|For those of you who have been following my blog, you know that not all applicants who apply to private schools get in to private schools. Some of you have been stunned to learn that your child was deemed “not quite ready,” or “not qualified” for a particular school.
Now this isn’t New York, where all children applying to private schools must take an IQ test, and all children applying to some of the better public schools must do the same.There is no entrance exam for public school in L.A.; there is no uniform Kindergarten readiness assessment used by all of the L.A. private schools.
But there is concern as to whether a child is truly ready. In recent years the concept of “kindergarten readiness” has been a rallying cry – for teachers coping with increasingly demanding academic standards when there are 4 ½ year olds in the classrooms; to parents who feel like their child is ready and eager to learn, no matter the chronological age; to state departments of education, trying to determine how many children can comfortably fit into the norm, by age.
It is part of the accepted canon that “school readiness” means having the ability to learn and cope with the school environment without undue stress – and that a child’s intelligence plays only a minor role in his or her ability to cope with the school day.
Different schools use different criteria for kindergarten readiness. In most cases, children must be around 5 years old in order to begin, but age alone, just like IQ alone, is not indicative of whether a child can handle what is in most cases an increasingly academically rigorous curriculum. In addition to academics, children must be ready for school physically, socially and emotionally. Language, fine and gross motor skills, and the ability to self-regulate will support their success in school.
These days many children start school at closer to six years old. But there are parents out there who think that their child is ready at four or five – and some are. That said, there is no one-size-fits-all in Kindergarten. But there are some basic skills and abilities your child should have in order to increase the likelihood that your child will have a successful Kindergarten experience. And some of those skills and abilities are the result of the individual child’s development.
If you need the peace of mind that your child is on track and developmentally ready for an academically rigorous Kindergarten, or that your child could use an extra year of preschool to solidify his or her social-emotional development, we are now scheduling Kindergarten readiness assessments from May through August. Please contact sandy@LAschoolscout.com for details.
Until next time,
Sandy Eiges, M.S.W.
L.A. School Scout