Getting Ready For Kindergarten

Kindergarten is an exciting milestone for both children and parents.  Beginning a Kindergarten program is an opportunity for new learning experiences, developing new friendships, enhancing confidence, and becoming increasingly independent.  To help families preparing for the transition to Kindergarten, the Saint James School Kindergarten teachers offer the following suggestions:

1) Provide a formal pre-kindergarten experience.  A structured preschool program will give your child a strong foundation for Kindergarten’s academic curriculum and, more important, the skills to socialize effectively with their peers, to learn in a group environment, and to communicate their needs to a teacher.

2)  Assess your child’s readiness.  Every child is unique and develops at their own pace.  A child’s date of birth does not necessarily indicate they are ready for Kindergarten.  We advise parents to trust their instincts – allowing children to learn when they are ready is extremely important to their academic success.

3)   Work with your child to help them:

  • Identify the letters of the alphabet and begin writing them using the correct method
  • Identify colors
  • Grip a pencil, crayon, or marker correctly (with the thumb and forefinger supporting the tip)
  • Use scissors, glue, paint, and other art materials with relative ease
  • Write his first name using upper and lowercase letters
  • Count to 10 and recognize written numbers
  • Classify objects according to their size, shape, and color
  • Speak using complete sentences
  • Recognize some common sight words, like “stop”
  • Identify rhyming words
  • Repeat his full name, address, phone number, and birthday
  • Play independently or focus on one activity with a friend for up to ten minutes
  • Independently manage dressing, eating, and personal hygiene
  • Follow simple two step directions
  • Clean up after himself
  • Listen to a story without interrupting
  • Separate from parents easily

4)   Visit The School.  Give your child an opportunity to see their school and meet the teacher before the first day.  Many schools, including Saint James, have a kindergarten orientation in the May – June time frame where children visit with the teacher in the classroom.  At Saint James, children will also visit the school for a Kindergarten readiness screening where they meet with a teacher and see the classrooms.  Attending the back-to-school ice cream social also gives incoming Kindergarten students the chance to see their teacher again and meet other Kindergarten friends the week before school starts.

5)  Help your child know what to expect.  Read books about Kindergarten with your child and discuss what you’ll be doing when he’s in school.  Reassure your child you will be there to greet them when school’s over.  Please remember to be positive and enthusiastic about their experience – as the parent, your attitude towards school will have a huge impact on your child.

6)  Shop for school supplies together.  Let your child choose their backpack, lunch box, and other school items from the supply list. He’ll feel proud to be making important decisions, and he’ll look forward to the first day, when he can try out all his new gear.

7)  Ease into a back-to-school schedule.  If your child’s been staying up late all summer, encourage her to go to bed and get up early at least two weeks before school starts. When the first day rolls around, getting up in time will be much easier on everyone.

Saint James School is pleased to offer many pre-kindergarten options including a full-day program for four- and five-year-old children.  The school also offers the option of either half-day or full-day Kindergarten (parents may start their children in half-day and transition to full-day, if they wish).  The Saint James kindergarten teachers are happy to consult with parents.  For more information about Saint James School or to request a Kindergarten screening, please e-mail the school at or call the school at (860) 643-5088 (select option 1 on the main menu).

Teachers’ Tip: 

When working with your child on letter writing, start them off using the proper handwriting techniques by following the Handwriting Practice Sheets below.  This way, when they work on letter writing in Kindergarten, children are working on perfecting what they have already learned, instead of learning a ‘new’ way.

Letter Formation Guide

A to Z Practice Sheets

a to z Practice Sheets

1 to 10 Formation Guide & Practice Sheets