Thinking About Kindergarten Readiness

Being ready for kindergarten doesn't depend on age alone


Published:

Courtesy Sergey Noviko/Shutterstock.com

Although many parents think about a child’s entrance into kindergarten happening at a certain age, assessing kindergarten readiness and a child’s potential to learn in a group setting involves more than reaching his fifth birthday.

Determining kindergarten readiness evolves around two categories: skills and concepts, and social and emotional development. Knowing where your child falls in both categories can be helpful in determining if he or she is ready to begin kindergarten and, perhaps more importantly, what type of kindergarten program would best suit all of her developmental needs — cognitive, social, emotional and physical development.

Skills and Concepts

Measuring skills and concepts is a concrete, straightforward process. A kindergarten readiness skills and concepts checklist would likely include measuring the following skills:

• Gross motor

• Fine motor

• Cognitive

• Language

• Self-help

• Social (see below)

Social and Emotional Development

Children do not always develop evenly. Some children may be cognitively ready for kindergarten, but may still need support in their social and emotional development, or the other way around.

A child’s social and emotional development can be more challenging to measure, since growth tends to be more qualitative than quantitative and a child’s abilities in these areas depend upon a number of factors. For example, a child may have a harder time going to school when there has been a disruption to the routine at home (such as a parent traveling). For the purpose of kindergarten readiness, we suggest that you consider whether your child can do the following most of the time:

• Separate from parents for the duration of a school day without protest or distress.

• Show interest in school and a range of school-related activities.

• Not fear or resist going to school.

• Participate in group activities with joy and ease.

• Show confidence and make decisions independently.

• Follow a structured routine and be flexible about changes in the schedule.

• Focus on tasks in a settled and attentive way.

• Maintain self-control.

• Wait for short periods of time.

• Work independently.

• Settle disagreements verbally.

• Keep track of personal needs (e.g., toileting, dressing, taking care of personal belongings).

• Respect the property of others.

• Follow classroom rules.

• Show a willingness to try new things.

• Meet new people and visitors with relative ease.

• Get along with other children and show an interest in making friends.

You can find other checklists online or at your child’s preschool or daycare program. Your child’s preschool teacher serves as a valuable resource in thinking about kindergarten readiness and the ideal learning environment for all of your child’s developmental needs.

In addition, the Lucy Daniels Center plans to host several free workshops that are open to the public to discuss this and other related topics. See a full schedule of the free workshops at lucydanielscenter.org/programs/ldc-4-early-success.

 

The Lucy Daniels Center is a nonprofit agency in Cary that promotes the emotional health and well-being of children and families. Visit lucydanielscenter.org to learn more.

 

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Online at your Home
265 Cambridge Ave #60923
Palo Alto, NC  94306
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Sponsor: ActivityHero
Telephone: 800-437-6125
Contact Name: Mabelle
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Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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The 16th Annual (Virtual) Beaver Queen Pageant, Beavers in the Stream! The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-423-1502
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
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We invite all Triangle youth between the ages of 8 thru 17 with a sincere interest in the Performance Art of Magic to join Magic Youth Raleigh! This youth program teaches magic history and theory,...

Cost: $35 per Student

Where:
New Horizons Fellowship
820 E. Williams St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
Contact Name: Roger Way
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The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver personalities and compete for the title of Beaver Queen with their fashion,...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-698-9729
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
Website »

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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
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