Preschool- If They Don't Go, How Do You Prepare Them for Kindergarten?

Updated on August 04, 2011
C.B. asks from Lancaster, SC
13 answers

My son is in preschool for the second year. So far I have been happy until recently. He is being bullied and I believe his class is under staffed. I spent the day with him and just watched. I really don't think the teacher has enough time to spend with each child. What they are doing I could probably do at home. Do any of you have your preschoolers at home and what type of things do you do with them? What should they know before kindergarten? Thanks

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answers from Dothan on

Hello C.,

I have three children and daycare is expensive so I work part-time around my husbands schedule so none of my children have went to preschool. When my oldest started school he knew his shapes,colors, could count to 10, could recognize his name and was working on his abc's he is in the first grade this year and is on the honor roll. He is on the same level as the children that went to preschool and I am now working with my daughter who will start next year and you are right what they are doing you can do at home.

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answers from Victoria on

I got this from a site months ago and the site took it off but I saved the information on what preschoolers should learn.You can also go to various preschools/child developement centers and see what curriculum they use. Abeka is a good one. My mother used that to homeschool me. Also go to or call kingdergartens..or just ask parents whos children our attending local ones and ask them what their children needed to know (every location is different but some do have a few of the basic things). ALSO LeapFrog has some GREAT GREAT videos and one of their sites has neat things too!;jsessionid...
My son knows most things on those videos and he is not even 4.5 yet, it is just because he loved the videos and of course we would ask him do point things out in car trips and such, aka incouraging him cause watching tv alone might not do the trick..LOL
There are also different places online that you can buy materials. I did that for awhile $18 for a nice book, workbook, art craft, stickers, etc. each month.( Brighter Vision Learning Adventures--

There are also many many sites online for learning, print out coloring pages that go with each theme, crafts, songs and so on! Just do a search and you will find a TON!

I know it says SC and what they learn IN kindegarten but the lists on the site will give you an idea of what they learn IN Kindegarten.
Also you can view this site and see if there are any places where you can go pick different things and yall can learn all about it!
Here is a site if you want to start teaching spanish, Im sure you can do a search for basic words online too that way you know if you are prounouncing them correctly.


Preschool typical course of study


Typical Course of Study----


Understands big and little.
Understands long and short.
Matches shapes or objects based on size.

Colors and Shapes:

Recognizes and names primary colors.
Recognizes circles.
Recognizes rectangles.
Matches shapes or objects based on shape.
Copies shapes.


Counts orally through 10.
Counts objects in one-to-one correspondence.
Understands empty and full.
Understands more and less.

Reading Readiness:

Remembers objects from a given picture.
Knows what a letter is.
Has been read to frequently.
Has been read to daily.
Looks at books and magazines.
Recognizes some nursery rhymes.
Identifies parts of the body.
Identifies objects that have a functional use.
Knows common farm and zoo animals.
Pronounces own first name.
Pronounces own last name.
Expresses self verbally.
Identifies other children by name.
Tells the meaning of simple words.
Repeats a sentence of 6-8 words.
Completes incomplete sentence with proper word.
Has own books.
Understands that print carries a message.
Pretends to read.
Uses left-to-right progression.
Answers questions about a short story.
Tells the meaning of words heard in story.
Looks at pictures and tells a story.
Identifies own first name in manuscript.
Prints own first name.

Position and Direction:

Understands up and down.
Understands in and out.
Understands front and back.
Understands over (on) and under.
Understands top, bottom, middle.
Understands beside and next to.
Understands hot and cold.
Understands fast and slow.


Understands day and night.
Knows age and birthday.

Listening and Sequencing:

Follows simple directions.
Listens to a short story.
Listens carefully.
Recognizes common sounds.
Repeats a sequence of sounds.
Repeats a sequence of orally given numbers.
Retells simple stories in sequence.

Motor Skills:

Is able to run.
Is able to walk a straight line.
Is able to jump.
Is able to hop.
Is able to alternate feet walking down stairs.
Is able to march.
Is able to stand on one foot for 5-10 seconds.
Is able to walk backwards for five feet.
Is able to throw a ball.
Pastes objects.
Claps hands.
Matches simple objects.
Touches fingers.
Able to button a garment.
Builds with blocks.
Completes simple puzzles
(5 pieces or less).
Draws and colors beyond
a simple scribble.
Able to zip a zipper.
Controls pencil and crayon well.
Cuts simple shapes.
Handles scissors well.
Able to copy simple shapes.

Social-Emotional Development:

Can be away from parents or primary care givers for 2-3 hours
without being upset.
Takes care of toilet needs independently.
Feels good about self.
Is not afraid to go to school.
Cares for own belongings.
Knows full name.
Dresses self.
Knows how to use handkerchief
or tissue.
Knows own sex.
Brushes teeth.
Crosses residential street safely.
Asks to go to school.
Knows parents' names.
Knows home address.
Knows home phone number.
Enters into casual conversation.
Carries a plate of food.
Maintains self-control.
Gets along well with other children.
Plays with other children.
Recognizes authority.
Shares with others.
Talks easily.
Likes teachers.
Meets visitors without shyness.
Puts away toys.
Able to stay on task.
Able to work independently.
Helps family with chores.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Tuscaloosa on

My oldest son is in Kindergarten this year. He just brought home a report card about 2 weeks ago. I typed up the list of requirements so that I'd know exactly what to work on with him. He has to have all of these mastered to go on to 1st grade.

Social and Motor Growth

1. Obeys school/class rules
2. Follows playgrounds safety rules
3. Shows self control
4. Uses good lunchroom manners
5. Pays attention in class
6. Listens and follows directions
7. Accepts and respects authority
8. Participates in group activities
9. Works without disrupting others
10. Shares and take turns
11. Cooperates with others
12. Handles conflict
13. Rests quietly
14. Concentrates on task at hand
15. Manages time well and completes work
16. Completes work on time
17. Takes care of classroom materials
18. Completes home assignments including Accelerated Reader & meets AR goals
19. Takes care of personal belongings
20. Uses scissors correctly
21. Holds pencil correctly
22. Cuts on a line and shape
23. Uses glue neatly
24. Puts puzzles together
25. Dresses self (buttons, zippers, snaps, ties shoes)

Language art skills (all letters)

Recognizes all upper case letters

Recognizes all lower case letters

Recognizes initial sound (every letter except a, e, I, o, u, x)

Recognizes final sounds (every letter except a, e, I, o, q, r, u, v, w, y)

Writes upper and lower case letter

Identifies colors:

Produces short vowel sounds
(a, e, I, o, u)

Sight words

the, to, of, from, four, into, one, you, said, was, what, my, two, when, they, who, come, where, are, eight, yellow, green, orange, purple, red, brown, black, blue, three, five, six, seven, nine, ten

Pre-reading skills

Recalls days of the week
Prints first name correctly from memory
Generally speaks in complete sentences
Produces beginning sounds in words
Blends three letter words
Spells name verbally
Recites alphabet
Recites pledge of Allegiance
Recalls months of the year
Claps or counts syllables
Spells simple three letter words
Has basic understanding of stories read aloud
Can retell stories
Recognizes rhyming words
Produces rhyming words
Recognizes name in print
Recites phone number
Recites address
Matches opposites
Demonstrates left to right progression
Sequencing events
Distinguishes left/right

Math skills

1. Counts to 20
2. Writes numbers 0-10
3. Traces shapes
4. Identifies patterns
5. Extends patterns
6. Identifies shapes (triangle, diamond, circle, star, rectangle, square, oval)
7. Identifies coins from a set (penny, nickel, dime, quarter)
8. Identifies value of coins (penny, nickel, dime, quarter)
9. Identifies a shape that is divided in half
10. Identifies objects in a sequence (first, second, third, etc…)
11. Trace shapes
12. Draws enclosed space that is recognizable
13. Measures using non-standard units
14. Identifies patterns
15. Extends patterns
16. Interprets graphs
17. Extends graphs
18. Computes simple addition problems
19. Computes simple subtraction problems
20. Explores always, maybe, never events
21. Uses more/less, taller/shorter, heavier/lighter
22. Recognizes clocks/calendars as measurements of time
23. Sorts objects of various sizes, shapes, etc…
24. Counts 0-10 backwards

Special areas: participate and listen

Hope that helps!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Montgomery on

IN our school in Alabama my son had to learn cursive writing and simple addition in Kindergarten. You should go to Barnes and Nobles or whatever you have near you and buy the Kindergarten homeschooling book. Worst case scenario he learns something he won't be taught in public school and end up better than the children that didn't get this leg up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I taught Kindergarten in Florida for 3 years and the standards are available online. If you know the school you plan to enroll your son with, go to them and ask for their Kindergarten readiness standards. They should have something printed that lets you know exactly what they expect.
I've had students that had never held a pencil and some that were reading cvc words (cat, dog, mat) and more. So each district and state is different.
Furthermore please address the issues with the principal or site director after inquiring with the lead teacher. It's a disservice to children when a program fails because of behavior and overpopulation.
Good luck!



answers from Charlotte on

We have five children (which includes a set of twins), all boys except the last is a girl. Our oldest (now 11) went to preschool, I worked, he has excelled in his school work. Our second (now 7), we could not afford at the time to send to preschool. We sang songs, practiced the alphabet, read daily, went to the park (learn about nature). Our second is on grade level, but is constantly having to work hard on handwriting, as a toddler he hated to color (I never forced) and never developed his muscle in his hands as well as children who colored alot. I didn't know that would be the result of not making him color. They say Play doh will help develop that muscle as well. Our twins started preschool this year (they are 3), wanted them to go for social more than anything else because of the whole twin factor. I suggest joining a MOMs group in your area. You can usually find them at churches. This will help with his social interaction. Also look for a educational store, they have some neat things for all age ranges. I still have my 1 yr old daughter left for preschool and we will probably send her, time can only tell. I wish you the best in this decision! Good LUck!



answers from Huntsville on

For one you could find another preschool. You could call up the school he will be going to for kindergatern and ask them if they have a preschool program, because I was shocked to find out my daughters school had one. My daughter goes to that preschool and they have about 2 or 3 teachers per class. If that isn't an option for you, you could teach your child at home. You just teach them the ABC's and their numbers. Just teach them the basics. If you let your child watch tv, you could buy those ABC tapes from Sesame Street and Brainy Baby. They also make numbers and all kinds of tapes and they have helped my girls a lot, because they are learning from characters they already like. You can also print out the alphabet and number sheets off the internet and try teaching them with those, they also make great flash cards, you can get anywhere. A paper my daughter brought home says what kindergatern wants her to know and it was her alphabet, how to count at least to 20, and her name and her address and how to tie her shoes. I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope this helps. Just follow your instincts.



answers from Asheville on

hey i am also a stay at home mom to a 3 1/2 year old boy and a 19 month old boy. i usually do activities with my oldest everyday during the week, its called our lesson time. we work on abc's, counting, shapes, colors and math. he can spell his name and recognize the letters. he knows almost all the shapes, and all the colors. he loves thomas the tank engine so i just went online and went to the thomas site, they have activities you can print. i also do google searches for preschool lessons. there are some really good sites out there. i hope this helps.



answers from Decatur on

Hi C.,
I have a 3 yr old daughter.I have been thinking about preschool versus keeping my little girl at home.I feel like I should be the one teaching her.I think that I have prepared her for kindergarten.I have helped her learn her abcs,how to write her name,and her colors.Im not sure that preschool even teaches them these things.If you have time to teach your child yourself it is really rewarding not only to them but to you also.Everyone I know thinks she should go to preschool because she has no interaction with other kids,but I would miss her very much.I am a partner in a business and have started back full time.I am thinking of putting her in preschool next year because she gets way to bored at the office.



answers from Spartanburg on

Call the school that he will be attending next year for K5 and find out what they need him to know. Then you will have a good idea on what you will need to prepare him for. It is basic, but he will need to be able to cut a straight line and cut out his own boxes and stuff and glue them onto the pages, he will need to color as close as he can to in the lines. He will need to be able to count preferably to 100, and of course know his ABC's. He needs to be able to write his own name, recognize colors, shapes, etc. There are books at walmart, or even a teaching store specifically for K4 that you could get for him if you are wanting to just home school him for this year. They would have workbooks to help reinforce the teaching you are doing. there are also videos that you can purchase if you want to go all out. But definitely check with his K5 school and see what they require. Some programs are different, I know my daughter needed to know her phone number and address on top of the other things for K5 so that would be an extra that might not be at other schools.



answers from Charlotte on

I just joined this group and saw your post from October. Do you live in the Rockwell NC area? If so I am 36 with two little ones and am also a stay at home mom.



answers from Dothan on

Hello C.,

I have three children and daycare is expensive so I work part-time around my husbands schedule so none of my children have went to preschool. When my oldest started school he knew his shapes,colors, could count to 10, could recognize his name and was working on his abc's he is in the first grade this year and is on the honor roll. He is on the same level as the children that went to preschool and I am now working with my daughter who will start next year and you are right what they are doing you can do at home.



answers from Tuscaloosa on

I am a homeschooling mom of a 9yr old and my son will be 4 in 2 weeks. I use the abekka program with my 9 yr old and ordered it for my son. However, a friend of mine sells avon and I ordered the pooh books out of there and I love them. They teach their numbers and letters and how to write them. They also teach colors and shapes. You should be able to find books at the library on preschool games and songs to help teach him those. My daughter loved the color songs. We are working with my son on these. You can email me and we can share ideas if you would like. I know what it is like to not get much adult conversation. I don't live close unless you consider about 10 hours away close LOL but I would love to share ideas on teaching our sons.
Good luck



answers from Norfolk on

Hi I have a 6yr old in 1st grade. She did not have any preschool (her mom had custody). My husband and I thought she would be behid the class so I worked with her on learning her alphabet , writing her name and counting etc. She was actually about average when she stared school, and is actually above grade level with her reading now. I worked with her alot last year to make sure she did ok and still work with her. The only thing she still has problems with is socializing with kids her own age.

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