June 27, 2013

Things Kids Need to Know Before Kindergarten

What are we teaching our kids?
While there are a lot of things that seem to becoming less and less important as the years go by, education is not one of them. The United States has ramped up its effort to help the children of the United States be more competitive academically on the global spectrum. This means that our kids are being taught things at a much younger age than we were when we were in elementary school.

For instance, I was not introduced to a computer until I was in fourth grade. However, kids today are being introduced to computers in Pre-K.  Children are also learning sight words and basic addition starting in kindergarten now. All that this means is that our children are expected to know more at a younger age. Therefore, there are some things that parents should teach their children before they get to kindergarten.

1. The Alphabet - I seriously don’t remember learning my ABC’s (well) until kindergarten. However, my son is in Pre-K now and they’ve already made it up to letter “V” and are beginning to start on basic sight words. Luckily, I started working on the alphabet with him before he went to Pre-K, which has made the year much easier. Since Pre-K isn’t mandatory, it’s important that parents make sure their little ones know the alphabet before they enter kindergarten. Both uppercase and lowercase letters.

2. Numbers – Numbers are just as important as the alphabet. The kids begin basic math (addition) in kindergarten now. Therefore, it’s important for parents to make sure their little ones know at least numbers 0-10 before kindergarten.

3. Name, Address and Phone Number – Obviously, children know their names by the time they enter kindergarten, but some kids don’t know their entire names by the time kindergarten starts. Knowing one’s address and phone number isn’t something that schools require by kindergarten, but it’s something they need to know for safety purposes.

4. Shapes – Kids should also know basic shapes like circle, square, triangle, rectangle, etc. by the time they get to kindergarten as this is something taught during Pre-K. If you want your children to be ahead of the game, then try to teach them how many sides each shape has.

5. Days of the Week/Months of the Year – Again, this is something I didn’t learn until I was in kindergarten, but they are teaching my son this year in Pre-K. I suppose the quicker he learns the days of the week and months of the year, the better off he will be.

6. Basic Writing Skills – Obviously, teachers don’t expect perfection in kindergarten, but they do expect children to know how to write their letters (at least capital letters) with a pencil. Believe it or not, my son is learning how to write both uppercase and lowercase letters and is required to write is name at the top of every paper, and he’s in Pre-K. Therefore, children who don’t know how to do this by the time they get to kindergarten will be behind.

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