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One thing I was really trying to get a sense of when I started homeschooling was WHAT I needed to teach my kids. I wanted to make sure they were learning what they should be so they were on track. Here are some basic skills that your Kindergartener needs to know, this is by no means a comprehensive list. This is just a starting point for you. Remember, some children will know these things already, while others will be able to master them by the time they are done with Kindergarten. That’s ok, work at your child’s pace, let them lead, and teach them skills using themes they love, they are much more likely to pay attention and soak up the knowledge if you use something they are interested in. Check out these great lesson plans to help with ideas for your homeschooling journey.
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Related: Teach My Kindergartener
What should my 5-year-old know before kindergarten?
It's a great question and one that many parents have when their little ones approach the big milestone of starting kindergarten. The answer is not an easy one since there is no single “right” answer. Each child develops differently and has different educational needs, so it’s up to parents to make sure that their child meets the appropriate standards for kindergarten.
That said, there are certain basic concepts your five-year-old Kindergartener needs to know before heading off to kindergarten. Here are a few of them: Language: Your child should be able to identify letters, understand basic phonics, recognize common sight words, and use simple sentences correctly. Math: They should understand how numbers work—being able to count from 1-10 fluently—as well as recognizing shapes and being able to compare sizes by using terms like “bigger” or “smaller” accurately. Fine Motor Skills: Fine motor skills involve smaller movements such as writing with a pencil/pen, and cutting with scissors. Social Skills: Kindergarten involves working with others throughout each day which includes properly sharing items & turns in activities as well as having social interactions with classmates and teachers alike.
How do I prepare my 5-year-old for kindergarten?
Get them socialized; Kindergarten is all about developing social skills, so turn everyday moments into opportunities to practice. Next, Reading aloud together is one of the best ways to help build a love of language in young children before they enter school. Learning how to be responsible goes hand-in-hand with learning how to follow instructions which are both keys to success in the classroom environment. Talk often about things like waiting patiently in line during recess time, asking permission before using someone else's belongings, being respectful towards adults, following directions quickly, etc., It helps if they understand what is expected of them when they start school so that they can make good decisions without reminders from teachers/adults initially.
What milestones should a kindergartener have?
Academically, your kindergartener needs to know how to recognize numbers 0-20, count 10 or more objects, know some basic addition/subtraction facts (e.g., 1+1=2), identify colors and shapes, print some letters of the alphabet and write his/her name from memory, learn rhyming words, name some letter sounds (phonemes), understand that reading starts at the top left corner of a page and progresses to the bottom right corner. In addition, he/she should understand simple stories and retell them with beginning-middle-end structure as well as answer questions about what was read.
What should a kindergartener know at the end?
At the end of kindergarten, a child should have a fundamental understanding of the basics of reading, writing, and math. Your Kindergartener needs to know how to recognize letters, write their own name and count up to at least twenty. Depending on which early childhood education program they attend, they may also learn other important concepts such as basic phonics or sentence structure.
Related: 50 Things Your Preschooler Needs to Know for Kindergarten Readiness
ABC Mouse Learning is the perfect online resource for kids of all ages! The interactive lessons, activities, and games make learning fun no matter what subject you’re studying. With over 8,500 lessons across 10 levels, your child can explore a variety of topics from math and language arts to science and social studies. Plus, there’s even an art section so they can express their creativity while learning! ABC Mouse Learning takes the worry out of keeping kids engaged while they’re at home and makes learning an enjoyable adventure.
Evan-Moor is here to help your learning journey. With a wide variety of resources, even some free resources like printable activities you can easily integrate their helpful materials into any lesson plan for a fun and engaging way to teach multiple subject areas. From science experiments and math worksheets to research projects and writing activities, there are plenty of options tailored to different grade levels. Take advantage of these opportunities from Evan-Moor and watch as your students gain a greater understanding of the lessons being taught – with an added dose of fun!
What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know
Do you have a little one obsessed with dinosaurs? Use 10 plastic dinosaurs to teach addition, subtraction, and more than less than. Does your child have a fascination with flowers? Use silk flowers to teach ABAB patterns. Play grocery store with your childs pretend food toys to practice money identification. Your day should still include a lot of play-based learning initially.
TOP Recommended resource
Wooden Blocks with the Alphabet and Numbers. I can not tell you how much these things helped when teaching my kids numbers and letters. We used them for adding, subtracting, learning the numbers and letters initially, spelling and so much more! You can find these at yard sales or even thrift stores at times too.
Here is the nitty-gritty. I have each subject listed out and some tools that are good to use for each one. Get creative and use what you have around the house, things your child is familiar with, or, use the resources I am suggesting. Whichever is easiest for YOU and your child!
Here are even more resources!
Related: Homeschooling Your Kindergartener
What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know for Math
Identifying numbers 1-20- My kids love puzzles so this is a great number and counting activity for them to learn and it's in puzzle form. IXL Learning is also a great site for homeschooled kids, they are passionate about improving learning for everyone.
Counting 1-20 using one-to-one correspondence
Basic addition and subtraction
More, less, same
Basic shapes- circle, square, rectangle, triangle, oval, star, octagon
Time- o’clock, quarter, half-hour: There is a great game that helps teach this, and since it is in-game form, it's fun to learn!
Ordinal numbers- first, second, third, etc,
Patterning and Sequencing
Related: Math Activities for your Pre-Schooler or Kindergartener
What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know for Reading
Identifying uppercase and lowercase letters
Know all the sounds the letters make
Recognize their own first and last name
Identifying simple sight words like; I, am, to, at, go,
Sitting quietly and listening to the story
Learning to identify the beginning, middle, and end of a story
Related: 5 Books Every Kindergartener Should Read
Reading Eggs is an exciting way to get your little ones interested in reading. With interactive games and activities, this online program is engaging for both young and old. It is tailored to different age groups, making it easy to find content that will interest all levels of readers. Not only does it help build a strong foundation for literacy, but it encourages motivation to keep learning and discovering new things as well. Every activity your child completes brings rewards and achievements that can be displayed with pride – providing motivation to continue the journey into literature!
What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know for Writing
Proper pencil grasp
Uppercase and lowercase letters
Writing 1 to 20
Writing First and Last name
What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know for Science
Space- sun, moon, stars, planets
Caring for plants/animals
Related: Science for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners
KiwiCo is the perfect subscription box for curious minds and budding scientists! Each month, your little one will get a new crate of materials to explore a range of exciting themes, including engineering, astronomy, and art. The boxes are designed to spark creativity in young minds by providing a fun, interactive learning experience that encourages imaginative play. With over a dozen different crates KiwiCo provides hours of engaging activities that build confidence and instill a lifelong love of science and exploration.
What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know for Social Studies
Their own phone number and address
Learning the Pledge of Allegiance
Name of their city, state, country
Various types of families
Meanings of Federal holidays
Related: Best Writing Workbooks for Homeschooling
Proper bathroom habits
Good hygiene habits
Keeping track of their belongings
Keeping a tidy workspace
Don’t forget to include a lot of physical activity throughout the day. Kicking a ball outside, swinging at the park, stretching in the morning, or on a backyard obstacle course are all great ways to get some exercise.
Also include LOTS of reading. We start the day reading a few books and then have an afternoon reading time as well!
As a parent, you want what is best for your child and that includes their education. By ensuring your child is prepared for kindergarten, you are giving them the best chance to succeed in school and beyond. With these what your Kindergartner needs to know tips, you can help your child be ready for all the new challenges and opportunities that kindergarten will bring.
Thank you so much for this list. I will begin homeschooling my 5 and 4 year old in the fall and this will keep me on track. I will definitely be following your blog. Great tips!
This is such a great list, thanks for sharing! I’m starting my oldest in Kindergarten home school this fall, this is a great starting point.
Thank you i need this!
Hi there! Do you have a printable for this list? I’d love to get a copy.
Danielle, The Frugal Navy Wife says
No I don’t at this time but that a great idea for me to work on!