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What Do They Learn in Kindergarten

What do your kids learn in kindergarten that they have not already learned in preschool (if they have gone to one). If a child starts preschool at say 3/4 years old, then how much color, shapes, numbers and letters can they learn that will again be repeated in kindergarten. I think 2-3 years learning just that is a bit repetitive especially if the child is older or smarter. What is different in kindergarten?

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My son learned how to read, how to count by 2's 5's and 10's to 100, how to do simple addition and subtraction, and how to function well in a classroom environment by following a routine. He did not go to preschool, kindergarten was his first introduction to "regular" school. We did preschool at home with mommy and daddy and he loved it!

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in my sons kindergarten they are learning to recognize some words, how to sound them out and beginning reading. that is the one big different I see this year from last year

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They will learn some reading, some writing, some math, some science. They will also learn to follow directions, to stay on schedule and how to work with other children. Formal PE, Formal Music, Formal Art and Spanish is offered at this school.

They will hopefully also become more independent..
They did not give out real homework in our daughters kinder classes, but the children were taught to bring and take home their backpacks every day.. To have their parents look and sign their work, to return handouts, to walk into the classroom quietly hang up and put away their things to get ready for the day. To be prepared.

To prepare for lunch follow lunch room rules, get their own lunches in line, to purchase then open their own milk.. To clean up after themselves.

How to walk in a line, how to keep their hands to themselves, how to sit and listen to a whole story. How to raise their hands with a question, to wait their turn..

To play on the playground to get along, to speak up for themselves..

They should know their colors, shapes, how to say the alphabet how to count up to 30..How to spell their name. Some will be there and some will just be getting there.. Some children will already read and do some writing.. Not perfectly...

It is not just giant playtime. They have actual lesson plans and will need to meet goals.. The best part is at the end of the day, they will be hungry, so give them a small snack, they will play a little, they will eat dinner and then they are ready for bath and sleep! They will grow so much taller that fall, you will end up purchasing new shoes by Thanksgiving.. It is a magical time for them..

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Kindergarten is more academic now - often kids are already expected to know letters, numbers, etc. before starting because they may start working on reading, writing, simple adding and subtracting, etc. If you want to know about kindergarten programs in your area (public schools, private, etc.) you might want to visit some of them and ask them what their curriculum consists of, and what they expect the kids to learn by the end of the year before going on to first grade.

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I would suggest that you talk with some of your family or friends that have/had kids in kindergarten recently. What kids learn in K. vary from district to city to state, but it is much more than what they learned 5 or 10 years ago. Most people in the education world see kindergarten as the new 1st grade. I teach kindergarten and the end of the year expectations are what I was expected to learn in 1st grade. Now kids are learning to read, write complete sentences, and do simple addition and subtraction number stories to name just a few of the expectations. I am also seeing an increase in children who need to develop their social skills. The social-emotional area is a key element to any good kindergarten classroom.

In my district kids are behind the group if they do not know most of the letters of the alphabet, the basic shapes, numbers to 10 or 20, and how to write their name when they begin kindergarten. That is basically where we start, and the kids who do not have that knowledge are playing catch up all year.

Children who come in reading and writing sentences may be a little bored in K. unless the teacher is skilled in differentiating instruction. It is a fine line between being prepared and being overly prepared, but usually a teacher can meet an advanced student's needs. And often the academically advanced student needs work on social skills or other social or emotional areas. I don't know why, but it is not uncommon for the academically advanced k. student to need extra help with getting along with their peers.

I hope this helps...I would check with the schools in your area to know what is expected of an incoming kindergartener, and what is the end of the year expectation.

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I used to be a Kindergarten teacher and I know that they learn alot more than what they learn in preschool- Knowing your letters, shapes and colors are just the fundamentals they need in order to succeed in Kindergarten. They begin to learn letter sounds and beginning words. They also begin to learn how to put their thoughts into a simple sentence. By the end of Kindergarten, your child should be able to read and write 100 sight words. They should be on a Level 4 reading level and should be writing 3 sentences on their own. They also should know how to count to 100 and do simple computations. Kindergarten is so important and is often not taken seriously, but it is a very important year in a child's educational life.

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Preschool is has become what kindergarten use to be. Children are now leaving Kindergarten reading, writing simple paragraphs and adding and subtracting simple sums. Preschool should really be mandatory these days since a child entering K without preschool (or parents providing at home instruction) enter already below grade level. Can they catch up, sure, but why make school so difficult?

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Can you clarify the reason for your question? Are you asking if it is worth while to do preschool?

There is the repetition with colors, shapes, and numbers between prek and K. However, there is more phonetic awareness and reading in kindergarten than in prek. The Kindergarten teachers in our school did team teaching where they could do small reading groups based upon skill level. I found the harder levels more challenging than what my daughter got in 1st grade for the whole classroom. There was a lot of journal writing. For math, it was creating patterns, graphs, and basic adding and subtracting using manipulatives. They were also expected to work a lot more on their own.

I volunteered in the kindergarten class at my kid's school. What I observed, was that there was a broad range of skills independent of whether or not the child had been in preschool. Socially, you could tell the difference between kids that had been in preschool and kids who had not. The kids who had been in some type of preschool had a better ability to concentrate and work in a classroom than the others. This was really important when it came time to do individual work. I think this was less obvious towards the end of the year. It didn't make the kids that did not have preschool less bright. It just meant they might not have been as ready to learn in that type of structured environment.

Updated

Can you clarify the reason for your question? Are you asking if it is worth while to do preschool?

There is the repetition with colors, shapes, and numbers between prek and K. However, there is more phonetic awareness and reading in kindergarten than in prek. The Kindergarten teachers in our school did team teaching where they could do small reading groups based upon skill level. I found the harder levels more challenging than what my daughter got in 1st grade for the whole classroom. There was a lot of journal writing. For math, it was creating patterns, graphs, and basic adding and subtracting using manipulatives. They were also expected to work a lot more on their own.

I volunteered in the kindergarten class at my kid's school. What I observed, was that there was a broad range of skills independent of whether or not the child had been in preschool. Socially, you could tell the difference between kids that had been in preschool and kids who had not. The kids who had been in some type of preschool had a better ability to concentrate and work in a classroom than the others. This was really important when it came time to do individual work. I think this was less obvious towards the end of the year. It didn't make the kids that did not have preschool less bright. It just meant they might not have been as ready to learn in that type of structured environment.

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My son was reading by mid-year in Kindergarten.
And doing basic math problems.
It's not just numbers, colors and letters by any means!

My son went to nursery school at 3, pre-school at 4 and he was still challenged in K.

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My daughter is in kindergarten. They aren't even being taught upper-case letters - its assumed that they already know those and are just doing lower case. They are doing more complex shapes (hexagon, rhombus) and pattern work. They are learning a little bit about historical figures (Martin Luther King, the Pilgrims, etc). She is working on writing - she just wrote a "book" with several sentences of her own writing to go with her pictures. She's starting to read too - I bet she'll be able to read some easy books on her own within the next couple of months. We're a pretty "academic" family (I teach HS) and she couldn't do any of these things before the start of the year, even though she had gone to a very good pre-k program just the year before.

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Per my Daughter, and comparing Preschool with Kinder... it is a BIG difference.
The complexity changes.... they do sight reading, phonics, sentences, number problems, number lines, structure changes and format... more complexity in writing and in "expectations" of the Teacher... and what the kids are expected to do.
Even if it is still numbers, shapes, colors, ABC's.... the entire complexity of it... changes. And the expectations upon the child. It is a different... benchmark.

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In a 3-4 year old pre-school kids learn colors, some letters, mostly the ones in their names, they learn how to start sitting still for extended periods of time. They start developing the skills to follow directions, such as do this, then that, and then do this too. More steps than a simple command.

In Pre-K, the 4-5 year old program the kids learn sight words, the learn how to start writing more words and some even start reading. They start basic math skills, or pre-math skills. They learn to sit more lengths of time, several hors out of their day, they have less play time and more structured time. They also get ready for everything they are going to need to go to Kindergarten.

In Kindergarten, 5-6 years old, they learn to actually start reading, they start learning more sight words, they do math, and other more analytical work.

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while preschool is all about social skills, in today's world, it is also definitely a much-needed bridge to prepare for KG.

Full-blown academics begin in KG, all in prep for that yearly achievement testing which is how each school district receives their funding. The catch phrase now is "teach for the testing". Soooo sad!

That said, our school district expects children to identify the ABCs, 1-20, & be able to write their name. To know basic life skills: parents' names, address, all phone #s, etc. This is all part of what is considered "prior knowledge". There are so many other skills which are expected: scissor skills, tying shoes, etc. The check list for KG screening is quite long!

As other posters have mentioned, just contact your local district & ask for a printout of KG expectations. It will make your life much easier!

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My oldest son is in Kindergarden right now, they started in September. 3 months in he is reading books without any help. Some books though that have bigger or harder words we have to help a little bit. They start learning the sounds of words, the combination sounds like SH, CH, CK, ST... my son can also already count to over 300 without help. They are doing math. Addition, subtraction and graphs and charts. Seperation; like with colors or pictures that are different. They work more with scissors to get their motor skills better. There is alot of stuff actually. I Love kindergarden! lol. I have volunteered a few times and it was a blast.
They had a "Fun Run" for a fundraiser, they have had Bingo nights (which helps too with numbers and letters), Fiestas (they sang a spanish song and the kids all had to learn it), Mask Parade during Halloween where they got to make their own masks out of paperplates.
Its really fun time for kids

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If you want specific details on the kindergarten curriculum for your school district, I would go to the district office or school and ask for some materials. Our district offers parent curriculm brochures at each grade level.

Here is the link to our district's kindergarten brochure.
http://www.cusd200.org/235310111610751240/lib/23531011161...

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My son learned how to read, how to count by 2's 5's and 10's to 100, how to do simple addition and subtraction, and how to function well in a classroom environment by following a routine. He did not go to preschool, kindergarten was his first introduction to "regular" school. We did preschool at home with mommy and daddy and he loved it!

1 mom found this helpful

in my sons kindergarten they are learning to recognize some words, how to sound them out and beginning reading. that is the one big different I see this year from last year

1 mom found this helpful

TOTALLY depends on the preschool and kindergarten.

By the end of preschool all the kids in my son's school knew basic reading to chapterbook reading, addition, subtraction, simple multiplication and division, geography of the world (just the 7 continents), how to tell time, days/weeks/months aspect of time, plus all the "units" they did (human body; about 20 bones, all the organs, hemispheres and lobes of the brain, etc. Archeology was a unit, Outer Space was a unit, Spiders were a unit, plants), etc. It was a montessori school that turned everything into fun and games and the kids just soaked it up like sponges. They also spent about 1/2 their time playing outside. It wasn't a drill drill drill school. It was a super FUN school.

In Kindergarten however by the END of the first year they wanted the kids to know how to count to 20, and MOST of the letters of the alphabet, and basic colors and shapes. HIS elementary school they wouldn't "catch up" to his preschool until the middle of grade 3.

His COUSINS elementary school, otoh, required the skills kiddo had mastered in Preschool for entrance into K. If the kids hadn't learned those things they went into preK to learn them (basic reading, basic arithmetic, etc. For REALLY basic things like colors and shapes PreK kids would be sent to a special class to learn them, which only took them about a week).

My son would have gone out of his ever lovin' mind if preschool was only letters numbers shapes and colors for 2-3 years. There was SO much more to it. And he DID go out of his ever lovin mind in K. Which is why we started homeschooling. But if we'd been in his cousin's district he would have taken up where he left off and we might still be there.

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depends on where your son went to preschool. My daughter had an extra year in pre-K because she turned 5 after the cut off date and she then went to a all day very small pre K class that focused a lot on writing, letters, and beginning math. The first part of kindergarten was a review for her. the second half they did some very basic reading. One of the big differences was in preschool there was time for play. In her kindergarten, there was no play at all. They had centers, but their centers consisted of a very focused activity, no toys at all. My son, by contrast, is at the younger end of the spectrum and will not get that extra year. He is not writing at all and doesn't know all of his letters. He will learn all of that in Kindergarten next year. Every school system's kindergarten is different, so you should check with yours. I find that in kindergarten there is a lot of learning social skills and a lot more tolerance if the kids make mistakes and they can move around a bit more. Once you get to first grade, it is all business and you better know how to sit still and focus.

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