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Parent asks: What should my child know at age 5 entering kindergarten this fall?

"My child is 5 & will be entering kindergarten this fall.  She doesn't know how to write, spell, read, tie her shoes, or tell the difference between #s or letters when on flash cards.  Is that normal for a 5 yr old?  If not what should she know at that age?"

Above question asked by an Education.com visitor after reading the article, "What Your Child Should Know and Be Able to Do Upon Entering Kindergarten":
http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_...
In Topics: Kindergarten readiness
> 60 days ago

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kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
In observing my son's kindergarten class last year, it was clear that kids enter kindergarten with a really wide range of skills. Some kids were already reading and doing addition and others were working on learning their colors, letters, and shapes. So I think "normal" represents a pretty broad spectrum.

If you're at all concerned that your daughter might have developmental or learning challenges, I'd make an appointment with your pediatrician to talk about it. It's much better for you and for your daughter to get a diagnosis early rather than having you both struggle. If your pediatrician says everything's ok then you could just pick a couple of things to work on over the summer to help her get a leg up for kindergarten next year. There are lots of fun games and activities to help kids her age practice basic skills (like learning letters and numbers). Flash cards may just not be fun enough to inspire her to learn.

Good luck!

Kat
> 60 days ago

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karenz
karenz writes:
I think a child entering Kindergarten should most certainly know the difference between numbers and letters on flash cards.  They should be able to write and spell their name.  I think tying shoes comes later.
> 60 days ago

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TeacherMom4Kristin
TeacherMom4... writes:
They must know how to tie their shoes...they also need #'s and letter's. Reading and spelling at 5 is excellent but it is part of the curriculum K-5. My friend has an awesome low price shoe tying kit. She helps raise money for autisim research. : )
> 60 days ago

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mony543
mony543 writes:
he should know his alphabet his numbers at least 1-10 or 1-20 his shapes and more.
> 60 days ago

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nekia
nekia writes:
There are a lot of children in kindergarten that already know those things but don' t get to upset. The flash cards may be just boring to your child. I have three children; my oldest learned better with things that dealt with music, my middle child learned by seeing and doing- he did good with flash cards, my youngest likes them all singing, flash cards, games everything.
I tell you not to get to upset because schools vary; where I live kindergarten is like first grade every place isn't like that. Also, my daughter went to Pre-k and she knew a lot and she was bored. There are websites you can go on like starfall.com and phonics.com to help with the ABC'S, sounds and reading and it's fun. Math you may want to start with simple games like hop scotch, jumping blocks. Also, PBS KIDS, Nick Jr.,Sprout channel, some people don't agree with t.v. but it depends on the child. While walking or playing point out shapes or colors tell your child to give you the red car or the circle toy.I hope this helps.
> 60 days ago

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MommyAndTeacher
MommyAndTea... writes:
Each child has different strengths and weaknesses but your child can learn to read and write this year with your help and communication with the teacher. Buy your child some velcro shoes for now : ) that way the teacher has more time to teach. Spend time learning through play ABC puzzles, Number puzzles, games buy fair trade, local, or Melissa and Doug if you can afford it and if not the dollar store and target dollar part has AMAZING learning tools. Also if your child likes computers spend 5-10 minutes a day WITH HER on StarFall.com it is FREE and many children go from not knowing how to sing the ABCâs to doing the free printable worksheets (with help) and knowing all their letter sounds in a month or two!!! On starfall go in ABC order and have fun donât make it overwhelming or jump around. Do no more then one new letter a day or even better, ask the teacher what the letter of the week is and work on the same letter and number using this tool!!! I love STAR FALL curriculum it really is great but it is you that is your childs best teacher.
> 60 days ago

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valda
valda writes:
Look at your child as an investment what you put in her is what you will get back in the long run.Your child can get by not tieing her shoes but she need to know her numbers 0 to 20, to write her name and alot more.You have to be the teacher put yourself in the teacher shoes.And just have fun with learning keep in mind that the child is new at this.  :>)
> 60 days ago

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philcolins00
philcolins00 writes:
While working in the field of Early Childhood Education in Northern California for the past 23 years, I have seen numerous changes for Kindergarten expectations.  After several conversations with local Kindergarten teachers I have yet to hear on the top of the list that a 4/5 year old child must know how to tie his/her shoe laces.  At this age children are still learning how to properly hold a pencil, be on task, and have respect for self and others.  

Children should be able to take care of their own bathroom needs, follow a simple 3 step direction, easily separate from their parent's at drop off time,  sit for an extended length of time and have recognition of most letters and sounds.  

Phonemic awareness must be introduced though a variety of activities that are inviting, fun and exciting for preschoolers, allowing children to connect beginning sounds to concrete items.

Incorporating the use of 5 senses may help your child begin to understand the difference of letter sounds, recognition and numbers.  Imagine trying to remember the sound of letter "A" through dittos instead of making an apple pie, viewing an ant farm or making arches through art.  I'd scrap all dittos, these are too abstract and not concrete.   I personally don't understand why preschool teachers expect children to sit and write letters and their names at the beginning of a school year prior to knowing the sounds of the alphabet.  

When a child is well rounded in these areas, then I believe a child is ready to learn.....and is prepared for entering Kindergarten.

I understand your concerns for your child and if your child's preschool teacher cannot give you answers and is at a loss, I would contact my local school district and request an observation/assessment for my child.  State that you understand they have 30 days to respond to you and don't give up.   This is free of cost (Calif.).  Also, speak with your local Kindergarten teachers and they can give you helpful hints as to what direction you may want to take...they may even suggest the gift of one more year of preschool.
Best of luck!
> 60 days ago

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Vctoriaak
Vctoriaak writes:
I'm a little late at answering this, but I believe the child should definitely know her letters, numbers, and be able to write. I'm only 16, but I'm taking an ECE class and we teach 18 preschoolers. I have one child one on one 2 days a week. She's 5 years old, as well. My little munchkin can:
Recognize red, blue, yellow, green, purple, and orange. She can also recognize all the spellings of those colors. She can spell red, blue, and green.
Recognize how many for numbers 1 - 20. Recognize the numerals 1 - 20. She counted to 24 today, then told me she wasn't going to count anymore. She also told me today one hundred is "100." (:
She knows all of her letters and when asked what letter does a certain word start with, she can tell me.
She can verbally tell her address. She knows her phone number. She knows the number for an emergency (911.) She knows her birthday, except the year. She can spell and write her name. She recognizes squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, ovals, hearts, diamonds, and stars.

She also knows other random stuff. She knows what flowers need to grow and some simple words she can read like up, the, can, and to. Sometimes before I even start my activity she already knows what we are going to do. For Musical Instruments week, I told her we were going to fill a bottle with corn kernels and decorate the outside of it to make our own instrument. Her response, "Like a maraca?" I said, "Yes! Exactly like a maraca!" and she said back, "Ohh, I'm good. (:" Hahaha, I love her.
I don't know if this is average. I know our three 5 year olds in the classroom definitely know how to write, recognize shapes, letters, and numbers.
> 60 days ago

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UrsulaRagazi
UrsulaRagazi writes:
While the goals may vary somewhat from state to state, there are some typical expectations. This list can give you a good idea of what your child will learn in kindergarten -- assuming he or she doesn't already know most of it!
*Alphabet
*Reading Readiness
*Reading
*Writing
> 60 days ago

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all4children
all4children writes:
Hello, I am a Kindergraten teacher and have also worked as a Title 1 resource teacher supporting grades k-3. Although it would be nice for children to come in with certain skills such as being able to write their name, colors, shapes, and know the difference between letters and  numbers; it is not something you should be worried about. As a teacher it is my job to make sure that (no matter how high or low my kids come
in) that I do my job to teach all those skills and more. If you sat with her everyday and devoted endless time and effort to making every single minute a learning moment and you saw no results of all the hard work you are putting in, then I would definitely be concerned. But if she understands when you speak to her and can follow simple directions,  then she is on her way to learning all those concepts and more. Please know and be aware of the Common Core Standards. Those will help you understand what she should be learning in the classroom and allow you to be able to support at home. Remember that teachers are paid to teach! The parents should not be expected to do our jobs! The only thing that you should be expected to do is support at home with practice and keep communication open with the teacher along the way. Also expect an initial assessment at the beginning and continuos progress monitoring along the way to make sure that she is making adequate growth. Don't be afraid to ask the teacher for that.....as a matter of fact, you should expect it! Good luck and I am sure that she will do fine:-).
> 60 days ago

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JamielaIsmail
JamielaIsmail , Teacher writes:
Hello there,
A five year old has to have the following abilities:

Gross motor skills - hop, jump, skip, alternate feet, if it's a girl then she should be able to skip with a rope.  Balance on one leg, catch and throw a ball, walk on a rope heel to toe forward and backwards, walk on toes, walk on heels and target throw, walk up stairs - one foot to a step, run and stop on command without moving (like a statue).

Fine motor skills:  color in within the lines - still haphazardly, cut straight lines with a pair of scissors, thread beads, be able to tie buttons, and tie laces.  The latter is mastered at 6 years.  This activity is a much practiced one.  Lacing and weaving - in/out and over/under.  Have a tripod pencil grip.

Socially:  co-operative play with same sex, starting team games and games with rules.  Bathe, eat and dress independently.  Be able to carry out 2/3/4 point verbal instructions - place blue book under the table in the dining room.  Be responsible for tidying up the space she plays in and also carry out the tasks competently that is given to her.

Perceptually:  basic concepts such as color, shapes/forms, body parts are established. That is she is able to match, name and identify them.  She must be able to do logo reading - McDonald's, KFC, etc.  Retell a story in order of events, be able to write her name, know the letters in her name and the first sounds to objects - c - cat.

Body space integration - she should be able to know where she is in space as well as the objects she plays with - in relation to self and another object. For example - my nose is in the middle of my face/my knees are above my ankles.  The ball is on the table.  The chair is on the left side of the couch.

Language: she must be able to describe an object - blue sky with white clouds.  Vocabulary must be extensive so that she is able to express herself adequately and understandably so that others are able to follow her train of thought.  Do not speak baby language to her - horsey, babykins etc.  use correct word structure - horse, baby, fish etc.

I hope you find this helpful and good luck.
> 60 days ago

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