Parents and caregivers may worry that their little ones are not ready to attend school yet. In the United States children begin school at age 5 or 6, and in Canada as young as 4 years old. It seems like our little ones are barely out of diapers, and they are heading off to school.
Are they ready?
A common misconception parents may hold is that children need to know their alphabet, colors, numbers, and how to write his/her name before they start school. Some parents stress over teaching their little ones these things before they start school.
However, parents need not worry if their children have not yet mastered these skills. Kindergarten teachers and Early Childhood Educators will help the children to develop these skills throughout the school year.
What educators are really looking for is that children are able to enter the school system with more social and self-help skills that will enable the child to be “ready for Kindergarten”.
How do I know if my child is ready for Kindergarten? Consider some of the questions in the checklist below:
Is your child Kindergarten ready?
- Can your child sit for a story or a circle time that may last ten minutes or more?
- Has your child been involved in play situations with other peers her age (other than family)?
- Is your child able to dress herself or hang up his own backpack?
- Will your child be able to open the lunch containers in the lunch pail?
- Does your child understand simple directions?
- Can your child go to the washroom independently or with little assistance?
- Does your child know songs and rhymes?
- Is she able to hold a pencil or crayon correctly and begin to make marks?
- Is he able to snip paper with scissors?
- Is your child able to take turns and share with other children in small group activities?
- Is your child able to leave you for the day without being too upset?
- Has your child been read to and enjoy books, songs, and rhymes?
If you answered yes to most of these questions then your child is most likely ready for school. Try not to stress about drilling your child with flashcards until they know their letters and numbers. (Leave that up to the teachers). Remember that children have years of schooling ahead of them and there is no need to rush. Parents can help prepare their children by providing opportunities for socialization with other children.
More often than not, the children are ready to go to school.
It’s the parents who are not ready.