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What do kids need to know before entering kindergarten?

I know things are a lot different since I was in school and my kids didn't go to daycare or pre-k. I know they need to be able to write their names and draw shapes. Do they expect them to be great at it? What else do I need to work on? Thanks to everyone who gives me advice.


Asked by Anonymous at 12:28 PM on Jul. 23, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • If you want to know specifically what your school system expects then check with the Department of Education for your state. I have taught preschool special education for 20 + years. Our county presently uses the Creative Curriculum which presents skills in a fun, hands on environment Our programs introduce letters, sounds, shapes, numbers, etc, but the Department of Education states that the ONLY entry criteria that is expected for Kindergarten is that the child be 5 years old by Sept. 1st and that the child have all of his/her shots! All of the things you have mentioned may have been introduced depending on where the child went to preschool, but most all are actually skills that can be found under Kindergarten content standards. It is helpful to give each child a head start with their skills if possible since Kindergarten is now what used to be 1st grade. Children are pushed to hard and are stressed out in Kindergarten.

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 1:03 AM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • It largely depends on your school system. It can range from knowing pretty much nothing to knowing how to read and add/subtract. Our local schools don't require the child to be able to know anything to start Kindergarten...pretty much like it was 30 years ago. Not sure if this is good or bad.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 12:33 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • Basic numbers, shapes and colors. Should know his full name and his parents name. They will probably ask if he knows his address and number but it's not required. They will probably ask if he can read and write basic words but it's not required.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:34 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • -address
    -phone #
    -read and write first and last name
    -how to tie his shoes
    -know colors, days of the week, months of the year, seasons
    -know basic sight words
    -know all letters and their sounds
    -ability to write all letters
    -be able to identify shapes
    -basic addition (1+1=2, 1+2=3, etc.)

    Now a days most children attend pre-school where they learn A LOT. Most people think that it's just fun arts and crafts time, but they couldn't be more wrong. Please don't take this the wrong way, as I don't know your son, but be prepared for him to be behind the other children. I am betting that at least 90% of his class attended pre-school.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:52 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • Anon :52...much of that is what they learn IN kindergarten, not what they are expected to know before entering!

    Here they are not expected to know their phone number, but yes to the address. They are expected to recognize first and last name, but write first name. Not basic addition, but yes to basic concepts (full/empty, over/under, etc) They are expected to know the days of the week and that there are months and seasons...but not the order of the latter two. They are NOT expected to know how to tie their shoes, most don't even learn until during kindergarten closer to 6!

    Dang. Glad my kid isn't going to your school if that list is accurate.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:11 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • I have a early childhood education degree and your child will NOT be behind because you didnt toss them into daycare or pre-k. My son is 4 and I'm proud to say READING, SPELLING, CAN ADD AND SUBTRACT, KNOWS EVEN AND ODD, ALL HIS LETTERS, SOUNDS, HOW TO BLEND THEM TOGETHER, CAN WRITE ALL OF THEM, KNOWS ALL COLORS, SHAPES AND LEARNING STATE NAMES AND LOCATION *on his own will* he loves to learn and once all the basic things were taught he wanted to go with more challenging. SUPER, SMART LIKE HIS DADDY=)

    My son will be home schooled at least a few years before he enters private school but to get into public school I'm being told they need to be able to pick out at least 10 letters and know the sounds, know their first and last name along with moms and dads. Not know the full address but at least a round about ETC. Anonymous @ 11:11AM has it right =) GOOD LUCK

    Answer by Luv03 at 2:43 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • That is the accurate list for the school I teach at. The students who do not meet those standards go to a tutor for additional help.

    I said that I do not know her son, but be prepared for him to be behind. If she is not teaching him at home all the skills he needs, which it sounds as if she is not b/c she is concerned about him reading, then yes, he will be behind the other students. Our pre-k program teaches the students all of the standards that I mentioned and then some.


    Answer by Anonymous at 7:13 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • I apologize for the above post. I had it mixed up with another post today where the mom asked about reading. Please disregard my statement on working with him on reading. Again, I apologize........

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:17 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • I had it confused with this post.....

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:19 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • I would contact the school. There are schools that require student to be able to read; there are school that require children to be able to count to 100; they are all different

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:13 PM on Jul. 23, 2009