Getting ready for kindergarten


        Getting children ready to learn in school is an important family responsibility. A typical kindergarten teacher may expect that a kindergartener has a base of knowledge, such as the items listed here. Some children may have already mastered this basic knowledge. For them, I list suggestions of information to teach children when the first part is mastered.

        None of this is to be taught as if children are studying for a kindergarten entry exam. Rather, this is the type of knowledge that parents can include in their conversations and observations when they are with their children.

  • Give first name, full name, age, address (house number and street), birthdate (month and day), and phone number. (When mastered, add name of city, year of birth, area code.)
  • Recognize basic colors. (When mastered, add a variety of color shades.)
  • Recognize a large variety of everyday household objects.
  • Pick out the different symbol, object, or letter in a group where several are the same and one is different.
  • Have enough experience with crayons and pencils on paper so that she can copy familiar shapes such as square, triangle, circle, rectangle. (When mastered, add hegagon, octagon, rhombus.)
  • Stand or hop on one foot at a time.
  • Count to ten. (When mastered, advance ten numbers at a time as interest holds out.)
  • Point to or touch body parts when asked to identify them (hand, arm, elbow, eye, etc.).
  • Listen to, remember, and follow both one-step directions ("Get a blue towel") and two-step directions ("Get a blue towel and put it on the towel bar").
  • Recognize numbers 1 through 5 and match the correct number of objects to them. (When mastered, continue five numbers at a time, if interested.)
  • Write her first name (preferably with only the first letter as a capital and all the others lower case).
  • Show that she is learning to speak understandably and in complete sentences.
  • Listen to a story and then have a discussion about it with the adult who read it to her, recalling details about the characters and plot.
This column has been incorporated and expanded in Teach Your Children Well: A Teacherís  Advice for Parents.

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