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Thread: kindergarten

  1. #1

    Default kindergarten

    For those of you who have children in kinder or older, what skills did your child have when entering school?

    Our plan was to homeschool for preschool, and I had a curriculum that I was following and supplementing. Then, we put our house up for sale, which meant leaving the house at random times all throughout the week, and me working to keep it spotless for over 6 months. Now we are in the process of getting it together to pack. Had I known how this year was going to be, we would have sent him. So now I worry that he will be lacking skills. We have 2 months to work on things before kindergarten.

    My son loves workbooks, so while we wait for DS2's swim lessons, he works in them. My friend who has a daughter in kinder says she is doing the same type of work, and her daughter is excelling in kinder. That made me feel better, but then I had someone tell me that they are now teaching in pre-k what used to be taught in first grade? I can't imagine that is right, soI would love to hear others' experiences with what their child knew before starting kindergarten, and the types of things they were taught.

  2. #2

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    I can tell you my experience. I was following a waldorf curriculum when dd was kindergarten age. That curriculum does not even start formal reading, writing, math until age 7. So when she went to kindergarten (started mid year) she was technically behind but by the time I went to the 3/4 year conference, she had mastered the skills needed by end of year.
    I really wouldn't stress. I'm sure you have provided him with the base skills for learning the rest and he will do great.

  3. #3

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    My kids aren't k age yet, but I used to teach k. I had kids of all abilities - some who knew only the letter that started their first name and others who were on the verge of reading. As of 6 years ago (when I last taught), the k curriculum still included teaching all of the letters and then the sounds. Math was numbers to 20 for recognition, counting to 100, and other skills like directional words, patterning, etc.

    I had kids that I could tell had never stepped foot in a preschool classroom, but a lot of that was more because the parents had not spent even a moment reading to or working with their kids. I think since you have worked with him, he will have a good foundation and will do just fine in k

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by preciousnd98 View Post
    My kids aren't k age yet, but I used to teach k. I had kids of all abilities - some who knew only the letter that started their first name and others who were on the verge of reading. As of 6 years ago (when I last taught), the k curriculum still included teaching all of the letters and then the sounds. Math was numbers to 20 for recognition, counting to 100, and other skills like directional words, patterning, etc.

    I had kids that I could tell had never stepped foot in a preschool classroom, but a lot of that was more because the parents had not spent even a moment reading to or working with their kids. I think since you have worked with him, he will have a good foundation and will do just fine in k
    This is comforting to read. My daughter is only doing one year of pre-k and starts this fall and she knows all her letters and can usually count to 20. I'm a little nervous because she is being considered special ed due to have her speech problems and a little bit of a delay in her motor skills( which I think will be worked out quickly). I've been worried that she won't be ready for kindy next fall and end up being a year older than everyone else in her class if she has to wait. So hearing that she knows how to do some of those things makes me feel a little better since she has a whole year to go.




  5. #5
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    He'll do just fine. What matters is experience with looking at books and being read to. If he can identify a few letters and count to 20, so much the better but I wouldn't stress any of it.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the replies. I really was under the assumption that children should be reading a little before entering kindergarten.

    I taught first grade, but it was in the inner city, and students who did not have parents who supported their education, so I can't really compare. DS will be attending school in one of the best districts in the state, so I assumed he'd be competing with students who could read. That worried me.

  7. #7
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    There may be some kids in there who are readers, but that's just how it goes. Pushing it won't give him any edge up in the long run.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  8. #8

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    Katie is just finishing kindergarten, and I honestly can't remember exactly how much she knew before she started. I know she could say her alphabet, and she recognized and could write some of the letters and numbers, but not all. She knew her colors and shapes. She could write her name. I'm sure not all kids starting kindergarten know those things, however, and I'm sure they will be taught. When we got her report card at the end of the third grading period, Katie had mastered all of the required kindergarten skills and she is even reading very beginner books.
    Lynne, Grandma to three beautiful girls and one handsome little man!


  9. #9

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    Cody was 5 when he started Kindergarten by a hair but, his Pre-K teacher told us not to hold him back because he blossomed. Cody knew how to read a few words before entering Kindergarten now he can read a level 1 book by himself when he puts in the effort. He couldn't add or subtract until this 2nd semester he struggles a little but, when I explain it to him without giving away answers he will get it better. Right now he is on target for 1st grade at his new school but, at his old school he was more advanced in some areas. I think he *might* have a learning issue but, I think its more new the new teacher. We've thought about sending him back to his old school but, the counselor there was really a jerk about everything so we decided to see how first grade goes. I am hoping first grade will be better and in the meantime we going to do an evaluation in July his biggest problem according to this teacher is "playing and talking all the time" but, he still is able to get his work done and has all "A's" or "Checks" showing me opposite of what she is telling me. Anyway he has blossomed with Kindergarten and I am in the boat of the sooner the better. You don't have to make a choice until the child is 7 years old to start school. The can be as old as 7 to start so if your child is 5-6 and you want to home school but, it will be hard with the selling of the house if you don't want them to go to public school then, there isn't a hurry its just up to your comfort level KWIM?
    *** Lindsay ***



  10. #10
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    It sounds like he will be fine. They DO learn a lot in K and it's more than it used to be but I don't think they are expected to know too much more going in. My mom has been doing the K screening for years and she sees all types of kids...some can read some can't identify ONE letter or number. It's sad really.

    For my kids it was being able to identify numbers 1-20 and letters upper and lower case. They don't even have to be able to write but I believe writing their name is part of the screening just to see where they are. They also had to identify basic shapes and colors and I think draw a person. That is all. He'll be fine. What is most important you know as a teacher is that YOU are involved and invested in your kid's education.

    I did work with DD1 on sight words before she started K. She learned to read in K and now in 2nd grade is an amazing reader at 4-5th grade level. I have no idea if working with her early helped. I have tried working with DD2 (she starts in Sept) but she doesn't seem to be as interested or getting as easily so who knows. I don't push it.
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  11. #11
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    After volunteering in the kg classroom this year I will say the biggest thing that I noticed that helped with a successful student was listening to the teacher and being calm. It seemed that all of the students that were calm we're able to absorb the lessons and were the kids who were getting it.

    I personally would not worry about it. You are obviously interacting with your pre k child and even doing workbooks. I am sure he will be fine!

    Jeanne, mom to Dev0n (6) Isabe11e (5) and C0rbin (3.5) Vio1et (almost 2)


  12. #12

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    Thanks everyoine. DS knows how to read and write upper and lower case letters, knows the sounds of consonants, knows some sight words, and can sound some words out with support. He knows numbers 1-20 (working on writing them proficiently), shapes, colors, etc, and has starting very basic addition. I think he may be ok. Phew.

    Quote Originally Posted by tyvek View Post
    After volunteering in the kg classroom this year I will say the biggest thing that I noticed that helped with a successful student was listening to the teacher and being calm. It seemed that all of the students that were calm we're able to absorb the lessons and were the kids who were getting it.

    !
    This is part of the reason I am concerned. DS is NOT calm at all. I was worried that if he went in academically behind AND struggled to behave appropriately, it could be a disaster...I just know from experience that my toughest children either struggled academically or were advanced (rarer). OTOH, the times that DS is calmest is when we are doing traditional school work. He loves it!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    Thanks everyoine. DS knows how to read and write upper and lower case letters, knows the sounds of consonants, knows some sight words, and can sound some words out with support. He knows numbers 1-20 (working on writing them proficiently), shapes, colors, etc, and has starting very basic addition. I think he may be ok. Phew.

    This is part of the reason I am concerned. DS is NOT calm at all. I was worried that if he went in academically behind AND struggled to behave appropriately, it could be a disaster...I just know from experience that my toughest children either struggled academically or were advanced (rarer). OTOH, the times that DS is calmest is when we are doing traditional school work. He loves it!
    It sounds like he will do fine. Oftentimes, kids behave one way at home and will be a totally different way in the classroom. I had quite a few parent conferences who were floored when I told them what good listeners their kids were! Sometimes the structure and routine of a classroom help calm children who are interested in learning - and from what you are saying about your DS, he would fit that category


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

  14. #14

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    My 5 yr old is starting kindy in the fall, too. He can recognize and write all his letters and numbers, knows shapes and colors, uses discriptive words, counts to about 40 and he is just starting to understand very basic adding and subtracting. He can't read at all yet, but he's starting to recognize a few words by sight.

    We went to his kindy screening back in March and he excelled in almost every area. They weren't concerned over any skills he hasn't mastered. I don't think you have a thing to worry about!
    ~Andrea~


  15. #15

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    DS1 will be starting Kindergarten this fall, also. He can write his first name in all caps, he has not mastered (nor seems interested in) learning to print lower case. He can easily count from 1-20 and can sometimes make it all the way to 100. If I do simple addition/subtraction with him with M&Ms he gets the concept. He knows shapes, sizes, colors, etc. But he is a fantastic reader, already independently reading books from the "Magic Treehouse" series, along with the accompanying fact checker books and frequently tells me all sorts of interesting facts. He was read to CONSTANTLY until he started reading independently, and we still read to him daily. I used to be worried about his math skills, but just in the last couple of months he has come around and shown an interest in numbers.

    I, too, was concerned that perhaps I should be spending time with him drilling writing and math, but it sounds like he's fine and he'll get that in Kindergarten. Whenever I get concerned about anything, learning wise, I try to remind myself that kids (like adults) have different interests that they gravitate to and they naturally develop skills in those areas. I was also mildly concerned that his reading level would put him at risk for boredom, but he's got writing and math to keep him challenged.
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



  16. #16

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    Dont worry mama! I'm sure he will be fine and learn lots during Kinder! My DD could recognize letters and print most (d's b's and p's being mixed up, ect! though!) could count up to....hmmmm I don't exactly remember but I knew on her first report card counting and recognizing numbers up to 20 was 'standard' in terms of what they should know. She definitely knew that! Don't stress over anything.... and dont worry about not having enough 'scheduled sit down learning time', I blabber on about numbers/letters at random times throughout the day, when she was smaller, counting the stairs we go up and down, pointing out letters she knows on signs, making patters out of rocks, theres a million ways to learn.. One tip I got from a kinder teacher was to teach them the lower case letters and work on sounds, that helps with learning to read tremendously! For us, the hard part of kinder was not the academics (funny, it was the only thing I was thinking about when preparing), it was being away from me for 6 hours a day, learning to cope with a bit of anxiety, handling conflicts with friends on the playground.
    Now that Kinder is coming to an end, dd can read simple books, 'spot can run!' -type books. Some of the kids can read chapter books (junie b jones!) which I think is crazy impressive! and some can barely read their sight words. Everything they start to learn in Kinder ,they go over in grade one and add to it. Don't worry about Kinder.. Good luck!

  17. #17

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    I wouldn't worry! Paige was in a Waldorf pre school and did nothing with letters or numbers before kindergarten. She picked it all up very quickly though. There was time in the middle of the year where she seemed to not want to read to me... But was still doing great school. She is now way ahead with reading a math and according to assessments already knows every thing required for the end kindergarten. She has never gotten any thing less the the highest possible marks on her report card... And really I followed the Waldorf philosophy with her at home too so she had never even done work book work before kindergarten.



  18. #18
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    I have friends that have taught the littles, and they consider it their job to teach all academics. IOW, they did not care if their students knew their letters or numbers. They DID want the kids to have the soft skills. Ability to take direction, interact with peers appropriately, being kind and courteous, that sort of thing. That way, they could spend their time and resources on the academics, instead of behavior. Kids that do not have boundaries at home are what they find to be most disruptive.

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