Is My Child Prepared For The Next Big Step, Kindergarten?

12 signs your youngster is developmentally ready for the classroom


Child and education experts agree that there are multiple factors that determine a child’s kindergarten readiness. But what does your little one really need to know before you register them for the first year of school? They don’t have to master all of the cognitive, social and emotional milestones listed below; it’s okay for them to simply meet expectations. Children change and adapt quickly, sometimes in a matter of weeks, so keep regular tabs on your kid’s progress.

Independence. If your little guy can spend a full day away from you and your husband and not become distraught, then he will be comfortable in JK and SK.

Listens to simple instructions and follows them. Your tyke should be capable of following directions when the teacher asks students to stand in line to walk to the library or sit down for circle time.

Sits quietly for short periods of time. It’s natural for a four-year-old to fidget but she will have to sit still and pay attention—for 15 to 20-minute increments—during activities like morning announcements and show and tell.

Self-sufficient. Puts on and zips their coat before recess. Check. Goes to the bathroom on their own. Check. Knows how to wash their hands. Check. These self-care skills are important for kids to have before entering kindergarten.

Plays cooperatively. Does your child like to share, take turns, help other kids when in a group setting, and expresses his feelings with words, rather than his fists? 

Develops coping strategies. School-age children should be able to self-regulate their emotions, well, for the most part. It’s normal for a child to become frustrated or cry when they find a task challenging but also an opportunity to put their problem-solving skills to use.

Enthusiastic about learning. Is your tot curious, motivated and a natural-born explorer? The transition to school will be harder for a preschooler who is shy or hesitant about tackling new experiences.

Loves books. He is keen to hold books, turn the pages and tell stories based on the pictures he sees. These pre-reading skills are essential stepping stones for learning how to read.

Clearly articulates thoughts and needs. She will be expected to speak in complete sentences (even if they are short) that can be understood by teaching staff and her classmates.

Honed fine motor skills. Can your child hold a pencil, handle scissors and make play dough animals? Practicing these activities helps them develop good hand muscle control and the dexterity to learn handwriting.

Identify letters and numbers. Students won’t need to sing the entire alphabet or count to 10 (these lessons are part of the first year curriculum); however, they should have a basic understanding of their ABCs and the numbers 1 through 10.

Names colours and shapes. Your little one knows at least the primary colours and will happily point out basic shapes—circle, square, triangle—and sort them by size.



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