Kindergarten Readiness

How do I know if my child is ready for kindergarten?

Your child may throw tantrums on one day, and surprise you with kindness the next day. She may play with peers and not talk to adults, or vice versa.

The kaleidoscope of emotions and abilities in a five-year old child is typically not easy for anyone to predict, and yet there are familiar developmental patterns that can help parents and teachers evaluate where students are along a spectrum of readiness, and help families decide what is appropriate.

KindergartenerAt Methow Valley Elementary, there are several ways you might determine whether your child is ready for kindergarten:

  • Visit kindergarten classrooms- classroom visits are welcome anytime, with advance notice. Please schedule these visits through the MVE front desk: (509) 996-2186.
  • Talk with other families of kindergarten parents. For a list of families who’ve volunteered to be parent “buddies” for new, incoming families, please contact Katharine Bill.
  • Talk with the kindergarten teachers- they are available to meet with incoming families with advance notice, again, please schedule this through the MVE front desk: (509) 996-2186.
  • Talk with other friends and caregivers who know your child, and possibly compare notes about the social, emotional, physical and cognitive guidelines listed in the chart below. The best way around a parent’s bias is to ask for honest feedback from others in a structured way.

What does “developmentally appropriate” learning look like in kindergarten?

The following chart outlines common attributes for 5-year-olds. These can help both parents and teachers sharpen their powers of observation, and carefully adjust their expectations to match each child at an appropriate level.

The 5-year-old in the Kindergarten classroom
Awareness of these common growth patterns can help families and teachers talk about in specific ways about how to address areas where students need extra support (from Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4-14, by Chip Wood).

At Methow Valley Elementary we recognize that for some children, kindergarten may be a two-year process.

Playing in the snowWe believe that adapting to each students needs, and adjusting instruction to appropriate developmental levels will help students experience a genuine mastery of new skills and a joy for learning, which will build a strong foundation for all future learning.

The following resources may help families find additional information about developmental stages:

Washington State Early Learning and Development Guidelines

WaKIDS Characteristics of Children Entering Kindergarten


Spring Break: Monday, April 3rd - Friday, April 7th - All MVSD schools and the district office will be closed to the public.