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The idea that simply because your child turns five they are ready for kindergarten is outdated. Experts at the Cleveland Clinic explain that age is not the sole determining factor in whether your child is prepared to start school. Instead, they suggest that you look at your child’s motor skills, attention span, and social skills.
Many schools offer screenings to help assess if your child is ready to jump into kindergarten. Parents will sometimes choose to delay enrollment by a year to give their children more time to catch up. There is even a term called “academic redshirting” that highlights how some parents choose to hold back their child an additional year, hoping they can give them a physical advantage when it comes to sports. Ultimately, the decision is yours. You know your child better than anyone. If you need some extra clues to see if your child is ready for kindergarten, the educational experts at Scholasticurge you to look for the following signs.
Your child may be ready for kindergarten if they can:
1. Take care of their own bathroom needs: They can recognize when they need to use the restroom, ask their teacher to go, and know how to clean themselves properly afterward.
2. Carry their own backpack
3. Open their lunchbox and repack it when they are done
4. Clean up after themselves
5. Spell and write their first name
6. Recite at least one of their parents’ phone numbers
7. Tell you their home address
8. Dress themselves
9. Share with others
10. Introduce themselves to other children
11.Hold a pencil
12. Identify some letters, numbers and common words
13. Sort objects by size, shape, color, and number
14. Speak in full sentences
15. Listen to directions
16. Play kindly with others
17. Work independently for 10 minutes
If you are still conflicted about whether or not to send your child to school this year, consult an expert. Maybe your child excels in academics, but they are socially struggling. A teacher or guidance counselor can explain how social skills can be developed in the classroom as your child builds confidence. Or, perhaps your child is begging to get on the school bus with their siblings, but their motor skills are lagging and they cannot perform some basic tasks by themselves yet. A professional can advise you on whether delaying enrollment will allow them to catch up to other kids so they can be in a better position to succeed next year. Trust your instincts and you will make the best possible decision for your child.