Kindergarten readiness is a hot buzzword right now in the United States. It’s a product of the overwhelming urge to help kids be academically advanced in school under the misguided notion that “earlier is better.”
The logic being imposed on parents is inherently flawed. The earlier a child learns a skill, the better the child will be at that skill does not, unfortunately, hold true. But that’s the bill of goods that parents are sold.
As kindergarten standards became increasingly more academic in the United States over the past decade (the push to have children learning more and learning faster was shoved into preschools. Despite how developmentally inappropriate these standards are, parents (and educators without choice) have bought into the idea that the goal of preschool should be to prepare a child academically for kindergarten. This is a really sad way to look at early childhood education.
While kids are entering kindergarten knowing much more “academic skills” than they did 30 years ago, they lack in so many other areas (areas that will have a major impact on their life in and out of school).
The truth is: kindergarten readiness isn’t as academic as you might think….
Basic academics are not kindergarten readiness. We want to make sure our children are set up for success but we often OVER-value skills we can quantify and measure (like counting and knowing letter names) and UNDER-value the truly important skills which are much more abstract (like executive function skills, self-regulation, reasoning skills and social skills).
Let us go back to remembering that “kindergarten readiness” is about school and life readiness. This is about the whole child and their whole self being ready to take on a life outside their parent(s) and to become great learners, thinkers, and doers. This needs to be about life readiness, not kindergarten academic readiness.
CHECKLIST for your new kindergartener: