Is my child really ready for Kindergarten? This is a question that many parents struggle with in their family. I myself wrestled with the same question many years ago. There are so many ways to ensure your sweet one is ready to take the plunge. I would like to share a short list to help you prepare your child for this first step in their educational journey. I always thought we learned everything we needed to know we learned in Kindergarten!
Your child is probably ready to start Kindergarten if he or she: Follows simple directions. Maybe you're lucky and your little angel does whatever she's told. But in reality, most children don't behave all the time. It's important, however, that your child can listen to a teacher and completes instructions. Sits still. Your child shouldn't be expected to sit for a three hour opera, but should remain in one spot long enough to listen to a story and participate in class activities. Uses the restroom. Your child should be able to know when they have to go to the bathroom, and be able to manage it by themselves. Recognizes some letters. Believe it or not, it's OK if your child isn't reading when they start school. But they should recognize some of letters of the alphabet. Works on fine and gross motor skills. Your child should have some practice jumping and running, throwing a ball, and holding a pencil and scissors. Gets along with peers. Ideally, your child knows how to share and take turns, but those are skills that can take a lifetime to master. Handles emotions. It's normal for a five year old to break down in tears when she's upset. But, it's important that she knows her feelings, and has coping strategies. Shows an interest in learning. He doesn't have to be a little Einstein, but it helps if your child listening to stories, music, and books and seems stimulated by the information. Amy Ettinger, Contributo