It's the time of year where parents realize their baby isn't such a baby anymore.
Most school districts are now opening their enrollment periods for kindergarten. The cutoff dates, requirements, and screenings may vary from school to school, so how does a parent know their child is ready?
1. Can the child count (at least to 10) and know their alphabet?
2. Can the child write their name?
3. Does the child play well with other kids?
4. Can the child listen to and follow basic instruction?
5. Does the child show any interest in books or learning?
6. Is the child able to dress themselves and use the potty?
If the answer is yes to most of these questions, the child is likely ready to go to kindergarten. However if parents are not sure, they can confer with the school the child will eventually go to, preschool teachers, and even friends and family who know the child well. There are several options and Pre-K classes for children who are not ready for kindergarten as well. So if a parent feels their little one is not ready, there is no need to rush.
School curriculum, even in kindergarten, is more challenging that it was just a decade ago. The expectations of high performance infiltrates into even the youngest grades as parents, taxpayers, and politicians demand better test scores. Many parents have decided to hold their children back out of concern they are not ready for that kind of pressure. The decision to send to kindergarten is a big one, and one that should be taken with the greatest care and consideration on if that child is truly ready.