Understanding What it Means to Be “Kindergarten Ready”
Getting ready for preschool is usually a natural transition as your child ages out of younger educational child care classrooms and is ready for the next learning step preschool offers. Stepping into Kindergarten, however, is a different transition entirely. Many parents wonder, “is my child ready?”
As the Kiddie Academy of O’Fallon wrote recently, the term “kindergarten ready” is everywhere, and unless you’re an education professional it can be hard to know exactly what it means.
This time of the year marks preschool graduation for many, as young children prepare to enter Kindergarten in the fall. Here are a few things parents should keep in mind about what it means to be “kindergarten ready”…
- It is not necessary that children be able to read before entering Kindergarten. While being able to read full sentences is not usually a requirement, phonemic awareness does help develop strong early literacy. That’s why Kiddie Academy teaches children rudimentary skills like recognizing letters and sounds, and reading sight words.
- There is not one determining factor on whether your child is ready for Kindergarten. Every child will reach his or her developmental milestones at a different pace. Some children will master many skills their Kindergarten year. By the time children enter Kindergarten and after, they will be well on their way to developing the physical, mental and emotional attributes that will help them throughout an academic career.
- There are key readiness skills that will make the beginning of Kindergarten easier for your child and help your Kindergartener be successful in school. Some examples include an understanding of common words like “stop,” being able to count to ten, recognition of alphabet letters and sounds, ability to speak in complete sentences and an interest in books and stories.
- It is normal for children to enter this first formal learning experience at varying developmental stages. In fact, according to the United States Department of Education, students will enter Kindergarten with a range of different academic skills and learning behaviors. This is due to the fact that young children experience various types of early care and education environments the year before they enter kindergarten and will be coming from a variety of different early childhood experiences.
Preschool programs like Kiddie Academy are designed to introduce and facilitate activities that develop the skills needed for kindergarten. For example, Kiddie Academy’s proprietary Life Essentials® curriculum helps children focus on these key skills:
- Writing: lowercase and uppercase letters
- Mathematics: identifying numbers, shapes, counting
- Literacy: identifying letters, sound recognition of letters, rhyming
- Building independence
- Developing fine motor skills
- Growing social skills through teamwork, turn-taking
- Reasoning and critical thinking skills
- Learning to follow multi-step directions and focusing attention
- Character Values: respect, generosity, empathy
If, like many incoming Kindergarteners, your child prepares for a big transition best by reading about it first, here are a few books we recommend getting started with this summer: