What Do Kids Learn in Kindergarten?

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      Approved kindergarten programs develop your child's physical, social, intellectual, language and emotional abilities. ... creatively express ideas and feelings through art, dance and dramatic play. identify, explore and solve problems. develop reading, writing and numeracy skills.

      “Children learn best through play because it allows them to apply everything they know and encourages them to ask questions and seek out new information and discovery.”

      Math in kindergarten is all about the basics. They will learn how to count, recognize numbers up to 10 and sort objects. Using concrete props, they will learn the concepts of more and less, ordinal numbers, basic addition and subtraction, creating patterns.

      It's your child's first official year of school! The kindergarten curriculum focuses mainly on mastering letters, sounds, and words. 

      You'll watch with delight as your child takes their first steps toward reading, expands their vocabulary, and writes the letters of the alphabet.

      If you enrol your child in kindergarten, you may be curious about the typical kindergarten curriculum and what you need to do to prepare your child.

      For example, should children count to 100, recite the alphabet, or perform tasks that use fine motor skills? 

      Will they learn these skills before kindergarten during this landmark school year if they're not expected to know these skills before kindergarten? And what skills are children expected to have mastered by the end of the kindergarten year?

      Your child will also learn key fundamentals of math. By the end of the year, they should count to 30, recognise common shapes, and complete essential single-digit addition.

      Understanding these goals will help you determine if your child is ready for kindergarten, needs to do some prep work, or is maybe even too advanced for a regular kindergarten class.

      It's important to realise that educational standards vary across states, districts, and schools—and no two children learn at the same rate. 

      You can help them succeed in kindergarten by building self-confidence, which will instil a love of learning that lasts throughout life. 

      Here are the critical kindergarten learning milestones children will achieve this year, with tips for helping your student stay on track with the kindergarten curriculum at home.


      Your child continues to develop a wide range of skills in kindergarten, including physical, social, emotional, language and literacy, and thinking (cognitive) skills.

      Physical development is how your child moves her arms and legs (considerable motor skills) and uses the small muscles in her fingers and hands (small motor skills). 

      Playing outside and taking physical activity breaks daily help children build healthy bones and muscles, focus better, and feel less stress. 

      Doing puzzles, writing, drawing, and working with clay are some activities that develop children's finger and hand control.

      Social development helps your child get along with others. Teachers support children's social skills by assisting them to work together, include each other in activities, make and keep friends, and resolve disagreements.

      Emotional development lets your child understand his feelings and the feelings of others. 

      Teachers help children recognise, talk about, and express their emotions and show concern for others. 

      They also support children's development of self-regulation—being able to manage their feelings and behaviour.

      Language and literacy development includes understanding language and communicating through reading, writing, listening, and talking. 

      Literacy is a big focus in kindergarten. Your child will use these skills throughout his life.

      Letter-sound correspondence, phonemic awareness, sight words, rhyming, word families and concepts about print are the areas in which your child will expand his knowledge this year. 

      Kindergarten students learn how to identify letters in the alphabet and their sounds and about letters and sounds that go together to form words.  

      Most kindergarten children are expected to read words by the end of the school year.

      They also learn to print letters. In addition, they will work on developing fine motor skills as they learn to write the alphabet in both capital and lowercase letters.  

      They will also attempt to write stories, journal entries or poems.  

      These will often be a disjointed jumble of letters and words, but it's a first step towards expressing themselves in writing.

      This will be the year in which school encourages parents to play an active role in helping their kids to learn to read.  

      Many schools provide the students with book bags to take home and read with their parents.

      Teachers spend time reading to the kids and playing rhyming and word association games to build on their vocabulary and help them in their reading skills.

      Thinking, or cognitive, skills develop as children explore, observe, create, ask questions, do new tasks, and solve problems. 

      Teachers help children plan what they're going to do, encourage children to discuss and think more deeply about ideas, and include children when making decisions.

      Learning Standards

      Every state has learning standards that describe what children need to know and do at a certain age. 

      Teachers use these standards to balance what children need to learn with how children learn best.

      Language Arts Skills

      Usually, before kindergarten, most children can use words they've learned from conversations with others or by being read to.

      Your child's speech will become more structured and understandable throughout the academic year, and reading and writing skills will emerge and advance.

      As the school year goes on, children should be able to understand basic sentence structure and punctuation. 

      They will learn, for example, that the first word in a sentence is capitalised and that sentences end in periods, question marks, or exclamation points. 

      During kindergarten, children also learn to use question words, such as "who," "what," "when," "where," "why," and "how," as well as how to make words plural by adding an "s" or "es". They also learn how to use common nouns and prepositions.

      By the end of kindergarten, most children can learn to read age-appropriate books by themselves, and your child might like to have you listen while they read out loud at home.

      Math Skills

      In kindergarten math, children learn the names of numbers and how to count them in sequence. 

      They begin to become familiar with numbers 11–19. They should also count objects and introduce geometry by recognising and naming shapes such as triangles, rectangles, circles, and squares.

      Kindergarteners begin to learn the concepts of addition and subtraction, respectively, as "putting together and adding to" and "taking apart and taking from.

      Math in kindergarten is all about the basics. They will learn how to count, recognise numbers up to 10 and sort objects.  

      Using concrete props, they will learn the concepts of more and less, ordinal numbers, essential addition and subtraction, creating patterns.  

      They'll start to learn about time and calendars and cover these regularly in class.  

      Teachers often start the day by having students come up to the board to pin the calendar day, day in the week, and weather.

      By the end of kindergarten, students should know the components of a calendar and how to build on the––days, weeks, months, and some essential time––on the hour, half-hour segments––recognise numbers up to 100 and count to 100, and some crucial single-digit addition and subtraction.

      Other Skills

      In addition to math and language arts, a significant focus of kindergarten, children also learn science, social science, and usually art, music, health and safety, and physical education.

      Socialisation skills, such as taking turns, waiting to be called on by the teacher, and being kind to others, are also emphasised in most kindergarten classes.

      How to Prepare


      The best way to know what your child should know before starting kindergarten is to contact the school you plan to send your child to—a public, private, or parochial school.

      Many schools have a kindergarten screening session a few months before school starts. 

      This is designed to identify children who need extra help or who are gifted and need additional challenges, and sometimes, there is a tour of the school or the classroom.1

      If your child's future school does not have this system, try to set up a meeting with the school administrator or with the head of the kindergarten curriculum.

      If you meet in the spring or summer before the school year begins, you can use this time to ensure that your child is on track or get some professional help with school readiness.

      Most children are enthusiastic about getting ready. However, it can also be a time to prepare your child by talking about being away from you for some time during the school day, especially if your child has not been in preschool.

      Gifted children are often advanced, and you might want to inquire if your child can enrol in a more challenging kindergarten program if you are concerned about your child becoming bored in school or acting out in class. 

      Even if your child is academically advanced, skipping kindergarten isn't necessarily your only option. 

      Accelerated courses or extracurricular enrichment are also possibilities. 

      Some pediatricians and education experts recommend against skipping a year because it can be socially disadvantageous for children to be in class with older children rather than same-aged peers.

      Ultimately, the choice depends on your child's specific needs.

      Subject Areas

      Whether they are helping children write thank-you letters to a library they visited, decide what material would best support the cardboard bridge they are making, or brainstorming solutions to keep the lettuce in the class garden from wilting, teachers connect learning across subject areas to give children a deeper understanding of a topic.

      Letters and Sounds in Kindergarten

      By the end of kindergarten, your child will recognise, name, and write all 26 letters of the alphabet (both uppercase and lowercase). 

      They'll know the correct sound that each letter makes, and they'll be able to read about 30 high-frequency words—also called "sight words"—such as and, the, and in.

      Children enter kindergarten with different reading experiences and skills. 

      No matter what children already know, teachers help them develop reading skills and a love of reading. They

      • Share books and other types of information in both print and digital formats, and post different types of track around the room (like the daily schedule and helper charts) so children see that reading is valuable and fun
      • Read with children every day, individually or in a group.
      • Teach children letter sounds
      • Point out and explain parts of written language, like capital letters and punctuation
      • Support children who are learning English in addition to their home languages

      Reading to your children at home not only makes them enjoy reading, but it also helps them in school. 

      Reading together nurtures companionship and fun and builds concentration, focus, and vocabulary. 

      Look for books about your child's particular interests and get suggestions from the librarian, but make sure the books aren't too hard to understand. 

      It's always better to start them on more accessible books because they feel successful, which spurs them on, so they'll read more. 

      Dr Seuss books, moreover, with their rhymes and simple words, are perfect for this age. 

      Kids learn through repetition, so read the same favourite books repeatedly, ask questions, and encourage your child to say simple words aloud. 

      Please encourage them to read the words they see on street signs, billboards, and computer screens throughout the day, or have them search for high-frequency words in a magazine.

      Writing in Kindergarten

      In class, kindergarten students will be taught to write simple CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words, such as hat, red, and dog. 

      They'll also write short, simple sentences such as "The cat ran home."

      Your child will work on many skills to develop his writing. For example, he might draw pictures to plan a story. 

      When he writes, his teacher might encourage him to use his spelling. She'll show him how to form letters and leave space between words. 

      The more he writes, the better he'll get at it. To support children's writing, teachers might do the following:

      • Provide lots of writing materials, like different kinds of paper, pencils, markers, crayons, and digital devices (such as tablets and computers)
      • Model—show and explain—specific skills.
      • Have children write in different forms, like observations in their science notebook
      • or instructions on how to feed the class guinea pig
      • Would you please encourage your child to review and look for ways to improve his writing?
      • Share the pen—on a large sheet of paper, the teacher writes some of the words of a story and then invites the children to write some too.

      Keep a special box filled with writing materials (crayons, pencils, markers, paper, and notepads), so your child can practice writing simple sentences about their day. 

      Ask about what they've written, and have them read it aloud. Then, offer encouragement by displaying their writings on the refrigerator.

      Numbers and Counting in Kindergarten

      Kindergartners will learn to recognise, write, order, and count objects up to the number 30. 

      They'll also add and subtract small numbers (add with a sum of 10 or less and remove from 10 or less). This focus on addition and subtraction will continue through second grade.

      Math is all around us! For example, when your child's class learns patterns, she might discover them on the kitchen tile at home, on a butterfly's wing, and her striped shirt.

      Teachers use math concepts during everyday activities and encourage children to solve real problems, like using rulers to measure their plants. 

      They ask questions to extend your child's thinking and encourage children to explain their answers.

      Help your kindergartner look for the numbers one through 30 in magazines and newspapers. 

      They can cut them out, glue them on paper, and put them in numerical order. Then, when you're riding in the car or waiting in line, play a game of "What comes next?" 

      Give your child a number and ask them to identify the following number, which might help them reach kindergarten goals.  

      At bedtime, ask them to count how many stuffed animals they have and ask, "How many books about dogs do you have? How fast can you count them?" 

      Take two of these books away and ask, "How many are left?"

      Shapes and Objects in Kindergarten


      Kids will learn to name and describe common shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle). 

      By the end of the year, they'll be able to identify, sort, and classify objects by colour, size, and shape.

      Talk about the properties of standard shapes: How would you describe a rectangle? How is it different from a triangle? 

      Additionally, you can introduce a "Draw a Shape" game and take turns with your child drawing rectangles, circles, and squares. 

      Finally, encourage your student to organise toys by type—they can gather same-size blocks into a pile or sort Legos by colour. 

      You can also take out an old box of buttons and have your child sort them by size and number of holes.

      Time and Seasons in Kindergarten

      What should kindergarteners know about time and seasons? At this age, kids grasp the basic concepts. 

      They can identify the time of everyday events to the nearest hour—for example, they leave for school at 7:00 a.m. and eat dinner at 6:00 p.m. 

      Note, however, that it will still be hard for them to fully grasp the concept of time because they're concrete thinkers and time is abstract.

      To reiterate the concept of time, constantly read the clock during routine activities. Use and explain words like morning, noon, night, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 

      Make a timeline together showing a typical day, with drawings of regular events and the time of day written beneath each one.

      In addition to learning about time, 5- and 6-year-olds can name the four seasons, so chart changes in the weather together on a calendar throughout the year. 

      Find pictures illustrating the seasons (colourful leaves, snow, blooming flowers) and discuss what your child sees in them. Talk about what clothing you can wear during each season.


      Science is all about starting to make sense of the world around them.  

      Kids learn about plants, animals, good health habits, the weather and keeping track of the weather, and the five senses and basics about their bodies.  

      Teachers will conduct simple science experiments in class. As a result, kindergartners can remember more information and can now use that to make connections between things and group things together.

      Teachers provide materials and activities that encourage children to be curious (as they naturally are!) and make discoveries: building and taking apart things, examining objects, thinking about why certain things happen and explaining what they find out. 

      Teachers help children think like scientists—to predict what will happen, test their ideas, come up with solutions, and record (document) their learning through pictures, graphs, writing, and photos.

      Social Studies

      In social studies, the year starts with the focus on "me". They learn about their immediate and extended families, understand their address and phone numbers and share information about themselves and their interests.

      Children learn how their family and class are part of the school and the local community in kindergarten. 

      Teachers offer lots of opportunities for children to share their opinions, listen to others, resolve disagreements, and learn about their languages and cultures. 

      Long-term projects in geography and history connect skills and concepts to events children are familiar with.


      Kindergarten marks the start of your child's academic career. So, please do your best to ensure that it goes smoothly.

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