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What does my child need to learn before kindergarten?

My son will be starting kindergarten in September. I have been told a few times that he might be behind because he didn't go to day care. What does he need to know to be up to par ?


Asked by Amelora at 12:13 AM on Feb. 19, 2012 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • He has to be able to take care of his bathroom needs, recognize his name, tie his shoes. Sitting still and being able to listen will help too.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 1:21 AM on Feb. 19, 2012

  • I'm a kindergarten teacher and all of my kids start at the beginning. They have to be potty trained but I am often called upon to help do up snaps and such, like when a kid wears overalls or something, tie their shoes, know their full name, and we prefer their address and telephone number. We have all that on file but it's easier in case of emergency. As far as reading and writing and such, that's what they are there to learn and not all parents know how to teach that. I was very advanced when I entered school but I was bored to death in the beginning so I almost feel sorry for the advanced kids. The child will have to be able to feed themselves. This is what is required at my school but your school may be different. Be sure to ask them. Good luck!

    Answer by Razzle_Dazzle1 at 5:28 PM on Feb. 19, 2012

  • My aunt is a kindergarten teacher. She says in Fl children are expected to know their entire alphabet and be able to write it (preferably upper case and lower case), be able to read and write their own names, count to 20 and write the numbers to 20, and take care of their personal needs: zipping their own jackets, tying their own shoes, taking care of all bathroom needs and eating their lunches pretty much on their own.

    Answer by JLS2388 at 3:28 AM on Feb. 19, 2012

  • Different schools have different requirements. Call the school, and ask for a list of skills.

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:29 AM on Feb. 19, 2012

  • I would call the school. Here in NC when they start kindergarten the kids skills are all over the place - some are already reading, some don't even know their letters. They have them come in for one day the first week, a few kids/day and do some testing on them to see what they know or don't know. The next week when they actually start and all the kids come, the teacher can group them according to skill and teach them the things they don't know.
    I would say independent personal skills is the only thing they HAVE to know, but call the school.

    Answer by missanc at 10:04 AM on Feb. 19, 2012

  • In NJ they test the kids when you register them for kindergarten. We also have kids all over the place, some that have been in day care since 6 weeks old some who go to nursery school and some who are home and don't know anything. By 3rd grade they are all at an even level. Also, depending on when his birthday is, would he be one of the older kids or at the other end and be one of the younger ones. If you find he is not ready you can hold him back and wait a year before doing kindergarten. Or do private kindergarten and depending on how he does send him to public school for 1st grade or have him redo kindergarten in the public school.

    Answer by robinkane at 11:15 AM on Feb. 19, 2012

  • I agree call the school and see what their requirements are every school district is different and has different requirements for children. They have to be totally potty trained and be able to pull their clothing up and snap the snaps and zip the zipper; also be able to put boots, snow pants and jackets on and zip them, be able to recite and write the alphabet; be able to cut out shapes and follow the lines; sharing with other children; be able to read and write their names; count to 20 and write the numbers to 20, and take care of their personal needs: zipping their own jackets, tying their own shoes, taking care of all bathroom needs and eating their lunches pretty much on their own.

    Answer by Christmaslver68 at 7:22 AM on Feb. 21, 2012

  • As others have said, every school district has different requirements. When you go to kindergarten registration or if your district offers an Open House/informational session on K you can get the specifics on your district. you can also check the district web site. Specific readiness requirements and curriculum outlines for each grade are often listed online.

    In our district, the only real requirement was meeting the birth date cut-off of Oct 1st. Kids were expected to be able to attend to self-care needs - toilet (including pulling pants back up and handling zippers and snaps or buttons), putting on their coats/gloves, etc. Children should be able to be away from their primary caregiver without issue and be able to follow simple 3 step directions with minimal assistance. They should also interact with other children well and be able to mediate their own disagreements in a reasonable, age appropriate manner.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 11:08 AM on Feb. 21, 2012

  • Nothing, Kindergarten is the place to start learning cooperation, following directions, to be away from home for part of the day.
    If any problems arise you will soon discover what they are and can begin tackling them.

    This is a time for Gentle Transition into school life.


    Answer by doulala at 3:58 PM on Feb. 21, 2012