It’s funny the things you think of at big moments in your life. I remember very clearly what I was thinking my first day as a K-5 principal when I went out to meet the children. As they enthusiastically came off the buses, I’m sure none of them knew that their new principal was thinking “ready or not, here they come”. They arrived and although I questioned myself many times over that year, I finally came to terms with my readiness.
For years, future kindergarten parents have questioned whether their child “would be, is, or was” ready for kindergarten. The typical flightiness of 5-year olds, gives some parents cause for sleepless nights.
Parents often try to get a head start on academics with their preschooler. However, if you ask a group of kindergarten teachers what skills are the best predictors of success in kindergarten, the answer may surprise you. Although I had taught Kindergarten, it was when I became the principal of a K-2 school that I REALLY saw these behaviors ring true.
Kindergarten Behaviors to be “Ready to Learn” (alphabetical order)
- adapts easily to change
- follows classroom rules
- learns independently
- organizes belongings
- pays attention
- persists in completing tasks
- shows eagerness to learn
Kids, like adults, are imperfect. So when looking at your future kindergarten students, think “big picture” when looking at the traits. Think how your child does overall with those characteristics. If you see an area, that they need additional support, try to find opportunities to practice these skills at home over the next few months.
As a kindergarten teacher, various readiness levels are a “given” in a classroom. Sharing your concerns and working together with your child’s teacher will help support your child’s success.
Other posts related to this topic:
- Hello Kindergarten: Great Resource
- Readiness and Kindergarten Screening