Many parents ask “ What should my child know before entering kindergarten” all the time. As a teacher, there are a few essential things I would recommend all kids knowing before beginning their first year in kindergarten. By making sure your child understands the simple things (listed below) before entering kindergarten you will be setting your child up for success when starting their educational career. If your child does not know the basic things I have listed, then your child will instead begin their educational career at a deficit and may spend their entire lives trying to catch up to the other children to close the gaps.
The Essential: What Should my Child know Before Entering Kindergarten?
The most important thing you can do for your child before entering kindergarten is actually quite simple, but you would not believe the large percentage of children who are entering kindergarten with a deficit in the area I am going to list first. Merely TALKING TO YOUR KIDS is so very important. Have conversations with them, play I, spy, talk about the world, ask them questions and hopefully your child will ask you questions. The more you talk to them and communicate with them the larger their spoken language and vocabulary will become. So many students are entering Kindergarten with language deficits because parents are not communicating enough with their children. Instead, kids are spending too much time in front of electronics and not interacting and communicating often enough.
Second, read to your children. Read to your children as much as you can so your child gets used to seeing a book, seeing print, identifying pictures, and by reading to your child you will be adding to their vocabulary, and developing their listening skills. Many students are entering kindergarten not even knowing how to hold a book and which way is up or down. Students do not understand that print goes from left to right because they have never had any exposure to books. It’s quite sad.
Third, make sure your child knows their ABCs and can identify the letters in the alphabet. The more acquainted your child is with the alphabet and the upper case and lower case letters the more successful they will be when beginning kindergarten.
Fourth, have your child sings songs or watch the letter sounds LeapFrog video (this is what I would recommend) to learn the different sounds the letters make. If your child can identify the letters and identify their sounds before entering kindergarten your child will more than likely be highly successful in kindergarten which means their transition into first grade will be easier and so on and so on. People may think its hard to teach your child all of the letter sounds but I have found that by singing songs and watching fun LeapFrog videos with my children they have picked up on not only the letter names but also the letter sounds in a short amount of time.
Fifth, it would be fantastic if your child can write the letters too and write and identify his/her own name. These are important aspects that teachers will look for when looking to see if your child is performing above or below expectations.
Sixth, play rhyming games with your son/daughter. For example what word rhymes with cat? HAT If your child has a strong understanding of rhyming words and the sounds that are in the words which make them rhyme then this is a good indication of your child’s future success.
Additional Educational Knowledge
Now, of course, you also want your child to be able to count from 1 – 20, to be able to identify their primary colors and to know their basic shapes. However, I will still insist that in my professional opinion to make your child truly successful make sure your child is strong in the first six things I listed on this page and your child will be well on their way to having a great kindergarten year and soaring above the other kids.
I have talked a lot about the educational aspects but there are some basic things your child should be able to do prior to entering kindergarten such as, holding a pencil correctly to write, being able to write their name, being able to use the bathroom on their own, putting on their own coat and taking it off, being able to follow three-step directions, and being able to cut with scissors.
You’ll be a Godsend
Now here are a few more things that teachers would love for their students to know before entering kindergarten and quite frankly teachers will love you for it if you teach your children these things before entering kindergarten. They are having your child being able to TIE THEIR OWN SHOES (For the love of god, please do not send your child to school with shoelaces if they cannot tie. Teachers do not have the time to tie your child’s shoes every 15 minutes). Also make sure your child can take turns, sit quietly for 5 minutes to listen to a story, cough into their elbow, wipe their nose, clean up after themselves, open any food containers that their parents have packed in their lunch, and wash their hands properly. If your child can do all of these things in addition to the ones listed above your child will be a real blessing in their teacher’s classroom.
Larry Slawson from North Carolina on October 22, 2018:
Very interesting. As a parent, this is very helpful. Thank you for sharing.