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Time for Kindergarten

How do you know if your child is mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared to enter kindergarten?  It's becoming quite important to take notice to each one of those areas when deciding on when to enroll your child. Waiting one more year could mean a much better experience for your child or it could simply be putting her behind when she doesn't need to be! This can be a stressful decision but if you take the time to educate yourself on what the most common requirements are you'll feel more confident that you are making the right choice for your child.

Mental Preparedness

It's important not to rush your child into school just because she is of age. You will want to make sure that she meets or even surpasses the recommendations for entry level students. Here are some basic skills that your child should have...

* Able to complete sentences and used descriptive words.
* Listen to a story without interruptions.  
* Focus on a task for 10 minutes or more. 
* Able to read their own name.
* Names basic shapes: triangle, square, circle and rectangle. 
* Can identify colors: red, yellow, blue, black, brown, green, orange, purple. 
* Able to count to 10. 
* Recognize numbers to 5. 
* Identify similarities and differences between to objects.

You can get a complete checklist of streamline recommendations and print it out by clicking HERE.

Emotional Preparedness

Some children naturally love new experiences. Some can develop extreme anxiety over the idea. To help your child feel as comfortable as possible on her first days of school it is important to prepare her emotionally. You can do so by...

* Talk to her about any anxieties she may have.
* Keep her involved in the process of getting prepared for school.
* Take your child to visit the school she will be attending and show her around especially to her classroom so it will not be a foreign environment for her.
* Find and introduce your child to one of her classmates. Having someone there that she knows will help her significantly.

Physical Preparedness

Even if your child is mentally and emotionally prepared for their first day of school, being unprepared physically can spoil it all! It's important that she is able to go to the bathroom by herself and tie her own shoes. Getting her into a daily routine of getting up at a certain time and eating on a regular routine will also help. If it is necessary to pack a lunch make sure it is fully of healthy foods that will keep her energy levels up at feed her growing brain!  Most importantly send her off to school having eaten a good breakfast!