In terms of mommy milestones, this one counts as a pretty big one: Kindergarten Registration. It’s not that Kate hasn’t already been in preshool, or away from me for any lengths of time–she has. Heck, she’s even been riding a bus to preschool. Since she was three! So, the fact that she is going to Kindergarten a half a mile from our home and being delivered there in our minivan shouldn’t really phase me. But it does.
Maybe it’s the fact that I am invisioning a whole life outside of our home–away from our cul-de-sac and the warm, nurturing environment we’ve so dutifully provided for her. Maybe it’s the fact that school will not be just a handful of 3 and 4 year olds and a sweet teacher in the confines of a beautifully decorated classroom complete with dollhouses and mini kitchens, but a sprawling two-story brick building with “big” kids twice her size and age, and a teacher who may or may not be so sweet.
Not only do I think about those things, but the fact that my little pumpkin has a hard time communicating most definitely crosses my mind. Will the other folks at her new school know that? Will they help her? How will she be regarded by others who just don’t “get it?” I understand she’s not heading into the kindergarten classroom just yet–it is only February, afterall–and her speech continues to improve daily. By the time we’re singing, “See you in September” she’ll be communicating much more and better than she is now. I hope. I think.
One thing I did notice when I was at kindergarten registration was a hand-out on “what your child should know before they enter kindergarten.” On it–among other things–was full name, address, and phone number. I am fairly confident she knows her full name. We call it out, “Katherine Riley Lindsay!” when she does naughtly things like climb in the pantry to reach the Girl Scout cookies on the top shelf, but can she say it herself? Can she say it in order? Does she know the difference from her first name and her last name? I think so…but then again, I better quiz her just to make sure. And addresss…well she did just learn about the mail system at school this past week. She noticed that the numbers on our house that mean something. Humm…that’s a start. She knows we live on a cul-de-sac since her drawings of our house often include a crude little circle in the front yard. Phone number…she hasn’t a clue.
Educators agree that not all kids are equally developed in social, phyiscal, emotional, and intellectual development on the first day of kindergarten. So, don’t worry just yet if you fear your little Einstein isn’t 100% on these areas.
How do you know if your kid is ready for kindergarten?
1. She should be able to listen and follow directions.
2. He ought to be able to put on his own coat and tend to bathroom needs.
3. She needs to be able to recite her ABCs and 123’s.
4. He will need to know how to hold a pencil and cut with scissors (fine motor).
5. Does she show an interest in books? Does she sit and “read” even though she’s not really reading words?
6. Is he curious and show some interest in learning new material?
7. Does she get along with others? Does she share and take turns?
8. Is he able to work well with peers?
If you can answer “yes” or “most of the time” to a majority of these statements, then my fellow parent–your kid is ready for kindergarten! Time to start planning that graduation party…because class of 2023 here we come!