Kindergarten is a child’s first “official” year of school. The standards and expectations in kindergarten are higher now than they’ve ever been, but it is still a time of fun and exploration. If your child is entering kindergarten in the fall, what can you expect them to learn?
Reading and Writing
Kindergarteners learn letters and sounds. By year’s end a child completing kindergarten should be able to recognize and name all 26 letters of the alphabet. At the beginning of the year they are given a list of sight words – words they should know by sight – that they must learn before heading to 1st grade. To help with letter and word comprehension, they are exposed to a number of different kinds of books and the teacher often reads aloud. The kindergarteners themselves should be fairly proficient in reading by the time kindergarten is done.
In addition to being able to recognize letters, kids will also need to learn to write letters, words and sentences. Kindergarten teachers usually teach CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words first. These are words like cat, dog, rug, and pig. Throughout the year they will practice short sentences and should know how to write a simple story with a beginning, middle and end.
Graduating kindergarteners should be able to recognize and write numbers as well as understand number order and count items up to 30. They may even learn simple addition and subtraction problems. There is a big emphasis on looking for numbers in everyday life. For instance, kids may be asked how many books are on a shelf or how many blocks are in a box. Spatial and relational numbers and reasoning are introduced later.
Kindergarteners also learn about a variety of shapes. They learn about circles, squares, triangles, etc. A good way to help them learn is to have them identify these shapes in the classroom or on the playground. Through real life application of these concepts, kids can develop a greater understanding of letters, numbers, and shapes.
Telling Time and Recognizing Seasons
Kids in kindergarten learn the basics of how to tell time. They start to learn how to recognize basic times on a clock and learn that different activities take place during different times of day. Time is a difficult concept to learn given that kindergarteners haven’t developed abstract thoughts just yet.
Kindergarteners will also learn about the various seasons as well as the different words and clothing types associated with each.
Even if kids have been through preschool, their social skills are greatly developed in kindergarten. Often in kindergarten the daily schedule is more regimented and this may be a child’s first experience eating lunch at school. Lunchtime provides a great opportunity for kids to work on their social skills. If they have siblings, they are already learning about sharing, but the dynamics at school are different. In general the rules of kindergarten are a bit stricter than preschool and that can be an adjustment for both kids and their parents.
Kindergarten is a wonderful experience and provides lots of opportunities for a child to learn. If you’d like to learn more about our kindergarten program in Fremont, please contact us today.