COLOR and enjoy!
Disclosure: I am not an educator, but these kindergarten readiness skills came from teachers and learning specialists. I have added some of my own ideas that my son demonstrates, which I feel fit well in each category. *Kindergarten readiness info from BabyCenter and some of my own ideas.