Much has been written about school readiness. Although experts cannot agree on an exact definition of school readiness, most agree that all schools should be ready for all children who are age eligible to start kindergarten. Unfortunately, however, the reality is that it is the child who most often has to be “ready” for school rather than the other way around.
Typically, a child must be five years old, or close to five years to begin Kindergarten. However, not all 5-year-olds are developmentally ready for the rigors of an increasingly academic and demanding Kindergarten curriculum. A child may already know the ABC’s or be able to count to 100, but a child also needs to be ready physically, socially, and emotionally, and exhibit behaviors that will support school success.
Many children of the same chronological age may differ remarkably from one another in their rates of growth and development. Not all children are ready for the same experiences at the same time.
According to the Gesell Institute, some signs that a child is developmentally ready include that he or she:
- Takes care of toileting needs independently (this includes wiping, flushing and hand washing)
- States own full name, address, phone number and age to the teacher
- Hangs up sweaters and jackets without help
- Is comfortable away from parents for several hours
- Has the ability to express ideas and feelings to adults other than parents
- Takes care of personal belongings
- Accepts minor disappointments or limits without tears
- Understands and participates in conversations
- Listens to and follows directions
- Follows routines and directions
- Works together with other children
- Makes simple decisions given a few choices of play activities
For more information regarding school readiness, visit the Gesell Institute↗ website.