What should your child know by the end of kindergarten?
As parents, we can’t help gauging our child’s growth and development against other kids around us; that’s human nature even if it’s not always very helpful.
It is important to understand that every child is unique and have different development rates. It is, therefore, a little dangerous to compare kids with kids. You’re far better off judging your child’s progress based on accepted and standardised milestones. Created by child development experts, these milestone breakdowns are still only to be looked into as a guide.
Crawling, standing, first steps, first words, first everything; your child will reach each new stage when they’re good and ready.
Same with early schooling. Kindergarten is designed to provide your child with some essential early academic and social skills. How quickly they learn will depend on their makeup and overall strengths and weaknesses.
Here is a general guide of what your child should ideally have gleaned by the end of their kindergarten phase.
In the early stages of kindergarten, leaving your child may be a little traumatic for both you and them. But as they adjust and realise that you always come back later, they’ll start to get it.
So your child should have gained the confidence to separate from a parent or guardian easily and without drama.
Ideally, your child will have learned some formative behaviour skills by the time they finish kindergarten. For example, they will have learned to happily follow class rules, obey instructions and stand quietly in a line. They’ll understand the concept of patience and waiting their turn.
They will also understand why it’s good to share class tools and materials with classmates.
By the end of kindergarten, your child should have established either left or right-hand dominance and be adept at holding crayons and pencils in the correct way.
Your child’s attention span should have developed to the point where they can concentrate for at least 15 minutes. They will know the 8 basic colours, numbers from 1 to 20 and the entire alphabet in both vocal and written form. They should also know the relationship between letters and be able to read simple sentences.
Moving to shapes, they should be able to identify rectangles, squares, triangles, and circles. And on to maths, they should be confident with addition and subtraction with numbers up to 10.
Kindergarten is a great place to start building memory skills and, coupled with higher levels of concentration, your child should be able to recount a story read out loud.
While this list is far from exhaustive, it should give you an idea of what you can expect from kindergarten and roughly where your child’s development will be.
Again, no child is the same and every child will excel in some areas and lag in others.
Don’t fret if your child doesn’t tick all the boxes. Kindergarten is also a great way to see where their true talents lie.