I wanted to ask – what is the “minimum” I am supposed to do to prepare my four year-old for kindergarten? He has all the basics, I think (can count to 20, does some simple addition in his head, knows the alphabet, recognizes letters, their sounds, and associated words). I have taught him some French words, and he knows a lot of Spanish from daycare. He just started printing practice, but he is not that fond of it! I have the starfall apps and we’ve started looking at them, but I often feel like a slacker Mom in this department. Thoughts? He is currently in the uni childcare, no preschool, so the teaching falls to us.
What do you really need for kindergarten?
1. potty training (some accidents ok)
2. self-feeding (hands ok)
Unless you’re going to a fancy highly competitive coastal k, your kid is already ahead and would be ready for 1st grade in much of the country, skills-wise. If it is half day k, you might be able to get away with no self feeding, but that would be a little odd.
Ideally your child will also be able to sit still for reasonable periods of time, will listen to the teacher, takes instruction, and plays relatively nicely with others. Mostly being able to put shoes and jacket on are also good things, and to pull pants etc. back up after going potty. These are skills that most children who went to almost any kind of daycare have. But there’s still kids who stayed at home who aren’t used to not being the center of attention, and they learn those skills in kindergarten rather than coming in with them.
It doesn’t hurt to know numbers, colors, letters, scissors, patterns, printing, etc. but those should happen in kindergarten or first grade if your child doesn’t get them before that time.
Competitive kindergartens with tests and so on, have a lot more requirements, but they only exist in NYC and a few other places. There’s an entire industry that exists just to fake these exams out, so a little Googling and maybe a book purchase or two can help for those in that situation. But for the majority of us, it’s ok to just make sure the kid is out of diapers.
Grumpy Nation parents, what did your children need to know/already know before kindergarten?