Beginning Kindergarten is an exciting (and sometimes anxiety-provoking!) time for both you and your child. Getting your child started on the right foot is important. A positive experience in Kindergarten can help your child foster healthy self-confidence/self-esteem, develop social, study, and organizational skills, and cultivate a love for learning that will last a lifetime!
Many parents are uncertain as to whether to send their children to Kindergarten or provide them an additional year of pre-K. Here are some variables to consider when making this crucial decision:
- Cognitive development: What is the level of your child’s cognitive functioning and his/her cognitive strengths and weaknesses? How has this affected his/her acquisition of pre-academic concepts? Is he/she ready to meet the academic challenges of Kindergarten?
- Fine motor skills: Is your child developmentally ready to do fine motor tasks such as paper-and-pencil activities, work with scissors, etc.?
- Behavior: Does your child exhibit significant hyperactivity, distractibility or demonstrate weaknesses in impulse control or attention/focus? Does he/she follow directions appropriately? Have interventions aimed at improving these behaviors been ineffective?
- Self-Direction: Can your child direct/maintain his/her own activities independently or with minimal supervision/prompting at a developmentally-appropriate level? Have strategies aimed at improving these skills been ineffective?
- Emotional development: How does your child tolerate mild frustration (e.g. boring or challenging tasks)? How does he/she react when asked to engage in a non-preferred task? Have interventions aimed at improving these behaviors been ineffective?
- Social development: What is your child’s play skills and ability to relate with others? How developed are his/her social skills? (e.g. the ability to share, take turns, work cooperatively). How has your child responded to strategies aimed at improving social skills?
- Physical development: Will your child be the shortest or tallest in the class? How might this affect him/her socially?
Other variables to consider include your child’s temperament, ‘goodness-of-fit’ with your kindergarten school of choice, and impressions from your child’s pre-K educator(s).
If your questions regarding Kindergarten readiness or educational placement remain unanswered, consider discussing your child’s educational options with a professional. Please visit our Services page for more information about Consultations and Evaluations.