Is my child ready for kindergarten? This is a question that is often asked along with the question how can I prepare my child for kindergarten? Personally, I love all the enthusiasm around preparing for kindergarten! When a child is ready for kindergarten, they are ready to take on the world of learning. One thing I want to emphasize again, do not rush to starting kindergarten. I am a big fan of redshirting (holding back your child before beginning kindergarten). As I explain in this article, a child may be ready academically to begin kindergarten, but are they ready for the social and emotional aspects of kindergarten? It is okay to let your children play and grow more before beginning kindergarten!
Is my child ready for kindergarten? Kindergarten Readiness Checklist
- Is eager to learn/asks questions
- Follows established routines and rules
- Plays well with others/shares/takes turns
- Ask for help when needed
- Likes to pretend play
- Listens and follows directions.
- Can hear a story and retell it back to you or can retell experiences back to you.
- Can sit and listen to books with out too much squirming
- Can hold a pencil and write letters or draw pictures
- Knows the alphabet: upper and lower case letters
- Knows colors
- Knows shapes
- Knows big vs. little
- Can sort into colors, shapes, sizes or put them in a pattern or order
- Can count to 20
- Can run, skip, jump, throw a ball
- Can use scissors and cut on a line
- Can write his name
- Can use the bathroom by himself/with little assistance
- Is ready to read.
- Able to repeat a sentence.
- Knows letter names and sounds of upper case and lower case letters
- Recognizes the numbers 1-10
- Knows his name.
- Knows his address and telephone number
- Knows opposites
- Knows colors
- Knows Rhyming
- Able to trace over lines
- Able to use a scissors and cut.
- Able to retell a story.
- Able to write his name.
- Holds a book correctly.
- Follows Text from left to right.
When it comes down to it, only you know in your heart and gut whether your child is ready to start kindergarten. For me, I always err on the side of caution. I want to make sure my child is confident and ready to learn because I can always challenge him if he begins to feel bored. It think too infrequently the social/emotional side is overlooked. When a child begins to struggle, they lose confidence and when they lose confidence they don’t like what they are learning and they do not want to learn anymore. A child needs to be emotionally ready to handle anything that may happen. This may happen in kindergarten or years down the road. One way you can test if your child is kindergarten ready is to start them on our learn to read free program. If your child learns easily and eagerly, this is certainly a good start to get them prepared for their year ahead! Do you have any thoughts on sending a child too soon or too late to kindergarten?
Madreen Karle is a master first grade reading teacher with over 30 years of classroom experience. She taught reading in a special needs and English as a Second Language classroom. After retiring she wrote a reading program to help others learn how to teach reading. She is a trusted educator and author of 5 books to help teach children to read and write. In addition to her books, she is a mentor for 3 websites that give reading teacher tips (Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading, Mrs. Karle’s Reading Patch, and Mrs. Karle’s Handwriting Patch). Through her teaching she learned that confidence was the key to learning to read. A child who is not confident at reading does not like to read and struggles to read. Mrs. Karle created “sunshine moments” to help teach children how to grow their confidence and learn to read.
Meeghan Karle Mousaw (Madreen’s daughter) has her Master’s in Special Education. She has 8 years experience teaching children to read online. In addition, she developed a curriculum to teach children handwriting called The Handwriting Patch. With the Handwriting Patch learning is fun because children learn to draw and learn handwriting at the same time. In 2019 The Handwriting Patch curriculum became an amazon best seller the first year it was released, helping thousands of kids learn handwriting with a unique, fun method. She is mom to 6 kids, each with differently learning abilities and struggles.
The Reading Patch was established by the creators of Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading. Together they have been featured on the NBC media outlets and Parents Magazine online. Over the last 8 years in their online platform, Madreen and Meeghan have worked tirelessly with teachers, homeschoolers and parents looking to help children learn to read to become a trusted authority in teaching children to read and advocating early literacy skills. They often partner with other educational experts to deliver the most current information to the Reading Patch community.