Kindergarten is the “Gateway to School.” The parent, teacher, and child want school to be the best it can be. The kindergarten classroom can typically consist of a range of 20-27 students and 1 teacher. The most difficult decision a parent will need to make is Should I send my child to kindergarten or wait one more year? While there is no perfect checklist to determine when your child is truly ready for kindergarten, the following list will give you an idea of the necessary skills a child should have in order to receive the greatest benefit from the kindergarten experience.
Can your child do the following:
° Independently manage bathroom needs
° Independently dress himself/herself (button shirts, pants, coats, and zip up zippers)
° Speak in complete sentences of 5-6 words
° Draw a picture of her/himself including head, body, arms, and legs
° Recognize groups of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 objects
° Understand the concept of more and less up to (5) objects
° Sort objects by color, size, shape
° Rote count 1-10
° Recite/participate/join in repeating a familiar song/poem/finger play/ nursery rhyme
° Identify some letters of the alphabet (lower and uppercase)
° Identify rhyming words (bat, cat, sat)
° Identify the beginning sounds of some words (i.e., top, tap, tiger all start with the same sound)
° Recognize environmental print or familiar sign in the child’s environment
° Demonstrate book awareness (holds book correctly, orally retells a story)
° Understand vocabulary related to position, direction, size, and comparison such as like/different, top/bottom, first/last, big/little, up/down
° Identify numerals 1-10
° Attempt to write and/or write his/her first name
° Able to copy or draw circle, cross, square, x, triangle, rectangle
° Able to cut with scissors on straight, curved lines and circles
° Able to retell a simple story after listening to a story with pictures
° Has the stamina to sit with a large group and listen to a story without interrupting for a minimum of 15 minutes.
° Independently work at a non-teacher directed center for a minimum of 20 minutes
° Independently able to retrieve needed items such as scissors, glue, and markers for a project.
° Independently able to put items away.
° Independently able to follow the written classroom schedule.
° Independently able to follow at least a 2 step direction
° Able to share and wait his turn
° Able to stay with an activity until completion
° Able to comply with rules, limits, and routines
° Independently able to initiate and sustain appropriate play with other children
° Able to use words instead of being physical when angry or frustrated
° Able to separate from parents without being upset
° Recognize authority
° Show understanding of general times of day (morning, noon, night)
° Speak understandably
° Understand actions have both causes and effects
° Demonstrate gross motor skills (hop, jump, skip, run catch and bounce a ball)