Kindergarten Readiness Checklist and More

Kindergarten Readiness Checklist and More

TallyKid will be starting Kindergarten this fall and, as you may or may not be able to gather from the picture above, she is excited about it.  She wrote this sentence, “I am excited for kindergarten”, and then asked me to hold it up so she could take a picture of it to send to her aunt, a kindergarten teacher.

Since TallyKid’s birthday is a few days after the cutoff date for starting kindergarten, many of her friends went on to start this year, while she had one more year of preschool.  TallyDad and I were not thrilled about this and felt she was ready to get going and could easily keep up with her peers.

In hindsight, I can see that there was a lot of value in her having an extra year in preschool.  Above all, because nowadays, the transition from preschool to kindergarten can be a tough one.  With the introduction of VPK and its curriculum, the gap between preschool and kindergarten has grown tremendously.  Many students come to kindergarten with above average readiness on the academic side, after having been through the VPK curriculum, and schools seem to be finding it necessary to step up the kindergarten curriculum and expectations as a result.

I’m not sure if I am totally on board with wanting more and more and more from our five year olds.  Nevertheless, of our choices, TallyDad and I have opted to give the public school system a chance and TallyKid is starting kindergarten in two short months.  So, to give her the best we can as her parents, we’re making an effort to educate ourselves on what she’ll be facing and how we can stay involved to keep it fun to learn, which is our overall goal.

Here is the most clear and concise list we have found online, of the skills a child ready to enter kindergarten should have acquired:

  • Listen to stories without interrupting
  • Recognize rhyming sounds
  • Pay attention for short periods of time to adult-directed tasks
  • Understand that actions have both causes and effects
  • Show understanding of general times of day
  • Cut with scissors
  • Trace basic shapes
  • Begin to share with others
  • Start to follow rules
  • Be able to recognize authority
  • Manage bathroom needs
  • Button shirts, pants, and coats, and zip up zippers
  • Begin to control oneself
  • Separate from parents without being upset
  • Speak understandably
  • Talk in complete sentences of five to six words
  • Look at pictures and then tell stories
  • Identify rhyming words
  • Identify the beginning sound of some words
  • Identify some alphabet letters
  • Recognize some common sight words like “stop”
  • Sort similar objects by color, size, and shape
  • Recognize groups of one, two, three, four, and five objects
  • Count to ten
  • Bounce a ball
For the past year and continuing through the summer, TallyKid has had a regular “homework time”.  For just 15 minutes or so I give her a worksheet or other activity to complete, to help utilize and build on the early reading, writing and math skills she has started to grasp.  At bedtime, TallyKid does her best to read us a very short story, using some decodable books given to us by a friend.  For the past few months, I have started using the list above to come up with “homework time” ideas so that TallyKid can practice these kindergarten readiness skills.

With the list above, I also found this paragraph online, which I thought was helpful….
“While there’s no perfect formula for determining when children are truly ready for kindergarten, you can use this guide to see how well your child is doing in acquiring the skills found on most kindergarten checklists. Check the skills your child has mastered. Recheck each month to see what additional skills your child can accomplish easily. Young children change so fast. Remember that if your child can’t do something this week, she may be able to do it a few weeks later! If your child has acquired most of the skills on this checklist and will be at least five years old at the start of the summer before kindergarten, he or she is probably ready for kindergarten. What teachers want to see on the first day of school are children who are healthy, mature, capable, and eager to learn.”

How do you help your kids prepare for entering kindergarten or for beginning a new school year?

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Check out these other posts about getting ready for Kindergarten:

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