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Is my child ready for Kindergarten?

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Much has been written about school readiness. Typically a child must be chronologically five or close to five to begin kindergarten.  However, not all 5 year olds are behaving in a manner that is fully five and may not be ready for the rigors of an increasingly academic and demanding kindergarten curriculum. 

A child may have an above average knowledge base, but to be successful in school, especially in the early years, a child also needs to be ready physically, socially, emotionally and exhibit adaptive behaviors that will support school success.  In addition to a child’s cognitive development, their language, motor, and social development and the proficiency of their self-help skills are essential to school readiness. 

Many children of the same chronological age may differ remarkably from one another in their rates of growth and development.  These differences are often not compatible with kindergarten programs that have rigid curriculum standards designed to meet prescribed criteria for academic performance rather than designed to meet the same experiences at the same time.  As such, parents may want to consider not only the particular curricular expectations of the kindergarten, but also signs of developmental readiness.  Some signs that the child is developmentally ready include:

-Is comfortable away from parents for several hours
-Has the ability to express ideas and feeling to adults other than parents
-Takes care of toileting needs independently
-Enters a new activity without fear
-Listens to and follows directions
-Speaks in complete sentences
-Uses and understands many words
-Says and notices words that rhyme in stories
-Holds a book upright
-Uses a pencil or crayon with a relaxed and controlled grasp
-Recognizes, copies and prints his or her name
-Draws simple recognizable pictures
-Stays involved in a directed activity to its completion
-Follows routines and directions
-Works together with other children
-Makes simple decisions given a few choices of play activities
 
The long-used and well-loved assessment known as the Gesell Developmental Observation (GDO) is a standard procedure for direct observation of a child’s growth and development.  This assessment is conducted by a trained examiner who makes discriminating observations of a child’s behavior and then evaluates these observations by comparison with normative patterns developed for each developmental age. 

If you are interested in having your child assessed for kindergarten readiness, please contact Marlo Senick with Reading Friends at 972-317-7772 or marlo@readingfriends.org.

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