Get Melissa’s Newsletter Free for a Month

Each month, her newsletter includes:
book reviews, tips and advice for parents,
teachers’ toolbox and more!

What Your Child Should Know Before Kindergarten

Focus on what your child does well to cut through the confusion and debate about kindergarten readiness.

It is difficult to put an exact list together for what a child needs to know for kindergarten. There is inconsistency about cut-off dates and appropriate ages among states (Is it September 1, December 3? Somewhere in between?). Then there are differences in pre-school and other early childhood programs. So, where to begin?

Focus on what your child can do, not what she can’t

  • If your child is in a formal pre-school program, arrange a conference with the teacher. She can describe where your child falls on the developmental spectrum and make a confident recommendation.
  • If your child does not attend a formal program, use the following to determine if your child is ready for kindergarten.

How to use the list

  • Answer the questions independently of your spouse and compare notes. Consider asking for input from a nanny or daycare provider who spends time with your child to get a well-rounded view from all who interact with him.
  • If you can answer “yes” to these questions more than 75% of the time, your child should do just fine in a formal kindergarten program.

Can your child:

  1. Be away from you for up to three hours?
  2. Express his ideas to adults other than you?
  3. Work independently without constant adult attention?
  4. Make simple decisions if given a few choices?
  5. Listen to and follow directions?
  6. Retell familiar stories, rhymes or songs?
  7. Find ways to independently resolve conflicts with her peers?
  8. Draw simple recognizable figures?
  9. Use a pencil or crayon with a comfortable, controlled grip?
  10. Join a group of children listening to a story?
  11. Listen to a story without interrupting?
  12. Identify the primary colors?
  13. Talk in sentences of up to five or six words?
  14. Sort objects by color, size and/or shape?
  15. Share with others?

Want to learn more?
Read the “Developmental Readiness” lesson plan in my book, Answer Keys: Teachers’ Lesson Plans for Successful Parenting.

Buy now

Email Melissa or call (713) 444-6471

Schedule Melissa for one-on-one or family coaching