Students who begin kindergarten before they're ready may fall behind, resulting in frustration that turns them off from school. With such significant stakes, parents may want to answer a few questions and look for these generalized kindergarten readiness clues before enrolling their youngsters in school.
Age 5 is a big year in a child's life. In many school districts, children enroll in kindergarten shortly after their fifth birthdays. But age alone does not dictate if a child is ready to transition from a preschool environment to kindergarten, and parents may need to work with educators to determine if their children are ready to take the first big step of their academic careers.
Many developmental and education experts believe that numerous factors, in addition to age, determine school readiness, including physical, social and cognitive development. Many parents want their kids to begin kindergarten at the same time as other kids their age, but enrolling youngsters before they're ready could have repercussions for years to come. Students who begin kindergarten before they're ready may fall behind, resulting in frustration that turns them off from school.
With such significant stakes, parents may want to answer a few questions and look for these generalized kindergarten readiness clues before enrolling their youngsters in school.Does my child have solid oral-language skills? Language is more than drilling letters and sight words into a child's head through repetition. Language allows kids to share in new experiences and lessons that will expand their vocabularies. The more kids experience, the more their curiosity grows. This opens up opportunities for discussion about a variety of topics and introduces words and concepts that may be new and exciting to children. Research indicates one of the best predictors of eventual reading success is a well-developed oral vocabulary in kindergarten. Children will retain words if they hear them enough and if they're used in context and conversation. Can my child listen to and follow instructions? Kindergarten students will be introduced to many foreign things, and some kinds may be in a school environment for the very first time. Teachers will be issuing instructions and seeking cooperation from the class. To keep up with peers and lessons, kindergarteners will need to be able to remain quiet for extended periods of time, listen to instructions and then properly act on them. Is my son or daughter excited about learning? Some children cannot wait to go to kindergarten, especially those who are excited at the prospect of going to the same school as their older siblings. Enthusiasm about school and an eagerness to learn and discover new things are indicative of kindergarten readiness. A child does not need to have mastery over every skill just yet, but taking the initiative to try and ask questions is a good start to successful learning. Does my child want to be independent? The phrases "I'll do it myself" or "I'll try" can be music to a kindergarten teacher's ears. Parents may be in a rush and find it easier to dress kids or get them snacks. But doing everything for kids puts them at a disadvantage. Independent streaks can help kids adjust to school. Kindergarteners may have to go to the bathroom and wash up independently. They also may have to fasten buttons, open up lunches and hang up coats. Children who cannot handle such tasks may struggle to adjust to a school environment. Can my child recognize basic letters and numbers? Children entering kindergarten should know most letters by sight and be able to count to 10. Preparing for kindergarten can be fun and does not require flash cards or homework. Encourage kids to count objects in the world around them or do some preliminary reading by recognizing letters on signs at stores or places in the neighborhood.
Kindergarten readiness is determined by a variety of factors, including age, school assessment, enthusiasm about learning, and signs of independence.