Education, Parenting, and Homeschooling

Student Skills for Kindergarten

Preschool is the new kindergarten, and kindergarten is the new first grade.

When I was in kindergarten, I remember playing outside in the sand, beating a pinata to pieces before having it rain down candy on us, sliding down a hot metal slide in the blinding sun, playing with boards with nails on them and having handfuls of rubber bands that I was trying to make stick on the nails in various patterns- you get the idea.

School has changed.

A lot.

And this is coming from someone who isn’t just a product of a public school education- I went back and taught in it for two years.

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I don’t remember doing a whole lot of academic stuff in those early years, I just remember playing dress up, playing with musical instruments, we we did a Cinderella’s ball and watched the Disney movie-

I had a LOT of fun in kindergarten.

First grade, btw, don’t ask me. I have no idea.


And may I remind you again that I’ve been going through my hoarder’s collection of important papers today so I have for your viewing pleasure, a form one of my middle sons got a year ago when he was about to enter Kindergarten.

The Student Skills Survey for Kindergarten Registration.

Yes. Very official sounding. Because it is.

And below I’ll list what skills they wanted him to have mastered prior to entering the world that is public school.

Small Muscle Skills

  1. Uses thumb and forefinger to grasp a pencil or crayon
  2. Enjoys drawing and scribbling (hm, what if they’re not too artsy then, eh?)
  3. Uses scissors to cut paper
  4. Can copy a simple shape
  5. Can complete a simple five-piece puzzle
  6. Can complete a simple ten-piece puzzle (geez, I wish they’d sent this thing out in the mail so I could have tested these)
  7. Can glue

Cognitive Thinking Skills

  1. Enjoys looking at books (again, what if they’re not a bookworm, right?)
  2. Can stack ten blocks
  3. Knows colors
  4. Can identify a circle, square, rectangle, and triangle

Expressive Language Skills

  1. Speaks in complete sentences
  2. Is easily understood by people other than family members
  3. When asked, can tell you his/her first name
  4. When asked, can tell you his/her last name
  5. Is willing to talk when asked a question
  6. Is willing to talk to express a physical need (hungry, tired, etc)

Social/Emotional Skills

  1. Can sit an complete an activity without becoming fidgety (oh man, we may be in trouble)
  2. Is easily frustrated when trying something new
  3. Can follow simple direction and rules
  4. Cries when separated from parent(s)
  5. Will share toys, et. with others
  6. Puts toys away
  7. Respects property of others

Self-Help Skills

  1. Uses restroom without help
  2. Can dress self (knows front of shirt/top)
  3. Can dress self (can zip or snap pants/bottom)
  4. Can dress self (puts on socks and shoes)

And there you have it.

Thankfully, my middle son “passed” on all accounts. Although I guess it was more of a just for their information, as much as it was for mine.

I think this was a great list of things that by age 5 all kids, or easily MOST kids, should be doing.

Prior to school.

I actually had several moms voice that they were angry about some of these though.

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I overheard comments like, “Well isn’t this why I’m sending him to school?”

And, “He’s supposed to be learning his color and letters there.”

And that my friends, opens an entirely other HUGE can of worms, which I’ll have to write about later, but-

In regards to getting kids ready to enter kindergarten, does this list sound about right? What would you add to it?

I personally thought knowing the alphabet should have been on there, or counting to a certain number.

What do you think?

Let me know in the comments below.

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