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What MUST a child know to start kindergarten?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I was at my 3 year old's swim class the other day when another mother asked if I had "the list" of things a child entering kindergarten MUST know. I was shocked that there was a list and even more shocked to know that there was something other than four full years of childhood and fun he was supposed to have under his tiny belt. But it got me thinking... what should he know for kindergarten? At 3 years, one month, he already knows all his shapes, colors and can count to 10. He recognizes numbers 1-9 and a few letters. He doesn't jump, skip, hop but can swim like a fish (he's actually learning to do the crawl now!!). He doesn't draw anything but circles he says are monsters but can do 50 piece puzzles. Obviously I'm not a flash card type mom and everything he knows is from daily life, but out of curiousity, what MUST he know two years from now?
post #2 of 12
Are you sure she wasn't referring to the book "What your Kindergartener need to know" by E. D. Hirsh??
post #3 of 12
we just enrolled Ds in Kindergarten. I asked them what the requirements were. Apparently they don't have to know anything. Your Ds sounds like a smart little guy....I would not sweat it!
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oh Gosh! Don't get me wrong. I'm not at all concerned about getting him ready for kindergarten. I'm still working on getting him to use the potty. LOL! What I am most interested in is what a child REALLY must know to go to school. Is it just to be somewhat independent from their parents? Or are there truly things he should know to begin an academic situation? I've heard skipping is something. Why? I was just looking for advice from BTDT parents. Thanks
post #5 of 12
**sighs** When I started kindergarten, it was used to "prepare" children for school...now we have pre-kindergarten to prepare us for kindergarten, then preschool to prepare us for pre-kindergarten, and then there's the playgroups to prepare them for preschool... (Okay, so that's not ALL playgroups are for.. ). Oh, don't forget about 1/2 day vs. full day kindergarten...oh the horror stories I've heard about lil 5 year olds thrust into all day kindergarten & mean lunch ladies who won't help them open their juice boxes etc. Here in Florida, that's apparantly the only sort of kindergarten available, but I digress...

I have seen & heard about those lists, though. I believe they were pretty much along the lines of what your little one knows. Numbers 0 - 9, letters, basic shapes & colors, home address & parents' names, etc. For what it's worth, I don't think all schools have these lists.
post #6 of 12
there are some standards for what they should know when they FINISH kindergarten, but not for entering. I think that parent might just have been getting anxious. With mass schooling (many kids with one teacher) peopel worry so much more because if your child gets behind they could end up being really behind. I find though, that with involved parents, you can help your child catch up to anything he or she doesnt' get the first time in school.
post #7 of 12
Our school board has a list of things parents can do to help their child prepare for Kindergarten. (This is relevant to me because we start Junior Kindergarten at age 4.) The list includes things like "help them learn to put their jacket and shoes on by themselves...read to them...give them opportunity to use a crayon...expose them to social situations with other children..." In other words, probably all the stuff you are already doing without even thinking about it being "Kindergarten readiness".

Your school board might have a similar list, which will be useful to you only because you can then quote it at anyone who suggests your child needs to have certain facts memorized before they can set foot inside a Kindergarten classroom
post #8 of 12
I ran into a friend of mine who teaches kindergarten and she told me, horrified, of what the "No Child Left Behind" thing has done to her school district. Apprently now all the kindergarteners have to be able to write a complete sentence (including caps and punctuation) before they can move onto the 1st grade. Also, they have to pass a test in each subject (since when did K. have subjects???????)-Reading Writing, Math, Science and Social Studies to be promoted. This coming school year, some of the pre-reading requirements (knowing letters, letter sounds, etc) are being covered in the pre-schools!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This teacher's biggest problem is "getting kids to sit still for 3 hours of indtruction per day when they just aren't ready yet".

Now, thankfully, this is not our school district. And we will be homeschooling for grade school. But we were considering pre-school for the group play experience. But if we can't find a free play environment, forget it. Didn't Bush ever read the NYAEC guidelines?????

Sorry for the rant. I'm seeing the last vestiges of childhood lost to this beurocratic crap.
post #9 of 12
This is definitely the sort of thing that various from school district to school district. So, if you are interested or curious about it, you might try digging around the district's website or calling and asking. In our part of town, there is a list of things that children are "expected" to know before entering kindergarten. They include: numbers (recognize and count) to 20, alphabet (recognize and recite), deal with all types of clothing (including tieing shoes and jackets on/off), following teacher's directions, sitting quietly, and eating lunch without assistance (including handling lunch box or buying). So, its a pretty long and daunting list, which is why virtually every child here is part of a preschool program.
post #10 of 12
Oh! That's right, i was thinking only of academic things. Sorry. Ds needs to know how to put on his jacket, zip his fly, go to the restroom alone, and wash his hands. Stuff you would teach a 5 yo anyway IMO.
post #11 of 12
Dot.mom, that story makes me want to puke! How sad for those little ones.
post #12 of 12
She might have been talking about this - http://www2.worldbook.com/parents/co...tudy_curra.asp
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