Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?
Kindergarten is an exciting time in the life of your child and your family. Most people know it’s essential to create a loving and caring environment for kids, especially children under the age of five. And we’re lucky to have a terrific library system and value reading in our communities, but what else can you do to ensure your child is ready for Kindergarten?
First, it’s important to know that Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.20 states a child must be five years of age by September 1 to enter Kindergarten. If your child doesn’t meet this requirement yet, you can consider daycare, preschool, and Pre K program options. Plus, it’s helpful to know the difference between preschool and Pre K. The exploring and learning that your child does before Kindergarten sets the stage for an excellent experience when they’re “going to school” for the first time.
To enter Kindergarten, all children must have an early childhood screening.
- Belle Plaine School District screening and schedule
- New Prague School District screening and schedule
Special Note: We offer early childhood screenings on-site at Memories & Milestones Academy for our children and families. We partner with the local school district experts to make this happen.
Getting Your Child Ready for Kindergarten
In addition to the basic screening, there are many things you can do to ensure a smooth transition for your soon-to-be Kindergartener.
Can your child do these things on their own?
- Get dressed
- Put on their coat for recess
- Use the bathroom (which is often down the hall in schools)
- Use utensils for lunchtime
- Blow their nose with a tissue and throw it out without mess
Encourage Asking for Help Only When Required
Does your child know when to ask an adult for help?
Focus on Routines
Does your child follow the rules at home? Do they know your household routine without being prompted?
Read to Your Child
Can your child read sight words like “Stop,” “Bathroom,” etc? Can they read their name? Do they like books that rhyme?
Teach Simple Writing
Can your child grip a crayon? Can they write their first name using capital and lowercase letters?
Be an Example for Expressing Feelings
Can your child express feelings without yelling or whispering? Can your child use full sentences when describing how they feel?
Can your child wait for a toy they want? Can they hand over a toy to a friend interested in the toy? Do they demonstrate patience?
Your child will demonstrate independence when you encourage and teach these things at home. Plus, now you have a mini-checklist of questions to ask yourself as you observe your child.
As a Parent, How Do I Know My Child Is Ready for Kindergarten?
If you’re enrolled in a high-quality preschool or Pre K program, talk with your child’s teachers to help determine if your child is on track for Kindergarten. Additionally, here are a few other ways to tell if your child is ready for Kindergarten:
- Speaks in sentences made up of 5-6 words.
- Can retell a story accurately.
- Likes to count to 10.
- Hops, skips, or rides a bike (even with training wheels).
- Bounces a ball and catches it.
- Asks you for help when it’s really needed.
- Manages bathroom needs.
- Knows their name and address and can communicate it if needed.
- Feels comfortable in a group.
- Shares their toys.
- Follows instructions when you tell them what to do.
- Focuses on one activity for 10 minutes.
- Sits still for a few minutes.
- Write their first name using a crayon using upper and lower case letters.
Although they might be tiny in size, preschoolers are complex human beings. They pick up on everything you do along with everyone else in their lives. You can help them prepare for a successful transition into Kindergarten by encouraging their independence in accomplishing the activities above.
About Memories & Milestones Academy
Preschool and Pre K classroom spots are in demand in our area. We’ve expanded, contact us to check our availability. We have an easy-to-navigate process for preschool enrollment. Once your child is enrolled in preschool at Memories & Milestones Academy, you’re automatically guaranteed a Pre K spot.