Is My Child Ready for School?

Many parents think children are ready for school if they’ve learned certain educational activities, such as knowing the alphabet or counting to 100. ​In fact, school readiness means much more. It means that children start school with the basic skills to learn to read, write and count. It also means that children are healthy and can get along with others.

Things to consider about your child:

  • Does your child play cooperatively or show interest in being with friends?
  • Do they share appropriately?
  • Does your child show enthusiasm toward learning? For instance, are they eager to explore and discover? Are they comfortable asking questions? How do they react when things become difficult?
  • Can your child communicate their needs so that teachers and friends can understand?
  • Can they sit and listen for an extended period?
  • Does your child like to be independent? Do they have trouble separating from you?

How can you help your child have a good start at school?

  • Talk about it
    • Talk about what to expect at school. Let them know how they’ll get there and what they’ll do in class. Tell them what you will do when they are not with you.
  • Start your new routine early
    • About a month before school begins, shift slowly to a regular time for getting up, having meals, and going to bed.
  • Read about it
    • Read books about starting school. These books will help them understand more about what school will be like. Local libraries have books about schools.
  • Respect your child’s temperaments
    • Your child may adapt to school differently than other children. That is okay; they all react to change in different ways, not right or wrong. You know your child best.
  • Be positive
    • Share fun memories of teachers you had and things you enjoyed doing at school. They will enjoy it more if they know school is important to you.

They have started school, now what can you do?

Now it is time to support your child’s learning. There are things you can do to help them:

  • Share your child’s interests, strengths, and challenges with their teacher. Ask what you can do to help them at home.​
  • Find out the best way to keep in touch with their teacher. Sending emails or notes often works well.​
  • Attend school events, learning celebrations, and meetings to find out how things are going for your child and the rest of their class.​
  • Take time to talk to your child about their day. Ask them open questions like “What was the best thing that happened at school today?” or “What did you learn about today?”​
  • Show them that you value their work by asking them if it’s okay to hang it on the fridge or wall so everyone can see it.​
  • Encourage them to tell the family and other important people in your lives about their school activities.​
  • Read and share stories with them every day.

Starting school is a huge transitional time for your child and family. It makes sense to give children the strongest foundation possible in Kindergarten.

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Last updated: 2022-02-17