If you have a child who is more than four years old, you are probably faced with the decision of sending him or her to kindergarten. Whether or not you are ready to let go of your baby, the truth is that the most important question to ask yourself is whether or not the child is ready for kindergarten. Not all children develop at the same rate, and not all are ready to face long periods of time in a strange environment. Think about you child's maturity level, and things like his or her ability to concentrate and share with others.
Kindergarten has changed radically over the past ten or 15 years. Many schools have minimized crafts and games, and instead, they are concentrating on academic subjects, introducing kids early to computers and foreign languages. Many kids who are four or five years old are ready for kindergarten and the pressures that come with it.
Other children are not developed enough at four or five years old to deal with complex subjects. Whether your child is ready or not has little to do with chronological age, so consider your child's aptitudes, including adequate motor skills, the capacity for concentration, curiosity, and social skills, including the ability to share and follow a routine. You may want to have your child take a kindergarten screening test. This is available at some kindergartens free of charge for all prospective students, and it includes simple activities such as drawing, auditory memory, use of language, and body movements.
If you believe your child is ready for kindergarten, you can make the process even easier by helping him or her build social skills from early on. You can make reading a preferred activity at home and create games to teach the alphabet and other basic academic skills. Even putting puzzles together and playing with building blocks can help prepare your child for kindergarten. There are books to help you teach your child basic skills that can make the transition to kindergarten easy on everybody.