Is Your Child Kindergarten Ready?

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By Tim Kaminski –

Making sure that your child is Kindergarten ready is an important step in the overall success of his or her  long-term education. But making certain that your child is ready is more than just purchasing school supplies and new sneakers.

Before you pack your little one off to Kindergarten, there are some basic skills that will help him have a successful entry into the education system, all of which can be addressed by enrolling three and four-year-olds in a public or private Pre-K program that focuses on 10 key milestones to insure your child is Kindergarten ready.

1. Social and Emotional Development

Through age-appropriate social and emotional development, the child develops a sense of self and personal control.  He is able to follow rules within a classroom type setting and engage with his peers in group activities without being disruptive. The child is aware of his own feelings and the feelings of his peers.

2. Language and Communication 

The child is able to understand and follow two to three step instructions. He uses communication to initiate conversations with his peers and to gain new information about his environment.

3. Emergent Literacy Reading 

The child is able to identify up to 20 upper and lower case letters of the alphabet. He is able to sound out single sight words with pictorial support, and identify those words in stories. The child can reenact parts of a story after it has been read to him.

4. Emergent Literacy Writing 

The child is able to write his name with some accuracy, and he can independently write some letters upon request. The child may use some scribble drawings to convey a meaning to a story.

5. Mathematics

The child is able to rote count from one to 30. He has a basic understanding that items and things can be counted. He understands that the order sequence of counting is always the same and can use a verbal word problem to add or subtract one to five items. The child should also be able to name and recreate common shapes.

6. Science

The child is able to observe and describe the common properties of different objects, such as fruits and vegetables. He is able to use basic tools for measuring and learning about objects. The child is able to talk about changes in the environment, such as weather and seasons, and he is able to discuss cause and effect from experiments.

7. Social Studies

The child is able to discuss the similarities and differences between people. He is able to organize his life around events, time and routines, and he can identify the roles and responsibilities of community workers, such as policemen and firemen. The child should also be able to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

8. Fine Arts 

The child is accustomed to using a variety of art materials and activities for sensory experience and exploration. He should be able to use art for self-expression and be able to show appreciation for other people’s artwork. The child should also be familiar with participating in music and dramatic play activities.

9. Physical Development 

The child is able to run, jump climb and pedal. He shows signs of improved eye hand coordination and is able to cut using scissors. He also understands personal safety and hygiene.

10. Technology

The child is able to identify rudimentary parts of a computer, such as a mouse and key board. He is able to use basic software programs to navigate through an activity on the computer.

By focusing on these 10 key milestones, parents can easily determine whether their child is prepared to succeed in Kindergarten. For more information on the Texas Pre-Kindergarten Guidelines, visit the Texas Education Agency website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=2147495508&menu_id=2147483718.