Getting Ready for Pre-Kindergarten

Read up on what to expect when your child enters pre-kindergarten.
By Sasha Emmons



Getting Ready for Pre-Kindergarten

Time to let go of your baby. Your little one’s first taste of independence in pre-K can be bittersweet — but soon enough you’ll be amazed!

What she’ll be learning:

  • All the letters
  • How to write her name
  • Corresponding like things (two shoes go with two socks)
  • Simple addition under 10. Wow!

What you’ll love:

Kids are sponges at this age, charming you with a detailed description of, say, the life cycle of a butterfly. They’re encouraged to fix problems, so you may find yourself feeling a little less like a butler (they spill, they clean it up).

Don’t stress over . . . 

Your separation anxiety: This milestone can be as tough for you as it is for them. “Parents can have a hard time letting go and trusting that their kid is okay,” says Diane Jordan, a teacher in Barnesville, MD. Try starting small. Little Sally can carry her own backpack and dress herself. Choose functional clothing: elastic-waist pants, stretchy socks, easy-on shoes. Go to for belts that fasten with one hand.

Her separation anxiety: This is especially true if there’s a sibling who stays home. Clinginess is normal. Try accepting it. Instead of saying “Preschool is fun!” connect this challenge to others. “I know you’re nervous. Remember when you were scared of swimming lessons? This will be okay, too, just like that was.”

Plus: Read more on pre-K skills, lessons, and readiness.

Find out what to expect in:

Social Skills
What to Expect by Grade
Cognitive Skills
Age 5
Age 4
Age 3
Child Development and Behavior
School Life