Checklist to ensure child is kindergarten-ready

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By Joan Martin

Is your child ready for kindergarten?
In Kentucky, children are admitted to kindergarten by age. If a child is age 5 by Oct. 1 of the school year, then the child is eligible for kindergarten.
In Kentucky, school readiness means that each child enters school ready to benefit from early learning experiences that promote a child’s success. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, all kindergarten students in Kentucky’s public schools will be screened with the BRIGANCE Kindergarten Screen.
State funds will pay for the screening. This evaluation will be used to determine how to help children develop the skills they need to be successful in school.
Parents can be the best teachers to help prepare a child for success in school. The following checklist has been developed by the governor’s task force on Early Childhood Development and Education.
Observe your child, grandchild or any child under your care and supervision.
Ask yourself if your child exhibits these skills and behaviors. Because children develop at different rates, not every child will have mastered every skill or behavior prior to kindergarten.
If your child is behind in many areas, then your child may need more assistance in developing those areas.
You can help as a parent, grandparent or childcare provider.

Health and physical well-being
Does your child:
Eat a balanced diet
Get plenty of rest
Receive regular medical and dental care
Have all necessary immunizations
Run, jump, climb and do other activities that help develop large muscles and provide exercise
Use pencils, crayons, scissors, and paints and do other activities that develop small muscles

Emotional and
social preparation
Does your child:
Follow simple rules and routines
Express his/her own needs and wants
Seem curious and eager to learn
Explore and try new things
Play with other children and learn to share with others
Spend time away from parents/family without being upset
Work well alone, without constant involvement of others
Focus and listen to others

Language, math and
general knowledge
Does your child:
Use five- to six-word sentences
Sing simple songs
Recognize and say simple rhymes
Begin to write his/her name and address
Count and play counting games
Identify and name basic shapes and colors
Listen to and make music and dance
Know the difference between print and pictures
Listen to stories read to him/her
Notice similarities and differences
Ask questions
Understand simple concepts of time such as night and day, today, yesterday and tomorrow
Begin to sort and classify objects
Have television viewing monitored by an adult
A child’s work is their play. A parent or guardian can be the child’s best teacher by example and encouraging learning.

Announcements of upcoming programs at the Extension office or community partners
Farmer’s Market Coupon registration: must be at least 60 years old and income qualify, $28 coupons to use at the local farmer’s market. Registration and distribution is on a first-come basis for eligible applicants, Monday June 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Anderson County Senior Center. Limited to the first 50 qualified applicants.

Gourmet fish with roasted vegetables demonstration and tasting
Wednesday June 13, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Joan Martin is a consumer and family sciences agent at the Anderson County Extension office.