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Is Your Child Ready For Kindergarten? How We Determine Readiness Here At CHS

February 07, 2024
By Lilian Mogle

One of the most exciting times in a child’s academic career is when they are getting ready to transition from preschool to Kindergarten.  The weeks before school starts are filled with the excitement of buying new clothes, backpacks, pencils and crayons galore! But helping your child make a smooth transition into kindergarten can and should begin many months before that first day of school.


Here at CHS we believe it is important that parents understand the developmental readiness that should be in place before a child begins in kindergarten.  When a child applies for entrance into kindergarten, we provide a brief “Show What You Know” time with one of our kindergarten teachers, in a classroom setting.  This brief screening demonstrates to us those kindergarten readiness skills, such as the small muscle control to hold and write with a pencil, the ability to sustain attention, regulate behavior, and express their feelings in words. We will follow up this time with suggestions for what parents can do to help prepare their child for school in the Fall. This first encounter also allows the child to meet a teacher and see the classroom setting during their first experience in the building.


Enrollment in kindergarten, at CHS, is just the beginning of the transition to school.  There are so many things parents can do at home to help their son or daughter be successful in the year ahead.  Children who are ready for kindergarten have developed independence in caring for their personal needs, such as washing their hands, or using the bathroom.  They are able to dress themselves and carry out simple one-step instructions.  These children have acquired the gross motor skills of balance and coordination through skipping, running, jumping and a variety of gross motor activities.  Parents can support the nurturing of these milestones by providing activities at home that stimulate their development.


We encourage our families to have their child engaged in some of the following activities in the months leading up to the start of school to establish a path for success:

  • Read to your child every day
  • Establish early bedtime routines
  • Provide crayons, markers, etc. for creativity
  • Provide scissors (supervised) to practice cutting paper
  • Provide toys that encourage fine motor development (Play Doh/Legos/Kinetic Sand)
  • Limit screen time
  • Create opportunities for decision-making or choices (“Do you want to stay up later or have an extra dessert?")
  • Play board games that involve counting/turn-taking/partnering (Candy Land/Trouble/etc.)
  • Give opportunities for quality time with you (let them share their feelings/thoughts, especially as the start of school approaches)

Finally, you can help your child transition to school by being proactive and reaching out into the school community as much as you can.  At CHS we provide a variety of ways for our incoming kindergarten students and their families to connect with other families within the school community.  There are open houses in the spring which give you and your child a chance to tour our campus, meet faculty, and administration so that the school becomes a familiar place.  We also offer grade-level playdates throughout the summer, so your child can meet new classmates in an unstructured play environment before the start of school.  Just before school starts, you and your child will have the opportunity to visit the classroom during a “Meet the Teacher” event.  All these opportunities help your child feel comfortable and confident as the first day of school approaches.

The transition to kindergarten is a big change for most children, and they approach it with a mixture of excitement and nerves.  But with thoughtful planning and practice at home, you can ensure a smooth transition to kindergarten for your child and yourself.


Lilian Mogle is the lower school principal at CHS.  She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Connecticut and an M.S. in Early Childhood Education from Southern Ct. State University.  She has over 30 years of experience in the classroom.


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