Is your child ready for Kindergarten? The skill sets that Kindergarten teachers are looking for may surprise you. You might think it’s important for children to enter Kindergarten knowing their ABCs, numbers, shapes and colors so they can keep up with the curriculum. While teachers love children who come having mastered letter and number recognition, just as much emphasis is placed on the following:
- Good listening skills. Loves listening to stories. Answers questions about a story. Hears and identifies letter sounds in words. Detects rhyming words and patterns. Concentrates on what the teacher is saying. Listens carefully for directions. Follows 3-step directions.
- Strong fine motor skills. Correct pencil grasp. Forms letters and numbers, and writes first name. Weaves and threads objects. Colors a simple picture. Cuts on a line. Copies simple shapes. Has mastered practical life skills i.e. buttons, zippers, and fasteners on clothing. Also beginning to learn to tie shoes.
- Solid oral language skills. Has a strong knowledge about their world. Uses words to convey needs, feelings, likes and dislikes. Uses language/words in the correct context. Identifies letter sounds. Responds to questions in complete sentences. Retells a story in own words.
- Ability to play with others. Invites other to play through conversation and body language. Communicates with others by expressing personal wants. Understands and respects rules--often asks permission. Takes turns and shares (toys and attention with others. Shows self-control by using words instead of hands. Pretends while playing (combines fantasy and reality). Is silly, playful and happy. Plays through gross motor skills (jumping, climbing, etc.)
- Enthusiasm for learning. Asks questions. Participates in activities. Becomes engaged in lessons. Wants to come to school. Is developing a habit of cooperation. Is curious and wants to investigate. Is willing to take risks and not afraid of making mistakes. Shows independence.
Watch your child's behavior and look for these key signs to ensure that he or she is ready to transition to "the big school." Starting Kindergarten when the child is truly ready is one of the first key steps towards academic success.
Contributed by Rae Douglas, Citron Campus Director & Sheryl Reynolds, Edgewood Campus Admissions Director
(Image from Mindful Meals)