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Will my 5-year-old be ready for kindergarten?
Q: I don't think my soon-to-be 5-year-old is ready for kindergarten next year. She is my second child. My 9-year-old knew what his numbers and letters looked liked and could read kindergarten books before he started school. I feel like I have less time to spend with my daughter than I did with my son (they are four years apart); when he was born, it was just him and I had no distractions and nobody else wanting attention. Did I fail with my daughter, or will she be able to handle kindergarten when it comes next summer?
A: You haven’t failed her. And her kindergarten teachers will probably be pleased that she doesn’t know these things. After all, that is part of what they will teach her. Furthermore, you put your finger on one of the reasons: you did not have as much time to spend with her as you did with your son. We second children never get as much time as our older sisters and brothers! Find opportunities to do special things with her without her bright older brother. Read to her; make special pilgrimages to the library and let her choose the books she wants; talk to her while you do your housework; involve her in cooking activities and talk about the measures. Such everyday things as these will give her better preparation for kindergarten than will special efforts to teach her numbers and letters.