Kindergarten Readiness

  • Age is generally the only criterion for children entering kindergarten. Starting with the 2009-10 school year, students must be five years old on or before August 31. Although there is no other requirement for entering kindergarten, here are some common expectations for new students, according to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (2008).

    Approaches to learning

    • Is confident in ability to learn
    • Enjoys exploration and discovery through play
    • Expresses self through music, movement, and art
    • Pays attention to task for short period of time (about 15 minutes)
    • Persists with tasks even when difficult
    • Social and emotional development

    Plays cooperatively and participates appropriately in a group

    • Follows basic rules and routines
    • Demonstrates some independence and can separate from parents
    • Respects people and property
    • Begins to identify and express feelings
    • appropriately
    • Begins to understand others' feelings
    • Forms close relationships with children and familiar adults
    • Language development

    Knows many vocabulary words in own language

    • Uses sentences of several words
    • Speaks in a way that is understandable to unfamiliar adults
    • Follows directions that have one, two, or three steps
    • Recognizes rhyming words and similar sounds
    • Recognizes familiar alphabet letters and knows the letters of his/her own
    • name
    • Is interested in books/stories; can retell a story when it’s read aloud
    • Health and physical development

    Has had vision/hearing screenings and required immunizations

    • Receives medical care when sick
    • Receives regular dental check-ups
    • Eats a balanced diet and gets 10-12 hours of sleep each night
    • Can run, jump, climb, swing, and throw balls
    • Demonstrates self-help skills, such as use of toilet, unassisted eating, dressing self, washing hands, etc.
    • Cuts with scissors appropriately
    • Cognition and general knowledge

    Identifies self by first and last name

    • Knows basic colors
    • Has awareness of self and family
    • Draws picture of self
    • Knows that actions have consequences
    • Understands simple science concepts
    • Demonstrates good problem-solving skills
    • Names some numbers and counts to 10
    • Names basic shapes
    • Can informally measure things (“Which is longer?”)
    • Understands spatial concepts (up and down, inside and outside)