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Are Those “Is Your Child Ready For Kindergarten” Lists Actually Helpful?

Are those “Ready For Kindergarten” checklists actually helpful to your child and you as a parent? The answer is yes and no. They do offer some guidelines, but each child is different and develops at a different level. The lists are also not always standardized, so there may be things on them that are not accurate for the age group.

Is Your Child Ready For Kindergarten Lists

Many of the skills that are often listed on these lists are things children learn in kindergarten not before. They may not have the needed materials at home to develop all these skills. And, they may not have been ready for them previously. What we are expecting of children younger and younger is often unrealistic. Parents want their children to succeed in school, but they don’t want to overstretch them. It is important to find a balance.

Although it’s helpful to give families guidelines to focus on with their children so they can be better prepared for full-time school, this list as a whole is certainly overwhelming. In fact, many skills – writing their name, cutting with scissors correctly, and identifying shapes – are the types of abilities kids generally learn in kindergarten, not beforehand. ~PopSugar

Should A Child Be Held Back?

And, just because a child does not meet every criteria on these lists, does not mean he or she should be held back. Children will often catch up with and even surpass these lists quickly when they get in a school setting. Even if they don’t schools will likely have the resources to work with children in these early years to help them reach these milestones.


This is not always the case, there are cases where a child may truly not be ready for school. But if you are concerned you may talk with a professional but don’t panic. These lists are a guideline and not the end all be all. Make sure you use them as such. One parent shared this picture saying that the expectations are unrealistic.


Hamilton County schools have unrealistic expectations.

So what do you think? Are the expectations unrealistic? Are they good guidelines or should they be followed to a t? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Freelance Blogger at
Lori Hil is a freelance blogger and content curator with an AAS in Early Childhood Education. She now gets to combine her love of writing and teaching through the written word. You can find her all around the web, but especially enjoying the freelance life at
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