Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

February 28, 2012

compiled by Holy Cross principal, Dr. Bobbie Beverlin, from information from Education.com

Starting kindergarten is a big step – and an exciting rite of passage – for young children (and their parents). You love your child and want him to get off to a good start in school. Maybe you have doubts about his development, or you simply don’t know what will be required of him in the kindergarten classroom.

Below are some of the key developmental milestones a child will ideally have reached by the time he starts kindergarten. These requirements aren’t set in stone, however, and not every child will have mastered every skill by the time he sets foot in the classroom.

Kindergarten readiness involves four areas of development: Intellectual, physical, social/emotional and self-care.

Intellectual Development

The ABC’s of academic success in kindergarten require that your child:

  • Is interested in books and reading.
  • Holds a book upright and turns the pages.
  • Knows some songs and rhyming games.
  • Identifies some letters (especially those in his name).
  • Identifies labels and signs at home and in the neighborhood.
  • Pretends to read and write.
  • Knows his first and last name, names of family members.
  • Can describe an experience and tell a familiar story.

Physical Development

Kindergartners use their bodies as well as their brains! To thrive in kindergarten, your child will need both small and large motor skills, such as:

  • Drawing with crayons, pens and pencils, with control.
  • Copying simple figures and shapes, such as a straight line, circle and square.
  • Running, jumping and hopping.
  • Bouncing and catching a ball.

Social and Emotional Development

School and learning involve more than academics. A key to success in kindergarten (and beyond) is being able to get along with others. In kindergarten, your child should be able and willing to:

  • Listen to an adult and
    follow simple directions.
  • Cooperate and play well with other children.
  • Sit still for short periods
    (15 minutes or less).

Taking Care of Personal Needs

Taking care of one’s personal needs is not only practical, it’s also a sign of independence and growth. And, for most young children, it’s a source of great pride! To start kindergarten, your child should be able to:

  • Use the bathroom without assistance.
  • Wash his hands.
  • Eat without help, using utensils.
  • Dress himself and work snaps, buttons and zippers
  • Tie his shoes.
  • Recognize his own belongings (such as a jacket or lunchbox).

How You Can Help Your Preschooler
Gear Up For Kindergarten

  • Read to your child daily.
    Visit your public library for children’s story hour, and borrow books to enjoy together at home. Snuggle up and read bedtime stories.
  • Build her vocabulary with everyday conversation.
    Discuss your daily routines, interesting experiences and feelings. Listen to what she says, and correct her gently when necessary. Avoid using “baby talk.”
  • Support her “social/emotional I.Q.”
    Classroom learning will require your child to listen and follow directions and cooperate with others. She’ll also need to manage her emotions – and be sensitive to the feelings of others. Be sure you provide clear guidance in these skills, and let her practice them one-on-one (with a sibling or friend) and in groups (both formal and informal).
  • Let your child play and create.
    Whether it’s exporing outdoors, building a castle out of Legos or finger painting, play is critical to developing your child’s imagination, creativity, critical thinking skills and problem-solving ability.


Open Enrollment begins

Thursday, March 1

at Holy Cross Catholic School.

Call the school office

at 913.381.7408

for an application.

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