8 Questions To Determine If Your Child Is Ready For School

As a parent we have never-ending decisions to make regarding our children, and sometimes we need a little help.

You may be wondering if your child is ready to take the next leap and enter school. There are certain milestones that a child needs to complete before he or she is ready.

By further educating yourself on these milestones and being able to gauge your child’s readiness, you will be able to gather a better understanding on whether he or she is ready to enter the education system.

It is important that we ensure our children are ready, because making the leap too soon can lead to other issues down the road.

Here are 8 questions to ask yourself to help determine your child’s readiness to begin school.

1. Does Your Child Take Direction?

It is important that your child is able to listen to instructions and then follow them. Without this skill, Kindergarten would have a variety of new challenges for your child.

It isn’t a bad thing if your child simply isn’t ready, but you should hold off on school for the time-being. It is important that children have these skills so that they can follow along and keep up with their teacher and fellow classmates.

2. Is Your Child Somewhat Self-Sufficient?

Your child doesn’t have to have all skills independently mastered, but there are some that should be learned before beginning Kindergarten.

Most kids are able to put on and take off their own coat and make trips to the bathroom alone. Occasional accidents are to be expected and your child by no means needs to be able to tie his or her own shoes yet, but a little bit of self-dependence proves a developmental maturity that helps your child in school.

3. Does Your Child Know The ABC’s and 123’s?

By the time your child enters Kindergarten teachers are going to expect him or her to be at least somewhat familiar with counting and the alphabet.

These subjects will be covered during Kindergarten, but it is best for your child to have previous exposure on the subject.

4. Does Your Child Have Certain Fine Motor Skills?

Kindergarten is where fine motor skills are usually first put to the test. Your child should be able to correctly hold a pencil and properly use scissors.

Classroom projects will be demanding on these skills and it is most important that your child has a foundation of using these tools before that first day of school.

5. Does Your Child Get Along With Others?

Children tend to develop a lot of their social skills before Kindergarten, but sometimes the beginning of school marks the beginning for some kids to be around similar aged peers.

Many projects in Kindergarten will require your child to work well in groups and to share items with others. Your child should also be able to understand and utilize the act of taking turns.

Social skills are an important part of success in school and it is important that your child is able to communicate and work well with other kids.

6. Is Your Child Interested In Learning?

You can’t force your child to want to learn. Most kids reach a point where they become extremely interested in learning new information before the age of 5, and some kids take a little bit longer.

Your child doesn’t have to be a genius, but showing interest in music, books, and movies is a strong indication that your child is mentally stimulated by new information.

7. Does Your Child Have Emotional Control?

All children have fits that they are going to throw and these are still expected to happen in Kindergarten.

The important factor here is that your child has learned coping techniques when he or she becomes upset, and recognizes emotions.

8. Can Your Child Sit Still?

No child should be expected to sit in one place for multiple hours, but it is important that your child can be stationary long enough to participate in class activities.

If your child has trouble sitting in one spot long enough to listen to a story, he or she may not be quite ready for Kindergarten.

The Bottom Line

Children develop at different rates and sometimes another year of pre-school is more beneficial than jumping right into Kindergarten.

If you answered “yes” or “sometimes” to the questions above, it is likely that your child is ready to make the leap into Kindergarten.

Don’t be discouraged if your child isn’t quite ready. There is something special about having an extra year to hang onto your child before beginning school, because once that transition occurs your baby becomes more and more independent with each passing day.


About the Author

Jenny Silverstone is the primary author of Mom Loves Best, a research-driven parenting blog that covers important topics such as education, cognitive development, and healthy childhood development.

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