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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA.

    Default kindergarten readiness

    We live in an area with a pretty good public school system. Having said that, there is tremendous peer pressure to put the kids into a private pre-school for kindergarten readiness!

    I've tried googling a list of items needed for kindergarten readiness (count to x, know colors, letters, numbers, etc.), but can't find one.

    Could anybody help me?

    PS: We're located in the San Francisco bay area (CA)

  2. #2
    kdeunc is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    Default RE: kindergarten readiness

    Hi Jennifer,
    I am attaching a link from Smart Start (a North Carolina Early Childhood Initiative) There seem to be some good resources that are geared toward all children not just NC kids. Hope this helps!

    DS 1 12-02
    DS 2 12-04
    DD 07-08

  3. #3
    purpleeyes is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Default RE: kindergarten readiness

    Ok-disclaimer. I am a school counselor and I was a teacher before that. As a counselor, I work with our Learning Center (comprised of learning specialists, reading specialist) on the kindergarten readiness test. But I don't have any experience teaching kindergarten! :)

    One of the main things we consider is the child's developmental age vs. actual age. Some children are 5 years old but 6 years in their development (fine/gross motor, pre-literacy skills, etc.) Others are 5 years old but perhaps a 3.2 on the scale-which means they are functioning as a 3 year-2 month old. This doesn't mean that they won't catch up to their peers, it just means they may not be ready right now.

    We don't necessarily look at if a student knows his/her letters or numbers-intstead we look at if they can *learn* their letters and numbers, kwim? I would look at what is expected of kindergarteners in your area-many areas are moving towards a full day kindergarten and expect all students to be reading by the end of the year. So, preschool becomes a place to learn letters and numbers, etc. If your kindergartens are half-day with more centers based learning (which can be very effective tool, even through 2nd grade)expectations will be different.

    Just one more thing-you may not want to do a preschool, but I would HIGHLY recommend some slightly-structured activity away from the primary caregiver before your child attends kindergarten. This will help them get used to being away from you, listening/following the directions of another adult, and being with peers. Perhaps a mdo program or something like that.

    Wow, this is long. Sorry! I hope it helped and wasn't too vague.


  4. #4
    JulieL is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Missouri, USA.

    Default RE: kindergarten readiness

    My son's preschool has a poster with these guidelines for Missouri. I'll ask where online it's at, as I can't find it. I need to know too, we enroll next year :0

  5. #5
    murpheyblue is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    Default RE: kindergarten readiness

    I have zero personal knowledge or experience with this but FWIW, I attended a meeting (hosted by our local mom's club) last year that discussed kindergarten readiness. Several of the speakers were kindergarten and early grade teachers from local elementary schools. (We're also Bay Area - Lamorinda). The teachers rejected the notion that there was some set information that your child needed to have mastered before being "ready" for kindergarten. They emphasized that kids come in with a pretty wide range of knowledge and abilities. I tend to think readiness is more of a social/developmental issue rather than a has he/she mastered certain information yet issue.

  6. #6
    Lynnie is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    south florida, FL.

    Default RE: kindergarten readiness

    there is a post on this somewhere around here - I think the one about at what age is a structured setting important. Somebody gave some great examples.

    I don't know the what the official signs of kindergarden readiness would be, but my kids are both in daycare/pre-school and I know they are (and will be) ready.

    One thing I do is go to some of my area school's websites, and click on the kindergarden "homework" pages to see the kinds of things they are doing.

    Also, though, everyone says they all catch up eventually, so its not imperative to keep up with the Joneses in their private pre-school as long as you are exposing your child to things in daily life, which I am sure you are.

  7. #7
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default RE: kindergarten readiness

    Check out that structured settings thread. I just dug up some links on getting your child ready for school and posted them there. There is also a link on there about how to know if they are ready socially as well as academically.

    I just attended a talk at our preschool about choosing a kindergarten program. The PhD that presented it had some good things to say and was in line with what I have learned in my research (lots of child dev. classes in college as well as just reading).

    This is a list of things from Newsweek. They just ran a good, but scary (imo), article about the "new" kindergarten programs (basically so many schools are forgetting what it means to teach children developmentally rather than academically- they call it "The New First Grade". If you can find it (it is probably a month old) it is a very good read! Their website may have it.
    1. Read to them
    2. Talk to them
    3. Take them on trips
    4. Write it down
    5. Socialize
    6. Use your fingers
    The link explains what those mean. :)

    I do think it is good for them to get out without you for a while before they are school aged but you can find a program that suits your lifestyle. There are so many dif't programs out there and even in my social circle we all have our kids in programs a dif't number of hours/ week.

    Heck, I might as well just post what I learned at the talk about kindergarten readiness.

    Social/ behavioral readiness:
    -can separate easily from parents
    -work independently, in small groups and in large groups (tolerance for having to wait their turn)
    -self starter- can attend to anc complete tasks
    -respect the rights of others
    -follow rules (no more than 3 basic rules necessary)
    -impulse control (this really will come with age and maturity and can transform rapidly)
    -dress self, use bathroom, knows how to clean up (where to put things...)

    Sensory/ motor readiness:
    -skipping (they don't all ask about this anymore, in fact most don't)
    -hold a pencil *almost* correctly

    --use expressive/ receptive language
    -large vocabularies
    -phonemic awareness (*not* the same thing as phonics...phonics are helpful for spelling and that is a 7 year old+ skill)
    -"read" by recognizing symbols (yes, knowing the McDonalds' arches means McDonalds counts as "reading")

    -1 to 1 correspondence (count, touch and create sets)
    ~they don't need to recognize numbers as that is a reading skill that will come later
    -can they sort (size, color, other characteristics)
    -put things in order (biggest to smallest, softest to roughest...)
    -space and conservation- if an object changes locations/ positions/ appearance does the object actually change too? (this can happen as late as 7yo)


  8. #8
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default RE: kindergarten readiness

    I just found this excellent interview from Newsweek called "What Would Big Bird Do?" Here is a portion of it and the link to the rest:

    "SCELFO: Do you think there's too much pressure on young kids to learn?
    TRUGLIO: People want children to be ready to read in kindergarten, so that pressure is now being passed down to preschool and day-care centers. We're putting a lot of pressure on [teachers] and introducing children to some things that may or may not be age-appropriate. Stress is not conducive to learning. If you're put in a stressful environment, you're not going to learn.

    What should preschoolers be learning?
    The majority of kindergarten teachers want children to be able to function in a group setting. To be able to listen and take direction. Be able to get along. To be able to regulate their emotions. A lot of what I'm talking about is social-emotional development of children. If they can't function in a group setting, it will interfere with learning to read.

    So reading is important, but it's not the only thing?
    Every child learns at their own rate. During the preschool years, children's job is to explore and investigate, and adults need to assist learning and facilitate it. I'm not going to say a child can't read by the age of 5. But developmentally, most children in kindergarten are learning the precursors of reading skills—they have sounds, they do the alphabet, they have rhyming—but they are not reading. ..."


  9. #9
    JBaxter's Avatar
    JBaxter is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default RE: kindergarten readiness

    I would go to a homeschool store and see if they have a book for preschool goals. We have one near us and I get lots of materials there. ( we are not going to home school Nathan)
    Jeana, Momma to 4 fantastic sons

    Everything happens for a reason, sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions

  10. #10
    egoldber's Avatar
    egoldber is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Northern VA, USA.

    Default RE: kindergarten readiness

    I would absolutely agree that K readiness has more to do with social-emotional development than any "academic" skill list. I never considered holding my DD back from K (she has a late summer birthday) until during her 4 year old preschool class, her teacher suggested to me that emotionally she probably wasn't ready for K.

    Her particular issues are:

    has a hard time sitting still in circle or waiting her turn
    has difficulty regulating her emotions
    often invades other kids personal space

    While a lot of this is simply the fact that she's younger than her classmates, she will ALWAYS be younger than her classmates, and I felt she would benefit from having an additional year to mature.

    Based on this, I decided to send her to a private half day, center based K this year and next year will probably send her to K again at her full-day, more academic and structured public school K. This is even though she is TOTALLY ready "academically" for K.

    Anyway, all of that is a long way to say that I would look more at the social skills aspects, especially with a boy, and even more so with boys with late birthdays for the school cutoff. Around here pretty much EVERYONE holds their summer birthday boys back.
    Beth, mom to older DD (8/01) and younger DD (10/06) and always missing Leah (4/22 - 5/1/05)

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