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4 ways to tell if your child is ready for kindergarten

You can register your child for kindergarten starting on March 4. There have been changes to the state law that decides who can go. The cutoff date for eligibility has been pushed back. That means some kids who previously would have one been old enough to go to kindergarten now aren’t old enough. The new cutoff date says that your child must turn five years old on or before August 31, 2013 in order to go to kindergarten.

But there are some exceptions. If your child is now enrolled in a public school PreK program (that doesn’t mean church preschool or daycare), he will be grandfathered in and allowed to attend kindergarten in the fall.

Here’s one more: If your child will turn five in September of 2013 and you believe he is socially, emotionally and academically ready for kindergarten, you can request to have him assessed for kindergarten readiness. If he is found to be ready, he may enroll.

So how do you know if your child is ready for kindergarten? Here are the four areas you should look for:

1. Intellectual Development

Academic success in Kindergarten can be influenced by a child’s ability to independently master or begin to show mastery of some basic skills.


  • Shows an interest in books and reading
  • Sings and is familiar with some songs and rhymes
  • Identifies some letters (especially those in his/her name)
  • Begins or pretends to read and write (stories and names)
  • Identifies rhyming words
  • Describes an experience and retells a familiar story


  • Identifies, names and sorts some basic shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle)
  • Identifies, counts and sorts numbers and objects from 0 to 10
  • Solves puzzles
  • Recognizes, names and sorts basic colors (red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple, white, black and brown)

2. Physical Development

Physical development means a child can complete various tasks with ease.

  • Draws with crayons, pens and pencils showing control of the tool
  • Copies simple figures and shapes (straight lines and circles)
  • Runs, jumps and hops (as they mature - skips)
  • Bounces and catches a ball
  • Writes name forming letters from top to bottom

3. Social and Emotional Development

Kindergarten gives children opportunities to work together and to feel a part of the “classroom/school family”. The social skills a child develops in their early childhood grades will be an important part of their success in kindergarten and on into their adulthood.

  • Listens to an adult and follows simple directions
  • Cooperates and plays well with others
  • Sits still for short periods of time (15 minutes or less to begin)
  • Shows signs of taking turns
  • Begins to share
  • Communicates feelings, thoughts, and needs
  • Talks and listens to others in conversations

4. Taking Care of Personal Needs

Independently completing some personal care tasks will assist a child in developing a feeling of confidence while in their Kindergarten classroom.

  • Uses the bathroom without assistance
  • Washes their own hands
  • Eats using utensils
  • Begins to snap, button, tie and zip independently
  • Recognizes their belongings (lunchbox, jacket, etc...)
  • Recites own first and last name and some family member’s names

Kindergarten registration week is March 4-8. If your child will turn five in September 2013  and you feel he is ready for kindergarten, go to your school and request an assessment.

To learn more about how to register for kindergarten, visit