Your child is rocking preschool, but do they need another year? Starting kindergarten before your preschooler is ready will cause more harm than good. To make sure your child gets the most out of their kindergarten experience, we’re going to tell you how to assess your preschooler for kindergarten readiness.
Don’t worry though! If you find that your preschooler isn’t quite ready, then you will know what you need to tackle during their second year of preschool, so they are ready by the time they are required to attend kindergarten. To find out what age your child needs to start kindergarten, and if it’s required in your state, check out the National Center for Education Statistics.
ASSESS PERSONAL SKILLS
Your preschooler will need to have some basic personal skills in order to succeed in kindergarten. Such as:
- Knowing their first and last name
- Going to the bathroom alone, and washing up afterwards
- Dressing themselves
- Being able to adjust to new situations
ASSESS SOCIAL SKILLS
Your preschooler will need to learn socialization skills well before going to kindergarten. It’s extremely important that your preschooler is able to properly connect with their classmates. If your preschooler hasn’t had much experience with socializing, there’s no better time to start than now! Check out our article on 10 REASONS YOUR PRESCHOOLER NEEDS SOCIALIZATION.
If your preschooler is doing the following, then they are on a fast track to being ready to make friends in kindergarten.
- Expresses their emotions
- Is able to be away from you
- Shows empathy
- Can focus on a task for at least 5 minutes
- Enjoys interacting with others
- Can calm down in a healthy way when upset
ASSESS COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Your preschooler needs to be able to communicate when they are in kindergarten. By now, they should have the social skills to interact with their teacher, and classmates… but if they aren’t able to effectively communicate then they can’t express their needs in class, and ultimately may not succeed simply from lack of being able to get help.
Children communicate in a variety of different ways. As long as your preschooler has a way that they get their point across, then they are doing great. Children may express themselves through speech, writing, drawing, sign language, or many other forms, and it’s important to encourage their way of communicating.
If you think your preschooler could use some work in the communication department, check out Firstcry Parenting for some great communication games you can play from home.
ASSESS LITERACY SKILLS
Your preschooler doesn’t need to know how to read a book by kindergarten, but there are some basic literacy skills they need in order to succeed, such as:
- Knowing some letters of the alphabet, and their sounds
- Recognizing rhyming words
- Properly holding a book and flipping through it
- Being able to write some letters of their name
- Recognizing familiar pictures, logos, signs, etc
ASSESS MATH SKILLS
If your preschooler is solving physics problems…then you may need to be reading an article about if your preschooler is ready for college. All that your preschooler really needs to know by kindergarten is:
- How to count from 1-10
- Primary colors
- How to put together a puzzle (mostly)
- Basic shapes
- How to arrange items by size
- How to count up to five items
ASSESS MOTOR SKILLS
Your preschooler needs to develop two different types of motor skills in order to be able to keep up with all of the kindergarten activities. These motor skills are:
Fine Motor Skills
Builds small muscles in the hand and wrist:
- Holding a pencil
- Using scissors
- Playing with playdough
Gross Motor Skills
Builds large muscles in the arms, shoulder, back, and legs:
- Hopping on one foot
- Bouncing a ball
Most of assessing your preschooler for kindergarten readiness is just watching them very closely…which you’ve been doing all along! Pay attention to how they handle situations, as well as how much interest they show in learning. At the end of the day, you are your preschooler’s best judge on if they are ready for kindergarten.