Kindergarten readiness is quite a hot topic. There are various “checklists” and lots of articles that talk about “emotional regulation” and none tell parents what really counts for kindergarten readiness and how to tackle it. Since kindergarten readiness is so commonly misunderstood, we’re diving into a few common myths.
If your child knows all their letters and sounds they’re ready for kindergarten
Kindergarten isn’t just read alouds, arts and crafts, and playing anymore! It’s reading, writing, adding, subtracting. It’s saying cvc words like cat, bat, hat and then swapping out the beginning, middle or end sound. Kindergarten is tough now, and although it’s developmentally appropriate, it’s a lot more than knowing letters and sounds. More on this in myth #3!
Starting kindergarten early (at age 4) is a good idea if my child is academically advanced
Every teacher and every school experience classrooms with students of different learning levels. Throughout my teaching career, I had kindergarteners who knew how to read at a 2nd grade level and I had students who couldn’t even spell their own name. One of the major things teachers learn is differentiation.
Here’s the thing about kindergarten – it’s about social awareness, emotional regulation and independence just as much as it’s about academics. If a 4-year-old is reading at kindergarten level, take a look at the social/emotional regulation. Is your child crying when they don’t get their way? Can they articulate their feelings and talk through them? Can they recognize the concept of sharing and partake? Likely, they won’t be able to do those things because those things are developmental. Yes, reading is developmental too, but usually a child will be “ahead” in one, not all of those areas.
The kindergarten teacher will teach my child everything they need to know, I don’t need to do anything different than what I’m doing right now
Your child’s kindergarten teacher will teach the kids everything he/she possibly can, kindergarten teachers are a special breed… BUT their job is to teach kids how to read, write, add, and subtract. There is so much required socially and emotionally, that kindergarten teachers often don’t get to teach all the things they need to because they’re helping kids regulate or they’re having to document student behaviors.
If you can set your child up to be successful in the kindergarten classroom it can make a huge difference in your child’s learning experience. Here are a few things to focus on:
- Regulate and independently navigate their emotions
- Be socially aware
- Independently open their food
- Work through challenges
- Communicate when they are having big feelings
Kindergarten readiness can be confusing and filled with a lot of what to do, not how, which is why I created the Kinder Ready Program. I take my knowledge and experience from my degrees (two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s) as well as my years as a kindergarten teacher and put it together with tools for parents. Join me on July 20th for detailed information, here.