What Should My Soon To Be Kindergartener Know Before He Starts School?

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Old 02-28-2012, 09:09 PM
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Question What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

My son is in preschool right now and will be 5 this summer and going to kindergarten this fall. What should my son know by now or before he goes to kindergarten? I really want to work with him and give him a bit of a head start so that he wont get frustrated and hate school . He doesn't have much patience and gets frustrated easy, I know lots of it has to do with me and a new baby and lack of attention.
A mom of one of his preschool friends says her sil has a son who is in kindergarten and hates it because at his school they are really teaching them to read and most kids know how to and he is so behind in lots of other things as well. I swear I thought they did this in like first grade not kindergarten but that is why I'm hoping some of you moms or teachers can give me some tips on what to work on with my son.
Thank you in advance
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:52 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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My son's school requested he knows his whole alphabet and can write his full name using a Capital letter,he needed a good start on writing all his letters also, small and capitals,and that he could recognize the smaller words and write them also,cat,dog,mom,book and others.Good luck
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:06 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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It's a good idea to know #s 1-30 also letter sounds since that's one of the first things they learn.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:39 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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He can count up to 50 but def needs work on writing capital and small letters. Thanks for the info Every little tip will be helpful for me so that I know what to work on with him.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:08 AM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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you should visit the school he will be attending....they should have a packet for incoming kindergartners
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:39 AM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Our school gave us a CD of lessons when we registered and a packet for her to start writing her name, first and last with correct capitalization.
She practiced writing, not just counting to 10, letter recognition (which we by no means finished before school started, and still get b, and d confused). She can count to 119 now, and she can write the numbers pretty much forever, she just can't remember the words . She could also read sight words, even though she didn't know all the letter sounds, and she is an excellent guesser at words associated with pictures .
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:44 AM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Have you talked to your preschool teacher(s) about their curriculum? Do they prep the kids for kindergarten? Our preschool is part of our school district and the kids are taught based on what the school wants them to know when they start kindergarten.

It seems to me that everything has been shifted forward by a year... meaning the schools want kids to start kindergarten with their kindergarten skills already intact so they can start working on first grade stuff... and first graders seem to be doing the work of second grade and so on... but I wouldn't worry about it too much, the teachers get all sorts of skill levels at the start of kindergarten and somehow pull it all together so the kids are on or about the same level by mid year.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:47 AM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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It's been many years since my babies started Kindergarten, but I remember they needed to know their whole address, whole phone number (area code too) and how to tie their shoes. I know these are not the academic things you're looking for, but they were all requirements. Not sure if they still are or not! good luck!
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:28 AM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Hi there. I am a K teacher. It is really really helpful for kids to recognize upper and lowercase letters and be able to say their sounds, but these are things we do work on in the beginning if the year. Other skills to work on are identifying rhyming words, "do dog and frog rhyme? What rhymes with hat?" etc. Clap syllables in words. Be able to answer comprehension questions when being read a story. Another skill that is often overlooked is cutting. If he is in preschool, he probably has had many experiences to practice that though.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:09 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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I agree with others.

Recognize all letters.
Know their sounds.
Write all letters.
Spell their name.
Counting. Not sure how high


If your child can already recognize and sound out letters and you want to get a head start you can google "sight words" - these were the main focus in our area. And counting to 100. And tying their shoes
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:27 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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I agree with everyone's post. Just want to add that he should know the calendar days of the week. What was yesterday today is and tomorrow will be.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:48 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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My daughter is in preschool she will be going to kindergarden next year. They teach them lots of stuff in preschool abcs counting how to write there name, etc just teach what you have time for and what your child learns at school and he will be fine. hth
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:14 AM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Most important...don't stress, and don't push too hard. Sarah was extremely anxious about starting school this year. She even told other people when they asked if she was excited, that no, she wasn't sure if she was ready. She was afraid that since she couldn't read, and didn't know all her letters that she wouldn't be "ok" at school. She has a speech delay, and sounds were very difficult. It only took a couple of days for her to see, she wasn't the only kid in the room that couldn't do it all. I had to tell her often, that we go to school to learn the things we don't know already, and not knowing something was fine, as long as she tried to learn it when the teacher taught it. She's doing fabulous now, and is on level or above on everything, with still a couple months to go before the year is over.

My point is, this is the last time you have, before you lose a little stature...(kids think the teacher knows everything, and you lose a little of that awe you held.) Enjoy your kid, and enjoy whatever you work on...it is not worth stressing over. They have a lot of years a head of them still.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:58 AM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Well, I'm going to add in something from the social/emotional perspective...I believe that children need social skills when they begin kindergarten as much as they need academic skills. Making friends, sharing, waiting your turn, respecting authority, coming to the circle, listening to the teacher, working independently. If your child in in preschool, he is getting some of this, but you might ask his preschool teacher about the things that he needs to work on during the summer.

It seems to me that academics are so emphasized now - kindergarten used to be a time for kids to get socialized, make friends, get used to being in school, etc. Now, there is such a push to read and to be academically prepared. Seems like a lot of pressure for little ones who are barely civilized.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:32 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Having your son in pre-school definitely helps with kindergarten. Both my girls went to preschool first,my oldest struggled and still does.my youngest who ended up in the time out chair most of the time (I'm not kidding),was actually bored at kindergarten becouse everything the teacher taught for the first 6 months was everything she learned at preschool.
my advice is get a packet from the school, its a long list but don't get overwhelmed.they don't expect him to know all of it, it's more of a guide. It's true that they have definitely moved ahead what kids learn at a earlier grade.my youngest who is in 1st grade was able to read short sentences to me before the end of kindergarten,and was able to count to a 100 in under a minute(she was timed by teacher)now she is already doing math.
My oldest who is in second grade is already multiplying, learning about money,and reading whole books.
I'm constantly dumbfounded what they are learning at such an early age.I heard that she will be doing calculus by 6th grade,i'll have to take classes just to help with homework.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:52 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by StLouisClipper View Post
It's been many years since my babies started Kindergarten, but I remember they needed to know their whole address, whole phone number (area code too) and how to tie their shoes. I know these are not the academic things you're looking for, but they were all requirements. Not sure if they still are or not! good luck!
I have a kindergarten child ans YES, they should know their birth date, address, phone number, and how to tie their shoes.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:19 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Things to know at the beginning of kindergarten:
Numbers 1-10
Letters (print at least the upper case)
Know basic letter sounds
Understand the difference between right and left - they may still get them wrong but at least know they are different.
How to use scissors (doesn't have to be perfect!)
How to hold a pencil (again doesn't have to be perfect)
Full name
Mommy and daddys names
Address with city and state (zip not as important)
Phone number (area code not as important)
Birth date
If your child is a boy, teach him how to stand at a urinal to use the bathroom! (I never thought about this until my kindergartener came home earlier this year and said that some older boys made fun of him bc he dropped his pants all the way down to use the urinal.)
Know how to work a button or snap for after using the restroom. (Also save your teachers sanity by not having your child wear a belt!)
Skipping, going up and down stairs with alternating feet, walking heel to toe on a straight line.

Things they will be taught in kindergarten:
Review of #'s 1-10
Numbers up to 100
Different between upper case and lower case letters
Review of basic letter sounds
Letter blends
Tally marks
Calendar skills
Weather
Scissor skills
How to best hold a pencil
Popcorn words - typically the 110 Dolch Sight Words (my son was not reading at all at the beg of Sept and now is reading those 110 words and more plus he knows how to spell most of them)
Review of opposites, location words (inside, outside, above, below, etc)
Simple math (addition up to 10)
An introduction to subtraction

This is the list I can think of right now. The biggest thing to remember is that most likely all of the kids who will be in your Childs class have come from all different preschool (or no preschool) locations. All of them are on different levels. All of the skills they should have been learning in preschool will be reviewed and reinforced during that first month of kindergarten.

And yes, kindergarten is the new first grade.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:35 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by realsweety
Having your son in pre-school definitely helps with kindergarten. Both my girls went to preschool first,my oldest struggled and still does.my youngest who ended up in the time out chair most of the time (I'm not kidding),was actually bored at kindergarten becouse everything the teacher taught for the first 6 months was everything she learned at preschool.
my advice is get a packet from the school, its a long list but don't get overwhelmed.they don't expect him to know all of it, it's more of a guide. It's true that they have definitely moved ahead what kids learn at a earlier grade.my youngest who is in 1st grade was able to read short sentences to me before the end of kindergarten,and was able to count to a 100 in under a minute(she was timed by teacher)now she is already doing math.
My oldest who is in second grade is already multiplying, learning about money,and reading whole books.
I'm constantly dumbfounded what they are learning at such an early age.I heard that she will be doing calculus by 6th grade,i'll have to take classes just to help with homework.
I graduated high school this year. Yes, in sixth grade I took trig and calc. Highschool you start to learn quantum. I just now realised how advanced they are really pushing us!
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:11 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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I agree with the PPs that suggested getting the kindergarten packet from your neighborhood elem school. Along with the list of what they expect kids to know upon entry into kindergarten (mostly what has already been mentioned, recognizing letters/numbers, writing their name, basic personal info, calendar info, operating scissors/pencil, etc.) they had the student code of conduct, dress code, example of the daily schedule, summer reading and preparation activity lists, as well as a list of suggested educational websites/apps.

My DS is in kindergarten, and our school hosted a kindergarten registration day in April. I was glad to have gotten the kindergarten packet ahead of time, as it also had all the emergency, residency, physical exam/vaccination paperwork and registration forms so I had them filled out before we got there (90% of parents were filling them out there, and many didn't have their proof of residency documents, so many had to come back another day to complete the registration ) The registration day was a great chance for DS to tour the building, see a kindergarten classroom, meet some teachers, they even gave the kids a ride on the bus around the block! (I also took pics of him the whole time and then made him a little book from a brag book with the photos to build excitement and familiarize him for the first day--which worked wonders!)

As another PP said, much of the struggle of kindergarten is the social/emotional transition, lengthening their attention span, learning appropriate behavior, listening to teachers, making buddies. Both my children attended preschool, which helped a lot, and we also attended story time at the local library, visited zoos/children's museums, participated in playgroups, etc.

Sounds like you are very on top of things to be preparing now--best wishes to you and your son, I am sure he'll do great
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:39 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Social skills are a must! If he has not been in a classroom setting. Set up a mock classroom. Teach them to raise their hand and say Thank you, excuse me ect.. If they have never been in a classroom setting sometimes I think they are just expected to know these things. It helps them adjust easily with the teacher and classmates. Don't stress the child out with this or push to hard on other subjects. Most children catch on quickly once they start kindergarten and are very eager to learn and please their teachers and parents. Just make sure he is given a lot of praise as he advances through kindergarten. Every picture he draws and every letter he recognizes. Read with him every chance you get. Look forward to some wonderful moments to remember!
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:48 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Kindergarten has been very hard for my 5 year old It is way more advanced than I ever expected and had I known I would have worked with him last summer as well. Each quarter they have what they call "can do" skills - unfortunately, his teacher did not give this list to me until NOW- grrr thanks so much for the advanced notice.
I don't think I can really add to what has been posted, but everyone gave great advice-best of luck!
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:40 AM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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My daughter is in 2nd grade but loves starfall.com. It has lots of educational things to help with letter recognization, phenetics, reading and such. Sorry about the spelling errors running out the door to the gym but thought I would post the site.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:05 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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He has a hard time with cutting and using/holding scissors. His preschool teacher has addressed this and we practice at home but he still needs lots of work. He uses both hands still so we can't figure out if he is right/left handed so he alternates between both hands with everything and I think this is why he struggles because he doesn't practice with just one hand he goes back and forth. But def this is a good reminder for me to keep practiciing. Thanks

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Old 03-03-2012, 12:12 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueMoon187 View Post
Well, I'm going to add in something from the social/emotional perspective...I believe that children need social skills when they begin kindergarten as much as they need academic skills. Making friends, sharing, waiting your turn, respecting authority, coming to the circle, listening to the teacher, working independently. If your child in in preschool, he is getting some of this, but you might ask his preschool teacher about the things that he needs to work on during the summer.

It seems to me that academics are so emphasized now - kindergarten used to be a time for kids to get socialized, make friends, get used to being in school, etc. Now, there is such a push to read and to be academically prepared. Seems like a lot of pressure for little ones who are barely civilized.
Agree thats why I was surprised to hear some of the things kids do in kindergarten now a days. But again just want to hhelp him a little bit so that he doesnt get frustrated and anxious, He will be going to a whole different school as right now he goes three days a week and for 2.5 hours to a play-preschool at a park district so big change for him for all day and 5 days a week.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:21 PM

RE: What should my soon to be kindergartener know before he starts school?

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Just wanted to thank everyone for ALL the advice/tips you have given me. All of your suggestions will be very helpful in preparing him for kindergarten. I know not to push him to know everything but if I can at least introduce him to the stuff he has not been exposed to yet it will be familiar to him in kindergarten at least. This just really made me realize how things have changed so much since I was a kid. Thanks again!!
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