There have been a lot of changes to education in recent years. Many of them have been excellent, such as expanded access on Junior High and High School campuses to the AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination), which provides a pathway to college for “at-risk” students, with an almost 100% success rate in many districts. Other changes have not been quite so successful. The standards themselves are an excellent example of this. Common Core has reformed the explanation and emphasis of education, but its sudden and sweeping alterations left many students (and even more parents) longing for the education of yesteryear.
Surprisingly, the greatest change is also the one that is most frequently overlooked: the higher expectations of student performance in early education. The most shocking is, without question, the heightened expectations for beginning kindergarteners. The days of playing with finger paints and coloring outside the lines have ended and children are now expected to start school with near proficiency in several key areas. Thus, in honor of WestCoast’s 25th anniversary, we’d like to share with our readers 25 things your child is expected to know before beginning kindergarten.
Academically, your child will need to be able to…
1. Write their name.
2. Recognize upper and lower case letters out
3. Manipulate sounds within words
(given a common word “cat,” the student is
expected to replace the first sound with /s/ to
make the word “sat”).
4. Recognize rhyming words.
5. Create his/her own rhyming word pairs.
6. Display an understanding of comparative words
(such as slow/fast or few/many).
7. Retell information from a story.
8. Sequence three pictures to tell a story.
9. Recognize numbers out
of sequence through 20.
10. Count in sequence to 30.
11. Write their numbers 1-10.
12. Know their colors.
13. Recognize shapes (including ovals
14. Recite the days of the week.
15. Identify the parts of their body
(including their jaw, wrists, and waist).
16. Recite the months of the year.
Developmentally, your child will need to be able to…
17. Balance, hop, and skip.
18. Steer and pedal a tricycle.
19. Throw and catch a ball.
20. Grasp a pencil correctly.
21. Use scissors to cut out a variety of lines and shapes.
22. String 4 ½″ beads in two minutes.
23. Complete a seven-piece interlocking puzzle.
24. Make a pancake, snake, and ball from playdough.
25. Follow 2 and 3 step directions.
Preparation before kindergarten is more important than ever to ensure a smooth transition for your little ones. And as the only facility in California authorized to administer our unique combination of curricula, Brain Zone Reading and Tutoring Center is proud to provide an unrivaled Kinder-Prep Program for the students in our community. Proper preparation is merely a phone call away.
Michael Turner, The Brain Zone