Children are capable of so much more than we usually expect.

Independence looks different depending on the age of a child, but every child can show independence. Here are some benchmarks of independence for those in our Early Childhood program (2.5-6 years old).


In an organized environment, preschool and kindergarten-age children can:

  • help in making their lunch.
  • brush their hair in the morning.
  • dress themselves and put on their own jacket/coat.
  • put on their socks and shoes. Even if they need help with tying, etc., they can make the effort.
  • remember their backpack, jacket, lunch, work folder/binder, etc.
  • carry their own belongings (backpack, lunch, snack, etc.) to class.
  • walk into class from the morning car line by themselves.
  • go to the bathroom independently as long as their clothes are not a hindrance.
  • pour their beverages and serve themselves, clean up after themselves upon finishing eating.
  • carry their plate to the kitchen after meals.


In an organized environment, preschool and kindergarten-age children can:

  • help set the table.
  • sort silverware after it has been washed.
  • clean up spills; sweep floors.
  • put away their toys.
  • straighten their room.
  • sort clean socks, fold towels, etc., on laundry day.
  • have responsibilities in keeping the environment clean and tidy.
  • help prepare veggies/fruit for meals at home.
  • help plant flowers, weeded flower beds, water plants, etc.


In an organized environment, preschool and kindergarten-age children can:

  • show respect for others.
  • wait patiently without interrupting conversations.
  • use appropriate table manners.
  • understand not to take or use things that belong to others without asking for permission.
  • begin to solve problems with little or no interference from adults.
  • feel empathy for others.


For preschool and kindergarten-age children, it is OK:

  • if your child complains about doing what he has been asked to do; stand your ground!
  • if your child is crying or whining when she comes into class; just let her go and she will be fine. We will call you in the event that she does not settle down.
  • if your child’s clothing is not perfectly matched. It shows that he has been given the opportunity to make his choice independently.
  • if your child makes mistakes. It allows her to learn on her own.
  • if your child’s hair is not perfectly coiffed and/or groomed.
  • if your child spills when pouring, drops when carrying, or does not clean up “perfectly.”
  • if your child misspells words and writes letters and/or numbers backwards.
  • if your child forgets his backpack, lunch, folder, etc. on occasion. The natural consequences that occur may keep it from happening in the future.
  • if your child temporarily misplaces an item.
  • if you let your child try to solve her conflicts on her own before intervening.
  • if your child is brought to school in their PJs if you have had a particularly difficult time that morning.
  • if your child brings leftovers for lunch.
  • if your child is not eager to do academic work when he gets home.
  • if your child is assertive about her needs or feelings—this shows valuable self-awareness.
  • if your child thrives under repetition; he relishes the ability to master a skill and use it.