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Easing School Transitions for Military Families
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How to Tell if Your Child is Ready for Kindergarten

Part of this article is summarized from the MCEC® publication Chart Your Course: Preparing for the Journey which is available through the MCEC® store.

You are the expert on your child because you know your child best. Some schools offer an assessment that can assist you in determining your child’s school readiness that may assist in making this decision. Remember, however, a test only measures how your child did on that particular test on that day. Even experts do not agree on when a child is ready for kindergarten.

These are some important things to consider:

  • How does your child interact with other children? Does he show an interest in making friends or is he overly anxious about separating from you?
  • Can your child choose an activity and stick with it for short periods of time?
  • Does your child enjoy books? Can he sit and listen to a story without interrupting?
  • Does your child manage his bathroom needs, button his own coat, and zip his zippers?
  • How will your child fit into the program at the school he will attend? Some schools focus more on academics and expect children to come to school ready to learn. Developmental kindergartens are more willing to take the time to work with children on different levels of readiness.


National Association for Education of Young Children  has a special section for families entitled "Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?"  Please note, there are several related articles of interest.

NAEYC publishes and sells several brochures for families, including “Ready to Go: What Parents Should Know about School Readiness.” You can get more information at their site

Helping Your Preschool Child - This education publication developmental information booklet provides information on children from birth to age 5. Be sure to look at the "Ready for School Checklist" on pages 62 and 63.

Sesame Street offers a fun website for kids and interesting discussions for parents, such as "Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?"

Great Schools discusses kindergarten-readiness in "Kindergarten: Ready or Not" .  Age-appropriate worksheets are available under the tab at the top of the page.