Ready For Kindergarten
This is the time of year when our preschool team and preschool parents begin thinking about kindergarten. As you approach this critical transition, you may run across the term “developmental readiness” and wonder exactly what that means. Developmental readiness for kindergarten is reached when a child has the capacity to receive instruction at the kindergarten level and the ability to engage in the social, academic and physical activities required for that grade.
LOOKING AT THE WHOLE CHILD
Being ready for kindergarten is much more than simply knowing shapes, colors, numbers, and letters. When considering placement, we also carefully weigh students’ social, physical, and emotional status. Since all aspects of development support and depend on each other, we look at the whole child in order to determine their best placement for next year.
Child development occurs in an orderly, highly predictable sequence. For example, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and walking happen in a particular order. However, not all children walk at the same age. Each child is an individual, made in God’s image, and all develop at a different rate. We cannot speed up or force development. Milestones are reached only when a child is ready. Not all children are ready for kindergarten because their birthday falls within state guidelines. As a matter of fact, birth age is the least effective indicator of school readiness which is why careful evaluation and consideration of the whole child is necessary.
DETERMINING KINDERGARTEN READINESS
At MGCS, we use several tools to determine the best placement for our preschool students. We observe their behavior and ability within the classroom setting, their relationships to peers, and their physical development. We also administer the Dial 4 developmental assessment tool. This assessment measures a variety of skills including academic ability. Our 16:2 student teacher ratio allows us to know each child personally which further enhances our ability to determine readiness for kindergarten.
Our desire is to seek God’s highest and best for all of our children. We praise God for these students and count it as blessing to partner with parents as children take these early and critical steps in their academic career.