As hard as it for me to believe, my youngest will be heading off to Kindergarten this fall. I already know from going through it with my daughter that the Kindergarten program of today is a far cry from what it was back when I was in school, when we only attended for half a day and the curriculum consisted of coloring and finger-painting. The expectation for learning in kindergarten today is much higher, and the greater Kindergarten curriculum means that it is more important than ever for parents to work to actively prepare their child to enter Kindergarten. If you are unsure how to prepare your child for Kindergarten, here is a list of 20 of the basic skills that most Kindergarten programs expect children to already know upon entrance to the program.
- Knows the letters of the alphabet
- Knows most of the sounds of the letters
- Associates sounds with words they know
- Is able to grip a pencil, crayon, or marker (with thumb and forefinger supporting the tip)
- Is able to use scissors, glue, paint, and other art materials with ease
- Is able to write their first name using upper and lowercase letters, such as “Michael”
- Knows how to count to 20 or higher
- Is able to name and recognize the numbers 1-10, even in random order
- Knows all the basic colors and shapes
- Speaks using complete sentences
- Is able to identify rhyming words
- Is able to recognize common sight words
- Knows his full name, address, phone number, and birthday
- Is able to manage bathroom needs on his own
- Is able to dress himself
- Can follow directions the first time they are given
- Is able to clean up after himself
- Is able to listen to an entire story without interrupting
- Is able to sit still and pay attention
- Knows to raise his hand or wait his turn to speak
You can print a copy of this list here.
Most schools are teaching children to recognize words by sight now, rather than trying to sound them out. Here is a list of sight words that Kindergartners are expected to learn in order to be reading ready:
I to a the little have is we my like he for me with she see look they you of are do that one three five two four here go yellow blue green red purple brown orange black what said was where come
You can download printable flashcards of these words here.
You can find more useful Kindergarten flashcards at Mr. Printables.
Fun Websites For Learning
There are several fun websites that offer interactive learning games by grade level for free. Here are a few your child will love:
Starfall.com – Starfall offers fun games and songs to help young kids learn letter sounds and begin to read.
Funbrainjr.com – Fun Brain Jr features interactive games that promote learning for children ages 2 – 6.
PBSkids.org – There is lots of fun to be had learning letters and their sounds while playing games with some of your favorite PBS characters. Join Super Why! on a reading adventure or help organize letters to make words with that lovable oversized dog Clifford.
Don’t panic if your child hasn’t mastered everything on this list yet. There are still several months to go before Kindergarten starts in the fall. Spend the summer practicing these concepts with your child to help ensure a smooth transition to Kindergarten. Happy learning!