Is Your Child Ready To Begin School? 

School & Learning

Is your child ready to begin school? 

Parents often worry that their preschoolers may not have the preparation or maturity needed to succeed in today’s kindergarten programs.  Not all children entering kindergarten will have similar skills and needs, however, there are a number of activities you as a parent can do to help prepare your child as much as possible.

There are a number of activities you as a parent can do to help prepare your child as much as possible.

Ways You Can Help

  • Read books to and with your child.
  • Spend time with your child, including playing, and talking.
  • Create and enforce a routine within your home that your child needs to follow (e.g. times of meals, naptimes, and bedtimes).
  • Take time to talk with your child.
  • Encourage and answer questions from your child.
  • Engage in informal reading activities at home.
  • Promote your child’s cognitive development by showing and encouraging your child to think about the world around them.
  • Promote play that helps develop literacy skills, problem-solving skills, creativity, and imagination.
  • Familiarize children with the alphabet (letter sounds as well as names) and numbers.
  • Ensure opportunity to develop social skills through playgroups or more formal preschool activities.
  • Encourage behaviors that demonstrate respect and courtesy.
  • Encourage children to accept responsibility and build competence through simple chores such as putting toys away and picking up clothes.

A number of speech and language milestones for 4 and 5 year olds are listed below.  These milestones represent English Language Development.  If you answered “NO” to two or more skills, or if you have questions or concerns about your child’s communication development. Contact me, my info is below in the author section.

Speech and Language Milestones for 4 & 5 Year Olds

  • Sorts objects into groups by category and basic concepts (e.g., fruits/vegetables, big/little).
  • Asks and answers questions (e.g., who, what, where, why, when, and how).
  • Uses complete sentences (5-6 words) that are grammatically correct.
  • Uses pronouns: he/she, him/her, they/them, I.
  • Communicates wants and needs to adults and peers.
  • May tell simple jokes.
  • Completes 3-step directions (e.g. “Get your flashlight, turn it off, and give it to mommy.”)
  • Identifies body parts.
  • Understands and defines words like; soft/hard, long/short, top/bottom.
  • Understands various concepts (e.g. big/little, long/short, up/down, in/out, front/back, over/under, top/bottom, between, hot/cold, empty/full, more/less,  fast/slow.
  • Recognizes familiar signs (e.g., stop signs).
  • Lists/describes objects by what they do (e.g., all things you cut with), lists/describes objects by features (e.g. all things with wheels).
  • Pays attention and stay on task for a 10-15 minute activity.
  • Talks about things in the past; uses past, present and future verb tenses.
  • Can be understood by strangers most of the time but may still have errors with ‘r’ and ‘th’ sounds.
  • Answers reasoning questions such as; “What do you do when you are cold?”
  • Looks at pictures, tells a story by naming and describing.
  • Describe recent events and stories in the correct order or sequence.


School Readiness-Preparing Children for Kindergarten and Beyond:  Information for Parents.  Mary Ann Rafoth, Erin L Buchenauer, Katherine Kolb Crissman, Jennifer L. Halko.  Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Talk with Me Early Language Services:  School Readiness Checklist for Speech and Langauge Skills Ages 4 to 5 years.

The general information provided on the Website is for informational purposes and is not medical advice.

Do NOT use this Website for medical emergencies.

If you have a medical emergency, call a physician or qualified healthcare provider, or CALL 911 immediately. Under no circumstances should you attempt self-treatment based on anything you have seen or read on this Website. Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed and qualified health provider in your jurisdiction concerning any questions you may have regarding any information obtained from this Website and any medical condition you believe may be relevant to you or to someone else. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

Erin Avramidis, M.Cl.Sc. SLP, Reg. CASLPO

About Erin Avramidis, M.Cl.Sc. SLP, Reg. CASLPO

Erin is a Registered Speech Therapist and Clinical Director of Speech Kids Canada, an In-Home Speech therapy company.

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