Kindergarten Readiness

Kindergarten Readiness Guidelines can be found here

Is your child old enough and “ready” to start Kindergarten this September?

Did you know your child’s age and ability to count to 10 and recite the alphabet are not the only indicators of his  readiness for kindergarten? His social and emotional readiness is just as important, and in some cases, even more important. The experts tell us that 90% of brain development happens in the first six years.

Since, it’‘s not just about preparing him for Kindergarten, but for life, should you enroll him/her in a preschool program so he will be better prepared?

Consider this fact: this is the time when the foundation of who he/she will become is formed. This is the time children develop character, nobility, honesty, integrity, commitment, determination, perseverance, creativity, curiosity about the world, and an interest and love for learning that will last a lifetime.

So, the bigger picture is the importance that Early Learning really makes for your child’s future success in life. Is preschool the answer? According to the studies there is a marked improvement in the lives of kids who go to preschool. It has to do with a learning environment where they feel safe, trust the care giver/teacher and are having fun while they learn. The studies indicate that if the brain is not stimulated to learn in an environment rich with opportunities during this time, and it misses some of the valuable input, it will not be able to “catch” up later. The window of opportunity shuts.

Unfortunately, if a child’s kindergarten experience is negative, his whole outlook on life may be tainted with that negative experience. That’s not to say the school or the teacher is bad, but his ability to accept that he didn’t know the answer, or that he isn’t always first, or that he doesn’t understand what is expected, can become a negative experience that he may deem as a failure. The sense of failure, can cause him to give up early, shut down and not want to attempt or try again. This usually ends up with him falling further behind. Studies show a quality preschool experience unlocks the cognitive pathways in the brain that are necessary for positive lifelong success in life.

Kids who go to a quality preschool learn these things in a more relaxed environment over a longer period of time and gain the confidence they need to tackle the more challenging expectations of kindergarten.

Sure, children can learn to recite and memorize numbers and letters pretty quickly, but learning to accept disappointments and allowing others to have their way first, takes much longer to master. It also takes time to learn to sit still and listen at the appointed times, and actually cooperate with instructions, not just understand how to follow the instructions.

If you want to learn more, head on over to our website for a more detailed guidelines to consider when deciding if your child is ready for kindergarten.

In the meantime, here are a few things to consider.

  • Children who learn to be students in preschool handle the transition to formal school better and have an easier time adjusting. They have gained pre-reading and writing and math skills, understand daily routines, and that there are times for learning and times for playing. They learn to: Be adaptable, Take instructions, Follow simple rules.
  • Being in preschool allows children opportunities to express their emotions by using their words in a safe and comforting environment. This helps them accept not always being first or having the right answer. This helps them handle their emotions with fewer outbursts and shorter duration. This makes fewer behavior problems in later stages of development too. They are able to: Express their feelings, Label emotions, Become self regulated.

Eureka public school offers a free assessment test in the spring to determine kindergarten readiness.  It’s called, “Kindergarten Roundup”. Children are asked questions to test their cognitive abilities. They might also be asked to perform tasks such as drawing shapes and sorting objects. The school’s trained staff look over the findings and give parents their professional advice about their child’s readiness. However, decisions should not be based entirely on test results.  Observations by preschool teachers, caregivers, pediatricians and parents, should also be considered.

Kindergarten Readiness bonus material:

Watch the series on Kindergarten Readiness video 1 here, (note: the free afternoon program is no longer an option): Video 1

Watch the series on Kindergarten Readiness video 2 here, (note: the free afternoon program is no longer an option): Video 2

Watch the series on Kindergarten Readiness video 3 here, explaining DIBEL Benchmark goals: Video 3

Watch the series on Kindergarten Readiness video 4 here. How to select age appropriate books to read: Video 4

Click here for DIBEL BENCHMARK CHART full web version