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Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Is your child ready to make the transition to Kindergarten? Starting the educational journey with your child can feel overwhelming. Whether your child is starting kindergarten in his or her public school district or you’re considering a specialized environment, it is essential to understand whether or not your child is ready to make the leap and prepare him or her accordingly. It is important to consider:

  • How to know if your child is ready for Kindergarten
  • The elements of Kindergarten
  • Transitioning your child to Kindergarten
  • What to look for in a Kindergarten if your child has special needs

How to know if your child is ready for Kindergarten

Most schools - both public and private - share certain milestones that are used to determine if your child is ready for school. These might include school readiness, academic readiness, basic social/communication skills, and basic play skills. These are things that can be easily and intentionally practiced at home. In fact, they are things that you probably already do in some form every day. Talk to your child’s preschool or current setting about how to best prepare him or her in these specific areas!

  • School readiness - imitation skills, first/then contingency, basic instructions, waiting
  • Academic readiness - attending skills, sitting for short periods of time, task completion, following group instructions
  • Basic social/communication skills - making basic written or non-verbal requests, tolerating the presence of multiple same or similar-aged peers, identifying objects in his or her environment, Responding to bids for attention from adults and peer
  • Basic play skills - tolerating others in their space, parallel play skills, basic interest in objects, manipulating toys as designed

The elements of Kindergarten

When considering if your child is ready for Kindergarten, you should consider what Kindergarten entails. Here is what your first year might look like.

  • Whole group learning - can they work with others
  • Individual work at their desks - can they be seated and focus on tasks and activities
  • Examining reading skill sets - voice inflection, correspondence between pictures and words, word recognition
  • Practicing comprehension skills - both inferential and literal comprehension
  • Fine motor skills - increased expectations with writing utensils (pencils, crayons, etc.)

Transitioning your child to Kindergarten

If you’ve determined that your child is ready to start school, it’s important to create a healthy start for them. The spring and summer are valuable times to begin supporting your child's transition to Kindergarten. This is an important time to investigate what your child’s future environment will look like and help them with organization, academics, and social skills. Reach out to your future school for ideas like reading, fine motor, math, writing, etc. They might be able to provide worksheets or programs for your child to practice before they start in the fall.

What to look for in a Kindergarten if your child has special needs

If your child has special needs, it is important to find the right environment for them. Look for flexible seating, calming/sensory areas, breakout workspaces, and collaborative seating opportunities. From an academic perspective, play-based learning, centers that focus on academics, social, life skills, and the teacher’s process to go from parallel play to cooperative play. In your child’s classroom, the incorporation of visual supports and technology will also aid in their development and success.

If your child is ready to start their academic journey you have many options when it comes to Kindergarten. All families should find an environment that provides the structure and support their child needs to succeed. For expanded tips, check out our free, recorded Kindergarten Readiness Series at

open-quote I don’t think I will ever be able to put into words how grateful I am that you saw my daughter for all that she is today and all that she is yet to become. close-quote

Tammie Sommer

open-quote Julie Billiart Schools gave us hope after our daughter was diagnosed with a learning disability. At JB, she thrived in the small classes, received necessary therapies, and developed the self-confidence to ask for help when she needed it. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote All of the teachers and staff at JB are patient and willing to take the extra time to make sure we, as parents, understand and are comfortable. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote They have all the resources necessary, specialized to the individual learning of each child, and the heart that goes with it. I don't think we would have stayed in Ohio if it wasn't for JB! close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote Julie Billiart Schools has helped my child become a better version of himself. The teachers and therapists at JB really know and understand how to reach children who learn differently. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote My kids love everything about JB and look forward to going to school every day and seeing their friends and teachers. JB is truly a one of a kind school enriching young lives everyday. close-quote

JB Parent

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