Now that summer is in full swing for most families, parents have started to wonder when their child might be ready for Kindergarten. While many parents assume that their child is ready to start school when they turn five years old, this may not be true for every child.
There are far more than four Kindergarten readiness signs you should watch for, but they all fall in just a few simple categories: emotional readiness, physical readiness, educational readiness, and social readiness.
Emotional readiness signs include the ability to control their own emotions. If your child is prone to regular meltdowns and temper tantrums, this may be a sign that they aren’t ready to attend Kindergarten yet. Some children also struggle with paying attention. If you’re not sure if your child is emotionally ready for school, check with their pediatrician.
There are a few physical readiness signs to keep in mind when considering if your child is ready for school, but the most important sign is that they are potty trained. While most kids are potty trained by this age, for some it’s more of a challenge. Your child will also need to be able to sit still for activities like coloring, crafts, or story time. They should also have a firm grasp on running, jumping, hopping, and other gross motor skills.
Educational readiness is simply a matter of having an understanding of basic skills like colors and some letters and numbers. Schools don’t require that your child be able to read (although some children can), but your child will have an easier time if they are able to identify at least a few numbers and letters before they start Kindergarten.
Social readiness skills include friendship skills. How well does your child get along with their friends? Do they bite or hit when they’re upset or don’t get their way? These may be signs your child is not quite ready for school.
If you’re not sure if your child has the basic Kindergarten readiness skills, it’s best to speak to their pediatrician and the school before enrolling them. While many parents worry that their child will fall behind if they don’t start school at the same time as all of their friends, it may be easier for your child if they are more mature. It might be best to start them a year later rather than have to have them stay back a year while all of their friends move on to the next level.