By Karen Stephens, Kindergarten teacher for 27 years in Elles Belles Early Learning Cheltenham
As a teacher who has been blessed with the care and instruction of hundreds of precious young children, I understand the difficulty parents have when trying to decide the best time to start their child’s educational journey. I wish there were a perfect formula to determine whether or not a child is ready for Kindergarten, but since there is not, here are a few guidelines to consider:
A child should:
- Be able to print their first name
- Recognize the letters of the alphabet, lower and upper case
- Be able to use scissors cutting lines and basic shapes
- Listen to and tell stories
- Orally count to 20
Proficiency in the above areas should signal academic readiness, however, there are also some personal and social aspects to consider.
Children who are ready to start Kindergarten should generally understand their role in group situations, play and work cooperatively, and be able to follow class rules and routines. Kindergarten students should also be able to care for personal belongings, manage bathroom needs, communicate needs and wants, and seek attention appropriately. Age is also a factor, to enter Kindergarten at Evangelical Christian Academy children should be 5 by September 15.
While extensive checklists are available to assess social, academic and personal readiness, what teachers most want to see are children who are healthy, mature, capable, and eager to learn. At ECA we don’t expect all children to fit one mold. We understand that all children are made in the image of our Heavenly Father. Praise God for each of His fearfully and wonderfully made children!
If you have any questions about your child’s readiness, contact Michelle Poli at www.ECAeagles.org.