Have you been waiting for the day when your child starts writing on paper instead of everything else? That day is here, my friend. Kindergarten is the first formal training your child will receive in reading and writing.

Reading and writing fit together as perfectly as bacon and eggs. In school, they're always taught together because they go hand in hand. For the first few years of your child's formal education, you will barely be able to separate the two--all reading activities will involve writing activities, and vice-versa.

Kindergarten writing is an active learning process that involves interaction with other students and working with various utensils your child will enjoy, including brushes, markers, chalk, crayons, pens, and pencils, plus a variety of surfaces like paper, chalkboards, clay, and sandpaper.

By the beginning of kindergarten, your child will most likely play-write with scribbles, know how to hold a crayon or other writing instrument, and have some control over her hand movements. By the end of kindergarten, a child working at the standard level will:

  • Form letters
  • Correspond sounds with writing
  • Name and label objects
  • Maintain focus
  • Gather, collect, and share information
  •  Incorporate storybook language (for example, “Once upon a time”) into their writing
  • Write in chronological order
  • Know that words have meanings
  • Know letters make words
  • Know all or part of the alphabet
  • Know most, if not all, of the sounds each letter makes
  • Recognize familiar written words, such as their name
  • Recognize written words found in their daily environment

Adapted with permission from "Kindergarten Success: Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Child Learn" by Amy James (Jossey- Bass, 2005), which we highly recommend.