Kindergarten Readiness

Is this the year your child will take the plunge into kindergarten? If so, then listen up – it’s going to be a learning experience for you too.

Age is no longer the only factor to help determine a child’s readiness for kindergarten. Your little one’s emotional and social maturity should also play a big role in your decision, as well as their ability to withstand a full day in the classroom.

“Making the leap from preschool to kindergarten is a big deal not only for children, but their parents too,” said Wendy Tesmer, lead teacher at Dayton Christian School Preschool.

There are many questions parents may have, but the following are the big four that Wendy often answers.

Photo Credit: Dayton Christian School Preschool and above photo

How do I know if my child is ready for kindergarten?

There are many different indicators, but look for these simple signs. Your child should be able to easily separate from you without tears. They need to know their ABCs – not just be able to sing them. They need to be able to identify numbers from 1 to 10 and that includes recognizing them out of order. They should also possess physical coordination such as the ability to skip, balance on one foot, and toss and catch a large ball.

Why are social and emotional factors important?

It’s not just about being able to be away from mom or dad for a period of time. Social and emotional readiness allows a child to play well with their peers. Look at how well your child handles conflict. Do they easily throw a tantrum when they don’t get their way? Consider how long they can sit while a book is being read to them– ten to 15 minutes is the standard. If you are still in doubt about their readiness then take a look at their birthday. A child who turns five shortly before kindergarten but lacks some of these skills may want to wait a year.

What are the benefits of an all-day program?

Wendy tells families, “The more they attend, the more they learn.” Wendy has witnessed a difference in phonemic awareness among students who have attended full day kindergarten versus those who attended just half the day when an abbreviated program was still being offered.

How can I help my child during this transition?

Pay attention to what is being taught at your child’s preschool and use the same concepts through summer play. Play “I spy” with letters or colors. In the days leading up to the start of kindergarten, be sure to talk to them about what school will be like. Prepare them with the understanding that school will be fun, but could be a little challenging at first. Make sure your conversations are positive and upbeat. After all, it’s one of the most exciting steps they will take at this early point in their lives.

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