There are basic things a five-year-old should know despite the academic exposure they may have. Nevertheless, don’t get worked up if your five-year-old has not acquired all the skills on the readiness checklist by the first day of school at kindergarten because learning takes place at different rates for different children.
Kindergarten lays a good foundation for your child to flourish throughout their educational career. Here is a checklist of what your five-year-old needs to know before entering kindergarten.
Basic social skills
By kindergarten, a five-year-old should be able to use polite words (like sorry, thank you and please), wait for their turn and share. They should also be able to listen and follow simple instructions. These social skills will ensure your child transitions smoothly into kindergarten. The majority of the children by this age have already acquired these skills but jogging their memory before going to kindergarten through practice is still in order.
Good pencil grip
A five-year-old should be able to hold a pencil, a crayon and a marker properly as this will make writing and coloring easy when they join kindergarten.
Able to write down the first name
By the time your five-year-old goes to kindergarten, they should be becoming proficient in writing their first name. The letters of the name should be in the right order and written from left to right. The handwriting does not have to be flawless but should be readable to the teacher.
Have some level of independence
At the age of five, children should be able to use the toilet by themselves, dress and undress and clean up after themselves. They should be able to part with their parents without excessive drama. They should also be able to communicate their needs and wants. These skills will help them cope well with life at kindergarten.
Know some personal details
A five-year-old should be able to say their first and last name. Having them learn the home address and phone number would also go a long way. This personal information would come in handy in case they ever get separated from their parents or teachers.
Recognize most letters and numbers
Being able to know some letters and count 1-10 is a good start for kindergarten readiness for your five-year-old. Recognizing letters and knowing that they are put together to make words points children in the direction of learning how to read.
Identify basic colors
Basic color Identification is a strong foundation for learning and enables your five-year-old to connect words and the things they see.
Have a rough idea on how to handle books
A Five-year-old should know how books work before entering kindergarten. He or she should know how to hold a book properly and how the pages are turned over. They should be able to tell which part is the front, which one is the back and where the story is supposed to begin. Have them understand that a story is told via words, not pictures. To help them get this, point on the words as you read to them.
Name basic shapes
By kindergarten, a five-old should be able to identify basic shapes (square, circle, triangle and rectangle). With time your child will be able to understand the features of each shape and this will help them when it comes to fixing puzzles.
Able to use scissors
By the age of five, children should be able to use scissors as cutting skills are very important at the kindergarten level. Cutting skills will come in handy when they have to cut out shapes and pictures.
Understand two-three step instructions
A five-year-old looking to join kindergarten should be able to listen and follow 2-3 step directions. At Kindergarten they will experience numerous activities that will start off with one instruction and then more instructions will follow thereafter.
Concentrate for at least five minutes
Your five-year-old should be able to sit still and pay attention for at least 5-10 minutes. This is because at kindergarten he or she will have to sit for stories and tasks and concentration will be key if they are to get something from it. Paying attention will also help them understand instructions.
Talk to your five-old about what kindergarten is going to be like so as to put them in the mood for school. Let them know what is expected of them and that mommy, daddy and nanny are not allowed to stay in school. The first day of kindergarten should be smooth if they understand what it is going to be like.
Explain to your child the people he or she will meet at kindergarten. This will ensure that your child understands how school works. In detail tell your five-year-old the job every person found at school does. For example, the children are in school to learn and the teachers are there to impart knowledge.
In case you are worried about your five-year-old not being ready for kindergarten, talk with his or her preschool teacher and together come up with ways to address the delays.