Kindergarten is one of the most important milestones in the life of your child. Everything changes once a child starts going to school. It is important to ensure that your child has the kindergarten readiness skills they require to be successful.

Kindergarten Readiness Skills

Kindergarten readiness does not just determine how your child performs in the first year of school. It can also determine how he/she performs throughout their academic life. That makes it important to ensure that your child has the following key kindergarten readiness skills:

1. Being Able to Follow Instructions

If you are still having a hard time convincing your child to pay attention to you, he/she will have to work harder on his/her ability to follow instructions. Once your child is in kindergarten, he/she will have to listen to and follow the teacher’s instructions.

2. Letter Recognition Skills

The ability to identify letters is one of the critical kindergarten readiness skills that your child should have. You can increase your child’s knowledge in a fun and enjoyable way by employing kindergarten readiness activities to help with letter recognition.

3. Basic Writing Skills

Your child should be capable of writing several letters before starting school. The letters in the child’s name in perfect order are especially important. Ensure that you provide your child with plenty of opportunities for practicing basic handwriting skills. Use various tools from colored pencils and crayons to markers and pens to help boost your child’s confidence.

4. Social Skills

Your child will have many different children in their classroom once he/she starts school. Having the ability to interact with other children from different backgrounds (i.e. different income levels. Abilities, and races) will make it easier for your child to adapt to the new school environment.

5. Shape and Color Recognition Skills

Part of kindergarten readiness involves being able to recognize various shapes and colors. The vast majority of preschools can help your child focus in these skills. If you are working with your child at home, you can try to fit shape and color recognition into the activities that you do every day.

6. Fine Motor Skills

Kindergarten readiness requires strengthening the muscles used for writing along with other basic fine motor skills. Working with clay or play dough is an at-home activity that can help improve your child’s fine motor skills. It is an activity that strengthens the muscles in their hands and is fun too.

7. Bathroom Independence

It is important to ensure that your child is able to take care of himself/herself in the bathroom before he/she starts kindergarten as part of kindergarten readiness skills. Your child should be capable of independently fastening their pants and wiping himself/herself after using the toilet.

8. The Ability to Follow Multi-Step Directions

By the time your child starts kindergarten, he/she should no longer need you to walk them through each of the steps in a process individually. 2- or 3-step directions are part of everyday life in kindergarten and your child should be capable of following such with ease.

9. Basic Reading Skills

Work with your child on rhyming words and help them learn to identify the beginning sounds in words. Activities such as this start to build reading readiness, which can help your child learn to read more easily and will make his/her experience in kindergarten more pleasant.

The Kindergarten Readiness Checklist: What Your Little One Should Know Before Kindergarten Begins

The kindergarten readiness checklist consists of a list of things your child should know before he or she enters kindergarten. Even if your child does not know everything that he or she is expected to know when starting school for the first time, you still have plenty of time to practice with your little one. Not all children learn at the same pace and that is perfectly fine. If you are working with your child on the basics, such as how to write his or her own name, how to use scissors, and how to share, you should have no problem getting your child ready for kindergarten.

Learning the Alphabet

When children are going to kindergarten, they are often expected to know the alphabet and should have no problem identifying letters when they see them. Aside from knowing the alphabet, these children are expected to know how to spell their own name. Some names are easier than others, especially for those with shorter names. It can take some time for your child to get the hang of writing his or her own name in a straight line, but it will happen with enough practice. Make sure that you are starting with the first name and letting your child master it before moving on to your child’s last name.

Identifying Shapes

While there are a lot of different shapes in existence, kindergarteners are often expected to easily identify some of the basic ones, such as circles, squares, and triangles. These shapes are included in the kindergarten readiness checklist. If your child does not currently know different shapes, it is not too late for him or her to learn. You can find colorful shape puzzles that are fun for children and make the process of learning to identify shapes even more enjoyable. If you are working on shapes for a few minutes each day, your child will eventually start to remember them.

Using the Hands to Complete Different Tasks

As you work on getting your child ready for kindergarten, you should supply your little one with plenty of crayons, pencils, and scissors. Encourage your child to draw and color as much as possible. Not only does drawing and coloring allow children to express themselves, but they are also the kinds of things your child is going to need to know how to do when entering kindergarten. Most kindergarteners are expected to complete projects where they will need to draw pictures to express themselves while coloring those pictures in.

You can always color with your child. By coloring together, you are encouraging your little one to do something that is relaxing while helping him or she improves fine motor skills. Along with coloring, you can supply your child with a pair of safety scissors, having him or her practice cutting out strips and shapes from construction paper. Children are not always great at cutting with scissors at first because it is something that requires a bit of practice, but your little one should get the hang of it in no time.

While reviewing the kindergarten readiness checklist, you may notice that there are a lot of things your child is supposed to know before starting school. Even if your child does not know everything, you still have time to work on different tasks because practice is what will help your child improve and get a lot better at doing different things, such as drawing, coloring, identifying shapes, and even cutting with scissors. If you want your child to be fully prepared for kindergarten when the time comes, continue working with him or her as much as you can because it will pay off.

kindergarten readiness checklist Example
Kindergarten Readiness Checklist
Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

What Is A Kindergarten Readiness Assessment?

What is a kindergarten readiness assessment? If you’re a parent of a child approaching the start of elementary school, you might be wondering what this is. If you’ve seen the acronym KRA in any paperwork, that’s what it stands for.

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA)

In most educational systems that use them, the kindergarten readiness assessment (KRA) is nothing more than a tool that teachers use to help them get to know your kids. It’s not something designed to rank kids by their abilities, It’s also not something used to identify any gifted students or those with disabilities, so there’s really no need to get worked up over it or stress over how well or poorly your kid might do. It’s just not that kind of test. That’s actually why it’s called an assessment instead of a test or exam. Teachers just mostly use KRAs to learn about their young students without interrupting their current learning.

In fact, your children might not even know that their teachers are applying this particular tool, given how it requires teachers to watch students during the natural progression of activities over the course of a normal school day.

If it turns out that your kid isn’t excelling in all areas, that’s not a cause for alarm. The majority of kids develop definite spurts. They might be ahead of their fellow students in particular areas while being behind in others. Just keep in mind that this tool isn’t designed or intended to compare your kid with any others. It’s only used to show how ready any kids for the local kindergarten learning standards. Inevitably, all kids need support in some of their areas.

Most educational systems that use KRAs do so for all students enrolled in public schools. They might also be applied to non-public chartered schools that opted to also participate in such assessments.

KRA Assessment

The assessment typically measures the abilities and knowledge of a child in four different areas. The first is social skills, the second is mathematics, and the third is a combination of literacy and language. The last one covers motor development and physical well-being.

These assessments typically happen when a student enters kindergarten. Teachers might have a few months to finish the KRA for every student. Some preschools might also do a KRA on request to ascertain how ready a pupil is for kindergarten.

Teachers have information to share with the families of the students once the assessment is complete. This helps the parents and the teachers work together to help kids be successful in school.

Kids can show just what they know and can do in three different ways. The first is by picking answers to questions. The second is the performance of the requested tasks. The third is being observed by a teacher during recess or school.

Standard KRAs have 50 distinct questions that teachers must answer. A teacher can work with kids quietly individually or in small groups so that he or she can answer up to 17 of the questions. The remaining 33 questions are answered by the teacher through observations of student interactions between each other on the playground or in class.

Kindergarten readiness assessments can vary from state to state, but now that you’ve read this article, you should have a general idea of what they are, why they’re used, and what they do. Remember that they are used just to see where your child is at as he or she starts kindergarten and public school. They’re not something that can be passed or failed, nor do they identify anyone as gifted or disabled. If you have questions about any KRA used in your local schools, just ask your teacher about it.

Final Thoughts

Preparing your child for kindergarten is the best way to set them up for educational success for a lifetime. The kindergarten readiness skills discussed here are what you need to prepare your child for kindergarten. However, it is worth noting that there is no secret sauce to success, but rather consistent learning and challenging them.

Kindergarten Readiness Checklist
Kindergarten Readiness