Your child had their first year of preschool, and now you have to decide if they would benefit from a second year of preschool, or if they’re ready to go to kindergarten. We understand that choice can be difficult, unless you understand the signs that your preschooler is ready for kindergarten.
1. HANDLES SEPARATION
If your preschooler is handling separating from you for their preschool classes well, then they can likely handle a day of kindergarten. If your preschooler is having a harder time with goodbyes, here are some tips to make drop offs go a little more smoothly.
- Let your child bring a favorite item from home to school with them. A stuffed animal, blanket, or anything that brings them comfort.
- Encourage your child to socialize with a classmate. Maybe they could show them their favorite item they brought from home, and ask what their classmates favorite item at home is.
- Tell your child before you leave. Sneaking out of the room may scare your child and make the situation worse.
- Create a goodbye routine. We suggest squeezing in as many hugs as possible.
2. TAKES TURNS/SHARES
Being able to take turns and share are important skills in being able to interact peacefully with classmates. Whether your preschooler likes to play alone, or they’re a social butterfly, to be successful in kindergarten they have to treat others with kindness and respect.
To keep sharing fresh on your child’s mind, check out Scholastics list of books to encourage sharing, there’s one for every day of the week!
3. COMMUNICATES NEEDS
It’s important that a kindergartener is able to communicate their needs to adults other than you. If your child was homeschooled for preschool, it may be harder to know if they communicate well with others, so it’s important to encourage them to socialize with any adults in their life.
A great way to help your preschooler learn to communicate their needs to other adults is by encouraging them to ask another family member or friend to help them with something rather than doing it yourself. Trust us…Your mother in law doesn’t mind getting that cup of juice at all, and asking her for it is a huge step in your preschooler mastering communication.
4. EXPRESSES EMOTIONS IN A HEALTHY MANNER
Even adults slip up on this one now and then…so we expect no better from a preschooler. That being said, your preschooler needs to be able to express themselves without violence at all times.
Children need to be able to understand their feelings in order to express them…Head over to Kiddie Matters for some great ways to teach your preschooler about their feelings, then be sure to check out Pre-k Pages for a list of great books to keep the learning going.
5. CAN COMPLETE A TASK
It’s important that your preschooler is able to complete an entire art project, sit through an entire story, and focus on a lesson. Teachers understand that a kindergartener’s attention span is typically no longer than 20 minutes, so if your preschooler can focus on a task for 10-20 minutes they are headed in the right direction!
Check out these tips from Oxford Learning to help with your preschooler‘s focus at home and in the classroom.
6. HAS INDEPENDENT BATHROOM SKILLS
By kindergarten children will be expected to be able to go to the bathroom on their own. This means being able to re-dress themselves, and wash up as well. If your preschooler still has a tendency to come wandering out of the restroom, pants around ankles, asking for help…then check out these great tips for teaching your child to dress themselves.
7. UNDERSTANDS SOME BASIC ACADEMICS
If you asked your child what preschool was all about they might say it was about having fun and playing, and they’d be completely correct! Though it all seems like fun and games, there’s also a ton of learning being snuck in there. If your preschooler can do these things before kindergarten, things will go more smoothly for everyone.
- Groups like objects
- Speaks in full sentences
- Recognizes rhyming words
- Knows primary colors
- Knows numbers 1-10
- Uses comparison words
- Recognizes most letter and their sounds
- Attempts to write name
- Asks questions
- Knows common animal facts
- Knows several shapes and can draw them
- Can read some 2-3 letter words
If your preschooler doesn’t do all of these things before kindergarten it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t ready. Every child learns at a different pace, but these are important skills to work on in order to be able to advance academically.