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                                                   Admission Office Reflections

Kindergarten Readiness


Many parents eagerly anticipate the day a child enters kindergarten and begins his formal education. Public schools and most private schools use a birthday cut off to determine when a child should start kindergarten. The Commonwealth of Virginia, with a birthday cut off of September 30, is among the latest dates and therefore has some of the youngest children in kindergarten. However, not all children develop at the same rate. When parents evaluate whether their child is ready for kindergarten they often consider traditional markers such as knowing the alphabet or having expressed interest in learning how to read. But kindergarten readiness is not limited to indicators such as phonemic and math awareness. There are six developmental areas in which your child will need to demonstrate readiness in order to be prepared to enjoy and succeed in kindergarten. We encourage you to consider the following areas of readiness as you evaluate whether your little one is ready to start kindergarten.

Does your child demonstrate these skills consistently, occasionally, or not yet?

 Gross Motor

  • Walks forward on a straight line
  • Walks backward on a straight line
  • Jumps on two feet, with both feet leaving the ground at the same time
  • Hops on one foot
  • Kicks a stationary ball straight for ten feet
  • Throws a ball with accuracy for ten feet
  • Skips

Fine Motor

  • Places multiple large beads on a string
  • Correctly uses scissors to cut a straight line
  • Uses the proper grip to hold a pencil or crayon
  • Correctly draws a circle and square

Expressive and Receptive Language

  • Speaks in complete sentences most of the time
  • Responds appropriately to basic questions such as, “What is your favorite color?”
  • Understands positional words such as up, down, beside, near, far
  • Follows one-step directions without needing directions repeated
  • Follows multi-step directions without needing directions repeated

Letter/Phonemic Awareness and Print Knowledge

  • Names all the letters in his/her first name
  • Names most upper case letters when shown in a random order
  • Names most lower case letters when shown in a random order
  • Can produce some of the sounds for corresponding letters
  • Is able to supply words that begin with the same sound as a given word
  • Attempts to write letters in his/her own name
  • Demonstrates book awareness such as cover and back of the book, left to right order, words are read from top to bottom
  • Identifies two words that rhyme when given picture cards
  • Uses symbols or drawings to express ideas

Visual Discrimination/Math Awareness

  • Identifies colors by name
  • Identifies shapes by name
  • Identifies differences between similar pictures
  • Classifies objects by physical features (shape, color, size)
  • Identifies basic patterns in a sequence
  • Matches two like pictures in a set of five pictures
  • Counts number of objects in a small group (up to five, up to ten, etc.)
  • Arranges numerals in order 1-5
  • Counts in sequence 1-10
  • Demonstrates an understanding of “adding to” and “taking away” using up to five objects

Social/Emotional Development

  • Separates from parents without getting upset
  • Interacts comfortably with peers without adult intervention
  • Stays focused until a task is completed
  • Perseveres on difficult tasks without getting frustrated
  • Demonstrates independence in personal care (washing hands, dressing, bathroom use)
  • Shows empathy towards others’ feelings



Posted by admission on Tuesday November 19, 2013
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January 2013

Are We There Yet?

Coming back to school after the summer break has all the wonderful sentiments associated with new beginnings, clean slates, and fresh starts. Everyone is eager; students, teachers, and parents. Coming back to school after the Christmas break has all the sentiments associated with the second half of a long road trip. It’s harder to get back into the car, there is no rest stop just when I need one, and I want to have my next meal at the table using real plates and silverware rather than on the run because of one more away game!

This is why I love that the first full week after the break at TCS is homecoming week. Much creative energy is poured into a week of celebrating school spirit in the upper school and the games and activities are a boost to morale. During the basketball games on Friday night it was great to see the gymnasium so full with current and previous students and their parents. (I still marvel at that beautiful facility and God’s great kindness in providing it for us.)

This year a few colleges added to the celebrations as some posted results for early applicants ahead of the promised schedule. Five of the ten students who applied for early action at UVA learned that they have been accepted and a few more are deferred to hopefully be accepted later this spring. A beaming college advisor proudly reported that as the number of successful TCS alumni grows these former students are paving the way for our current students. Word is getting out that Trinity Christian School sends off students who have learned to work and think, who finish what they start, and who are ready to lead others. And that makes the long ride worth it!

Posted by Mrs. Margot Clenance on Monday January 14, 2013 at 02:46PM
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