Every school district has different guidelines and criteria required for their incoming kindergarteners, but as a parent, we often wonder IN GENERAL what our children should know how to do in order to be ready for kindergarten. Children need to have more than a set of didactic skills on board in order to be kindergarten ready. They also need to have met some developmental and emotional milestones and have started to work on social skills.
If your child is pretty well established in these skills they are probably ready to head into kindergarten.
Your Child Can Follow Simple Directions
If your child cannot follow simple instructions they probably are not ready to enter kindergarten. Children must be able to follow directions that the teacher gives them which includes having the ability to listen when directions are being given.
Your Child Can Sit Still
Sitting still is a BIG one. Children entering kindergarten definitely are not expected to sit for hours on end, but they need to have the ability to sit for set periods of time without getting up and moving about. Here's a fun idea to help get your child ready to sit still for set periods of time.
Your Child Can Handle Separation
Separation is a lot harder for some children than others. If separation is an issue, work on it before kindergarten because going to school will not be a positive experience if they don't want to leave mom and dad.
(Here's how to talk to your child about Stranger Danger.)
Your Child Is Able to Make Friends and Gets Along With Others
In kindergarten, your child will be forced to spend most of their day with other children their age and so the ability to build relationships and get along with others is key for social success.
Your Child Can Use the Bathroom Independently
You child must know when they need to use the bathroom (so they don't have accidents) and be able to use it themselves and redress on their own. They also need to be able to apply proper bathroom etiquette like washing their hands.
Your Child Is Able to Communicate Needs to Adults
Communication is an important skill that is developed in school, but even before they enter school, children need to be able to communicate needs to adults in appropriate ways.
Your Child Knows How to Share
Sharing is a hard skill to master for children and adults (smiling) and although they don't need to be perfect at sharing in order to enter kindergarten, children do need to know how to share. There will be a lot of sharing required at school.
Your Child Has Some Practice With Motor Skills (Fine & Gross)
Your child should know how to hold a pencil and scissors. They should have practice cutting with scissors and have familiarity holding their writing instrument. They should also know how to run and jump and play on common play ground equipment. Here's a fun craft for working on fine motor skills.
Your Child Recognizes Some Letters and Numbers
Expectations vary depending on where you live, but children entering kindergarten do not need to know how to say, count to 100, and know their alphabet perfectly before entering Kindergarten.
They should, however be familiar with the letters and numbers. We love this to help them work on their didactic skills.
Your Child Is Excited About Learning
The transition to kindergarten will be a whole easier if your child is excited about going to school and learning. Here's how to encourage them get restful sleep!