'Ask the Learning Advisor'
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[MAY 6, 2005]
My son is 5 years old. He has been
enrolled in preschool for the past two years. Because of his birth
date, he will just miss the cutoff date for kindergarten this fall.
I really believe that he will be ready to go this fall, and he
really wants to go. What makes a child "ready" for kindergarten?
Should I pursue getting a waiver in his case or accept the fact that
he can't go this year?
You are right to give careful
consideration to registering your son for kindergarten. Kindergarten
is a big step up from preschool. There is a variety of skills that
experts say children should have before starting kindergarten.
The first thing you should do is
make an appointment with your school principal to discuss your
concerns and get her advice. The principal will have worked with
many parents who have had the same concerns. Through her experience
over the years, the principal will know the advantages and
disadvantages of starting a child early or waiting another year.
some other points to consider and questions to ask yourself about
your son's readiness:
he must be able to separate easily from his parents. Since you
have him in preschool, it's likely he's already able to do this.
should be able to follow directions and get along with others. A
child who refuses to stand in line, take turns and share can have
a tough time in kindergarten.
should have an understanding of general times of day. He should
also be able to recognize groups of one, two, three or more
- Your son will have an easier time
if he can cut with scissors, hold a pencil correctly and if he
knows his shapes and colors. He should have lots of practice using
crayons, paints, paste and clay. And outside play will also help
build the motor skills he'll need.
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column in this article]
should be able to say his name, address and phone number. He
should also know to say "please," "thank you" and "excuse me" at
the appropriate times.
child should be able to use the bathroom by himself.
also want to consider the length of the school day. Is
kindergarten in your school an all-day program? Is your son ready
- Would your son ride a bus to
school? Is he ready to do that on his own?
With today's emphasis on higher
standards, kindergartners are expected to do what was once
first-grade work. In short, your son should be ready to move from
just playing to learning. Work with the school and consider your
* * *
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Advisor, go to
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© Copyright 2005, The Parent
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