Is your 5 year old ready for kindergarten?


The school year will be starting soon in many areas of the country and that means thousands of little ones will be enrolling for the first time. The first real year of schooling today is vastly different than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
Photo byFishyrobb

5 year olds who enter kindergarten this year will be expected to learn:

  • to recognize, name, and write all letters, both upper and lower case
  • the sounds every letter makes
  • 30 or more sight words
  • how to sound out simple 3-letter words
  • how to read a short bit of text and answer questions about it
  • how to write their name
  • how to write a complete sentence
  • how to write several sentences that go together
  • how to read and write numbers up to 30
  • how to count objects up to 30
  • to add and subtract numbers up to 10
  • to name and describe basic shapes
  • to recognize colors

And those are just the basics. Kindergarten demands a lot of little kids!

So is your 5 year old ready?

The best thing you can do to make sure your child is prepared for all day school and academic learning is to teach them how to be independent when you aren't there. Here are some of the things that a 5 year old should know to make the transition to kindergarten as smooth as possible:

How to Use the Bathroom Independently

  • Close and lock a bathroom door
  • Undo clothing (belts, zippers, buttons, snaps, etc.)
  • Wipe themselves
  • Flush the toilet

How to Eat Independently

  • Open a milk carton
  • Open food packages (fruit snacks, cheese sticks, yogurt containers, etc.)
  • Use utensils properly
  • Clean up after themselves

Self-Care Skills

  • Blow their nose
  • Cover nose when sneezing
  • Tie their shoes
  • Put on their jacket
  • Wash their hands
  • Ask for help when needed

Social Skills & Behavior

  • Wait their turn
  • Share
  • Sit in chair properly
  • Listen without interrupting
  • Keep their hands to themselves
  • Accept correction from an adult
  • Follow two-step directions
  • Lose at something without having a meltdown
  • Speak to others in complete sentences

Other Important Information

  • Knows own full name
  • Knows own age
  • Knows parents names
  • Knows siblings names (if they attend the same school)

Some of the frustration kindergarten teachers feel comes from the fact that these little people are expected to learn how to read, write, and do math (at levels that used to correlate with 2nd grade), yet much of the day is spent teaching them to sit in a chair and zip up their pants.

The best thing you can do to ensure your child is ready to tackle all the academic skills in kindergarten is to help them master the social and behavior aspects that sometimes get in the way.

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Teaching strategies by a certified educator with 16+ years of classroom experience

Port Orange, FL

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