Kindergarten Readiness

t HLKV we are not in a rush to get a great education. 


  • Kindergartners must be 5 on or before July 1. For specific help in determining readiness for the Memoria Press Kindergarten curriculum, read below-Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten. If you are in doubt, please consider waiting a year. There is no rush to begin formal schooling, read below-On Waiting to Start Kindergarten. If your child is clamoring for instruction but they are not ready to begin Kindergarten yet, consider Memoria Press’s Junior-K two day per week program.

  • First graders must be able to read Little Bear with help and write in manuscript.

  • Second graders must be reading well with a good grasp of English phonics. If they have not already started cursive, they should start practicing. More here.

“Is my child ready?” and “How best should we prepare?”

We hope these suggestions are helpful as you prepare to embark on this exciting journey with your child!

Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten:

1. Fine Motor Development – Strengthening hand muscles is important for fine motor skills used in writing and cutting.

Activities that strengthen hand muscles include:

  • Kneading play dough and bread dough

  • Stringing beads

  • Pushing sand

  • Lacing (cards, shoes, etc.)

  • Using tongs to pick up small items

  • Exercising pincer grip by playing with Legos, small cars, doll clothes, etc.

2. Reading Readiness – Children who display signs of reading readiness are most successful in kindergarten. One of the best ways to cultivate reading readiness is by enjoying quality children’s literature with your child.


Some signs of reading readiness are:

  • Recognizes rhyming words (e.g. What rhymes with “cat”? “fat” or “cow”?)

  • Tells the meaning of simple words

  • Uses left-to-right progression

  • Recognizes some letters by name and sound

  • Distinguishes beginning sounds in words

  • Demonstrates the ability to listen to a story

  • Answers questions about a story

  • Writes some letters and numbers

  • Counts objects using one-to-one correspondence

  • Recognizes numbers 1-10

3. Social and Emotional Development – The classroom setting requires students to be able to function successfully as part of a group.

Some important first steps toward this are:

  • Knows full name

  • Verbally interacts with others

  • Exhibits self-control and a cooperative nature

  • Recognizes authority

  • Listens to and follows basic instructions

  • Gets along and plays with other children

  • Can work independently

On Waiting to Start Kindergarten

While some five-year-olds are ready for formal instruction, many are not. Once you’ve read the readiness milestones listed above, we’d like to draw your attention to these two specific areas:

  • Academic: Our Memoria Press curriculum focuses on the three Rs starting in Kindergarten. What this means is that students need to be ready to learn to read through phonics instruction, write in manuscript, and do basic arithmetic starting in Kindergarten. While important for discussing literature, science, and history, completing book-work orally is no substitute for learning the discrete skills of reading, writing, and ciphering in the early years. These skills put a student on track to dive into more advanced work in third grade. By third grade, a student should be doing all of their written work in cursive, have their addition and subtraction facts memorized through the 12-family, be reading fluently aloud and silently, and have a solid mastery of phonics and early spelling. Taking the long view, a Memoria Press student will complete, yes, complete the entire Latin grammar at the end of eighth grade and move into translation courses in high school. As you can tell, there is no need to hurry at the beginning of the journey!

  • Developmental: Students should be able to sit in an orderly classroom and take part in a teacher-led learning environment. HLKV will provide plenty of opportunities for delight, wiggling, and restful learning. If your child is ready academically, but not developmentally, please consider delaying a year with HLKV. The sky’s the limit for home instruction while your child matures. Memoria Press’s Junior-K two day per week program is a great preparation year.

If you are unsure as to whether your child is ready or should wait an additional year, please reach out to the Directors.

Is Your Child Ready? Contact Us For A Consult.