Kindergarten Readiness

Lorain Public Library is committed to fostering community growth, discovery, and success. We are dedicated to promoting the success of preschoolers in our communities by helping them get ready for kindergarten. The library provides resources to families through early literacy programming derived from American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read program. The program is a research-based series of practices that help young children to develop essential skills to set them up to be successful students. Every Child Ready to Read begins at birth with parents and caregivers being the first and best teacher for children. Parents and caregivers focus on five key practices: talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing.

  1. Talking: Talking with children helps them learn oral language, one of the most critical early literacy skills. Children learn about language by listening to parents talk and joining in the conversation. The more words children hear in conversations during their early childhoods, the larger their vocabulary will be when they go to school. This also helps young children build background knowledge, which they can use later to help them comprehend new ideas.
  2. Singing: Singing develops language skills. Slows down language so children can hear the different sounds in words. Helps children learn new words and information.
  3. Reading: Reading together develops vocabulary and comprehension, nurtures a love for reading, and motivates children to want to learn to read.
  4. Writing: Children become aware that printed letters stand for spoken words as they see print used in their daily lives. Writing helps children understand that the words they speak can be written down, and then read and spoken to someone else. They begin to understand that those squiggles on the page have meaning.
  5. Playing: Play is one of the best ways for children to learn language and literacy skills. They learn about language through playing as the activities help them put thoughts into words and talk about what they are doing.

Click here for your own copy of the Kindergarten Readiness Checklist 

By following these practices and utilizing early literacy resources your child will be ready to read! For more information on Every Child Ready to Read visit this link http://everychildreadytoread.org/.

What does it mean to be “ready for kindergarten?”

Kindergarten readiness refers to the skills, knowledge and behaviors that will help your child be prepared for an easy transition to kindergarten—which is typically the start of their formal classroom education. It’s important that children are academically, physically, socially and emotionally ready for school. Even for children who attended preschool or daycare, this is a big transition. Kindergarten readiness focuses on the childhood milestones that can help ensure that your child successfully navigates this exciting transition. Kindergarten readiness is a process and these skills and milestones develop over time. As a parent or caregiver, you want to provide opportunities and experiences that foster your child’s independence and love of learning.

At what age should a parent or caregiver begin teaching these skills?

Many of the skills on the checklist are intended for preschool-age children; after all, you have to learn to walk before you can run, jump or skip. Other skills, such as nurturing a love of reading, can easily begin at birth. In fact, one of the best and easiest ways to nurture your child’s cognitive development is to simply read with them every day for 20 minutes. Reading fosters early learning and creates connections in the brain that promote language, cognitive, and social and emotional development. This is why the Library is a perfect partner to promote kindergarten readiness.

These skills develop gradually over time, depending on your child's abilities and experiences, so it’s never too early to start. With that said, don't put too much pressure on your child—or on yourself. Most of the skills can be learned through five simple practices—talking, singing, reading, writing and playing! These practices provide the foundation for your child to develop self-awareness, spark curiosity and foster learning.

The Library recognizes that access to books is critical! Our friendly librarians can help you and your child find age-appropriate books on a variety of subjects to help prepare for school. In addition, through their partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library will send every child in Ohio, from birth to age five, a free book each month. To enroll in this wonderful program visit, https://ohioimaginationlibrary.org/enroll.

Do all of these skills need to be mastered before the first day of kindergarten?

No, we recognize that each child develops at their own pace. Not all of the skills need to be mastered before the first day of kindergarten, but most should. Throughout early childhood, young children are constantly developing and mastering new skills. What they struggle with one week, they may easily learn just a few weeks later. The purpose of the Passport to Kindergarten Checklist is to provide caregivers with information about important developmental; milestones that children typically master before kindergarten.

As a parent, you know your child best. If your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or if you think there could be an issue, talk to your child’s pediatrician and share your concerns. The Centers for Disease Control have developed a Milestone Tracker App and/a printable checklist that lists important developmental milestones from birth through age five. These checklists also indicate important red flags that could signify potential delays. To learn more about these resources, visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/concerned.html. If your child is at least three-years old, call any local public elementary school (even if your child does not go to school there) and say: “I have concerns about my child’s development and I would like to have my child evaluated through the school system for preschool special education service.”

Does the list alter by school district or are these skills all children are supposed to learn by that time?

The Passport to Kindergarten Readiness Checklist is aligned with Ohio Department of Education’s Kindergarten Readiness Assessment and curriculum standards. These are important skills and behaviors for all children entering kindergarten. If you have a question about your preschool aged-child with special needs transitioning to kindergarten, you can contact the Preschool Special Education Team at 614-369-3765 or by email at preschoolspecialeducation@education.ohio.gov

What is the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment?

The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is a tool that teachers will use to get to know your child. It is not designed to rank children by ability, nor is it a tool for identifying students with disabilities or gifted students. This tool is primarily to help your teacher get to know your child in a way that does not interrupt the child’s learning. For more information visit Ohio Department of Education resource page.

My child started kindergarten already and doesn’t have some of these skills – does that mean that he or she will fall behind?

That’s okay; don’t panic. These skills develop over time. The purpose of the Passport to Kindergarten Checklist is to help you identify the skills that come easily to your child and the areas that may require little extra attention. Develop routines that allow your child to practice these skills frequently. As much as possible, make it fun and interactive—sing silly rhyming songs, play I Spy, or go on a scavenger hunt for words. Readyatfive.org provides simple strategies and activities that help you work with your child on specific skills. The State Library of Ohio launched a Day by Day Family Literacy Calendar which features songs, book suggestions, and other fun activities that can help prepare your children for school. This to access this resource visit daybydayoh.org/. We also encourage you to make to speak to your child’s teacher for more personalized learning recommendations or objectives.

How can the Lorain Public Library System help me prepare my child for kindergarten?

The Lorain Public Library System provides a variety of resources and services to help you make sure that your child is prepared for kindergarten.

  • Did you know that books are specifically formatted to help your children learn to read? Picture books are the building blocks for young readers as they promote literacy, vocabulary skills, sentence structure and story analysis. Picture books introduce many more words than those used in day-to-day communication. In addition, there a picture that are specially designed to help your child learn the letter, number, colors and much more.
  • Story times are specifically formatted to help teach your child early literacy skills. Story times are so much more than just the reading of books. They are the planting of seeds for lifelong learning, the awakening of imagination, and the widening of mind and spirit.
  • ABC Mouse (in-library use only): This award-winning educational website provides learning activities for children ages 2 and up, with interactive books, games, puzzles and other learning activities across all major subject areas — reading, math, science, social studies, art and music.
  • BookFlix: Is an online literary resource that pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks. Try out these online books for preschoolers through third-graders.
  • Early Childhood Learning Backpacks: These backpacks encourage literacy with a variety of books, games, puzzles and cards while focusing on several different themes such as emotions, sound community and the solar system.
  • Readalongs: Available in Wonderbook and VOX Books brand, these print books come with an audiobook inside that allows patrons to follow along as they read. Available in picture book, early readers, chapter books and nonfiction format, these books also include comprehension questions at the end.
  • Launchpads: These are preload, safe educational tablets with content and games for users of all ages and do not need to connected to Wi-Fi in order to be used. Topics include literacy, math sciences, art and social skills.
  • LEGOS: Use your library card to build a whole new world. Put your engineering skills to the test and see what you can build from a standard or themed LEGO set.

I am working on these skills with my child and there are a couple that we are struggling with. Where can I go for help?

If you have concerns about your child’s development or are looking for resources to help with a particular skill, look no further.

Resources, Services and Organizations

BoldBeginning.org Anyone with young children in their life can use this site to learn about the state's early childhood programs and resources, including Early Intervention, Help Me Grow, child care, and preschool. They will also find helpful information including developmental milestones, screenings, emotional wellness tips, and so much more!

Centers for Disease Control Concerned about your child’s development? If your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, talk to your child’s pediatrician and share your concerns. The Centers for Disease Control have developed a Milestone Tracker App or a printable milestone checklist that lists important developmental milestones from birth through age five. These checklists also indicate important red flags that could signifying potential delays.

Day by Day Family Literacy Calendar The State Library of Ohio launched a Day by Day Family Literacy Calendar which features songs, book suggestions, and other fun activities that can help prepare your children for school

Early Care & Education Search Tool This tool helps you locate different types of child care and early educational program that meet your needs. You can also learn more about programs’ licensing status, Step Up to Quality rating, and inspection results.

Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center The Office of Head Start (OHS) helps young children from low-income families prepare to succeed in school through local programs. Head Start and Early Head Start programs promote children's development through services that support early learning, health, and family well-being. The Head Start Locator Tool helps families and caregivers find a Head Start program that meets their needs. For more information, visit Ohio’s Head Start Collaboration Office’s website.

Ohio Department of Education Welcome to Ohio’s Kindergarten Home Page which provides valuable information about Ohio’s Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, Ohio Early Learning Assessment. Make sure to check the ODE’s Early Learning Family Resource page which is full of wonderful tips, strategies and resources. Do you have question about your preschool child with special needs transitioning to kindergarten? If so, use this link to contact the Preschool Special Education Team.

Ohio Early Intervention The Ohio Department of Health’s Help Me Grow program provides coordinated services to parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays in Ohio. Making a referral to Help Me Grow is the first step for parents who have questions or concerns about their infant or child. One referral to Help Me Grow opens the door to many programs that support families including Early Intervention, Home Visiting, Moms and Babies First and the WIC Program.

Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Through their partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, they will send every child in Ohio, from birth to age five, a free book each month.
U.S. Department of Education Tips for Parents This federal site provides a comprehensive resource for parents and families on how to help their children succeed in school.

Fun, Free and Educational Websites for Preschoolers

ABC Mouse (in-library use only) This award-winning educational website provides learning activities for children ages 2 and up, with interactive books, games, puzzles and other learning activities across all major subject areas — reading, math, science, social studies, art and music. This website can be accessed for free on any computer within the Lorain Public Library System.

ABCya Provides over 400 fun and educational games for grades PreK through 6.

BookFlix is an online literary resource that pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks. Simply enter your library card number and try out these online books for preschoolers through third-graders

Bedtime Math is a daily blog that offers daily math problems instead of stories. Math problems are offered in three levels of challenge—preschool, kindergarten through first or second grade, and second grade and up.

Funbrain offers hundreds of free interactive games, books, videos, and printables that help kids develop skills in math, reading, problem-solving, and literacy.

Hoopla the Kids section lets you borrow free digital movies, TV shows, full music CDs, eBooks, comic books and audiobooks for children of all ages. Gain access to thousands of titles that are available for instant streaming or temporary download

Nick Jr enjoy games and activities with favorite Nick Jr characters.

OverDrive for Kids find free eBooks, audiobooks, videos and more for kids in preschool through 12th grade.

PBS Kids enjoy games and activities featuring your favorite PBS programs, including Arthur, Between the Lions and Sesame Street.

Reading Rockets Reading Rockets offers strategies and tools for parents, families and teachers to help children improve their reading skills.

Readyatfive.org Parent Tips series is designed especially for parents and caregivers of young children. Parent Tips provide information for building your child's skills and abilities in different developmental areas. They provide simple strategies and activities to that help you work with your child on specific skills

Sesame Street Central enjoy games and activities with your friends from Sesame Street including Prairie Dawn, Elmo, and the Cookie Monster.

Seussville enjoy games and activities with your favorite Dr. Seuss characters.

Starfall features short stories that concentrate on a vowel or blend sound. By clicking on a word, help is given. Primarily designed for first grade, also useful for pre-kindergarten, Kindergarten and second grade.

Storyline Online the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Daytime Emmy®-nominated and award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online®, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Kristen Bell, Rita Moreno, Viola Davis, Jaime Camil, Kevin Costner, Lily Tomlin, Sarah Silverman, Betty White, Wanda Sykes and dozens more.