When parents are preparing their children for starting kindergarten, there are numerous things that schools want children to know before they start. Depending on the part of the world where children start kindergarten, they must be around five or six years old. Different countries have different prerequisites for a child entering school, so it is important for parents to check with their child’s school for a specific list of requirements for starting kindergarten.
Although schools differ across the globe, reviewing the common skills required prior to starting kindergarten will give parents a good starting off point. Children entering kindergarten need pre-academic skills in reading, writing, and math. In addition they should know some items about safety, health and nutrition, responsibility and social skills.
Children starting kindergarten do not have to completely know how to read, however, they should have a good start. They should be familiar with numerous books and stories, know the alphabet and be aware of the direction that words are read on a page. Children should also be able to speak in five or six word sentences, tell stories, ask questions and they should be able to read their own name before entering school.
In regards to writing skills, children should know how to properly hold a crayon, pencil or marker. In addition to being able to write their own name, they should be able to draw simple recognizable pictures of people, places and things. Children should also know basic colors when they are drawing. Because drawing coincides with writing, a child learning how to properly use scissors and glue or paste also necessary.
The math skills that are required for children prior to starting kindergarten consist of learning numbers 1 to 10 or 1 to 20 and understanding how they work. For example, one finger is 1 and two fingers are 2. Children entering school should also know basic shapes and understand the concepts of less and more.
For safety purposes it is required in many schools that children entering kindergarten know their full name, address, phone number, parents’ or guardians’ names and place of employment and the location of the school by either walking or driving. Children starting kindergarten should also know where their bus stop is and how to cross the street and look both ways. The most important safety item that children should learn before starting school is how to contact a safe adult when there is an emergency.
Other important skills for children to know before starting kindergarten are connected with health and nutrition. Children should know to wash their hands before and after each meal and to cover their mouth when they sneeze or cough. Pre-kindergartners should also be able to pick healthy foods from the basic food groups.
Prerequisites for kindergartners that are a bonus have to do with responsibility and socialization. It makes life much easier on teachers and other adults throughout the day if children starting kindergarten are able to dress and undress without assistance, tie their own shoes and put on footwear. Children should be able to share and play nicely with other children in their age group and above all else, follow rules and directions that are given by an adult.