Ask any tot-parent about whether they’re ready to start kindergarten for their child, and it’s likely that you’ll receive a resounding “I’m not sure”.
If you’re part of the troop, hello there! You’re not alone, you know. Thousands of young parents across India struggle with deciding whether their infant is ready to take the big leap into kindergarten. And while the decision may seem inconsequential, it does, in fact, have effects that could cascade into later years. For parents of young ‘uns, factors like academic pressure, peer pressure and ages of fellow children play a crucial role in decision making. As a result, many parents are choosing to hold their child back a year, to prepare them for influences ahead.
Seeking Professional Advice
It’s one thing to be sure of what you want for your child, and another to hear it from a professional. If your child already goes to nursery, it can be worthwhile to talk to their preschool teacher about progress made. Ask about developmental events, learning yardsticks and social interactions to know how well your child stands with respect to peers. A teacher can serve as an unbiased facilitator with insights you may not have yourself. Asking your child’s paediatrician for counsel is also an advisable route. By checking for progress against standard milestones, you can gain a keyhole to the readiness of your child. As a parent, you want the best for your child and gathering advice from reliable and relevant sources can be a good place to start.
Indicators That Your Child Is Ready For Kindergarten
While these pointers work as broad guidelines in deciding the course of action for your child, these may feature as a subset of your priorities. Your child’s inclination and preparedness should be your primary focus.
Indicator 1. Follows basic instructions
Most children are part-time scamps, so it’s okay if your little one doesn’t follow your word all the time. It is important, however, that they follow directions in a school environment. If your child goes to a preschool, ask the teacher about interactions in the classroom.
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Indicator 2. Sits patiently for short stretches
Not for too long, of course, but long enough for important activities. Practise reading to your child in a chair and encourage them to do craftwork at the dining table. Sitting for stretches like these will help ready your child for the classroom.
Indicator 3. Uses the toilet unassisted
Does your child know the protocol while visiting the bathroom and can they manage by themselves? If the answer is yes, you can check another box.
Indicator 4. Draws detailed pictures
Artwork that features lots of little details like stick legs, stick arms, a bobblehead and a mouth perhaps, is an indication of development.
Indicator 5. Recognises shapes, letters and the sound of words
Nodding your head in agreement? Jump on over to the next point. If not, no worries. There’s heaps of time to learn!
Indicator 6. Exercises motor control
Activities like holding a pencil, working with paper, running and skipping all require coordinated motor skills.
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Indicator 7. Exhibits social interactions
Sharing and caring indicates that your child is faring well in the world of social interactions. But hey, social behaviour is an indefinite learning curve so don’t be deterred if your little tyke is a little behind.
Indicator 8. Displays self-control
We all get emotional now and then, so it’s certainly acceptable for your four-year-old to bawl over a broken toy. With age, you should see your child becoming more composed and coping with emotional situations better.
There’s no holy grail that provides rules to follow while considering kindergarten admission for your child. It’s a call that you should take together with your spouse. Go ahead when you’re sure, and if you aren’t, hold your child back a year. Kindergarten marks the beginning of formal school, and you shouldn’t let your child go until they’re ready.
Go on, set your own Start line.
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