Getting Ready for Kindergarten - Aston,PA

Updated on March 22, 2011
M.G. asks from Aston, PA
18 answers

My son will be starting Kindergarten in the Fall and I think my husband and I are both freaking out a little bit. My son is very bright but he shows no interest in learning things that he is not interested in. He can tell you all about King Tut and Ancient Egyptian Gods but he doesn't know the alphabet and shows little interest in learning numbers, writing or anything like that. I keep reading how good the play-based preschool curriculum is but I honestly don't see any results from this method. I feel like we are going to be struggling with school starting in Kindergarten and I'm afraid he's going to be in for a rude awakening when he gets to Kindergarten and can't choose his activities.

My question....obviously is how worried should we be that he can't write his name, recognize letters and that he shows no interest in such activities? Any advice on how to get started working with him and what we should be doing now? I'm worried he's going to be behind when he starts in the fall.

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So What Happened?

He will be starting Kindergarten in the Fall as he will turn 6 in October so there's no holding him back at this point. Socially he's fine and seems ahead of many of his peers when it comes to how he interacts with other kids, adults, new environments, etc. Everything I read says that Kindergarten today is like 1st grade used to be and that a lot more is expected of them coming in. I'm a librarian so our house is filled with books and we read a lot, especially about Ancient Egypt and Star Wars! I just think I am worried about the assessment they do which for his district is the Gesell assessment. I don't want him to be behind going into school and then struggling all year and be turned off to school.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

Hi M.,
It sounds like you have a very bright and very normal little boy! Is there any way you can homeschool him? It sounds like he would thrive in that environment. Most boys are not actually ready for book learning at age 5. Age 7 is more like it. And, they all catch up and do just fine.

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answers from Columbus on

Wait until Kindergarten, they learn letters, numbers, and how to write them, and they also learn that they can't set thier schedules any more. He would be fine if he had not been to a day of preschool. If he is going to have trouble, he is, and that is just how he is wired. You will know soon enough. Most teachers will tell you that they would rather start from zero than to undo anything you might teach him that he needed to learn some other way, for instance, many children start kindergarten knowing how to write thier names in capital letters and do not know a single lower case letter. It is much more difficult to teach a 5 year old that the task that they prize in themselves, and Mommy and Daddy clapped for is not right...and that they have to learn something new and different.

Don't borrow trouble, it will find you if it needs to.

Enjoy the spring and summer.


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answers from Dallas on

There is such a wide spectrum of kids intellectual abilities when starting Kinder. I worried about the same thing with my son who is starting this Fall.

I went to the front office at the school and asked for a list of what a child should know and what they would like them to know academically.

On the “should” know list was stuff like following directions, taking turns, able to eat and go to the bathroom unassisted.

On the what they would “like” them to know was basic colors, shapes, numbers 1-10 and the alphabet (not the sounds just letter recognition).

The list of what they should know was longer and none of that list was academic. Maybe you can go to the school and get a list if they have one or if they can recommend a website.

We know that once our son is in a room full of kids learning the same stuff, he will be inclined to follow suit. Don’t make yourself crazy over this =-)

Also if he is really into King Tut and stuff I would start getting more books on that and point out letters in the book. Start by pointing at the letters in King Tut’s name and hisown name, point out the page numbers etc. He’ll get it!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

He sounds very bright. I bet he is going to do great.
Remember Teachers in kindergarten are all about these kids and their different needs.

Never underestimate your child.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I used a FREE program with my triplets for over 2 years. It's called Letter Of The Week. Go to Select your child's age and you will be given free lesson plans to help your child learn. There's even a Yahoo group for suggestions and support.

You can tweak it anyway you'd like but here's the basics.

Week 1 - Letter Aa
Post a print out of the letter Aa on the wall or fridge or buy a big bulletin board. Each day discuss the letter Aa and the sound it makes. Color a coordinating picture like an apple, ant, etc, each day and post on the wall during the week. You can also do field trips to coordinate like a trip to an apple orchard. You can do science type things like cut open an apple and discuss the different parts like skin, stem, seeds, core, etc. Then have an apple snack. Do a scavenger hunt looking for Aa words around the house or yard. Be creative!

Week 2 - Letter Bb
Review your letter from last week and it's sound and take down your pictures. Then start your Monday with the new letter. Read coordinating books, color a picture each day, go on a field trip to see boats or bikes or birds, etc. Find a fun Bb snack. Keep your daily pictures on the wall for the week. We kept ours in the dining room where we ate so we'd talk about things every day and bring the topic back up.

Do this every week including the summer. Make some fun summer events using your letters. You don't have to do the letters in order. You can also create a letter book. Put a letter page in a book to create an alphabet book for them to go through. Use flash cards.

You can also do Reading Eggs, which are great! Go to They give a free trial. It's like games to learn and boy do the kids learn! My triplets have been using it for months and their new kindergarten classes use them too. It will cost you after the trial but it is well worth it.

I think you'll find after your son is in a classroom that he will learn. At home he is relaxed and just may not have an interest but once he's with other kids and in a routine he will learn and enjoy it!

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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answers from La Crosse on

No worries...In kindergarten they see the whole gamut; from kids who can read, to kids who don't recognize their colors or shapes. Kindergarten, at least at our school was more of a "get used to school social experiment" ...and every once in a while they throw in a lesson or learning for good measure. Just read with him when you can, and if he learns the basics, great...if will come.

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answers from Allentown on

Hi, M.:
Isn't that what kindergarten is for, learning the discipline of education?

Enjoy your son and his activities.
Good luck.



answers from Washington DC on

Sounds perfectly normal to me ::) The change from 4/5 years and 5/6 years is huge. He will learn focus and find things that motivate him.Honestly it may not be in kindergarten, but it might come later. Kindergarten teachers, at least good ones, will be able to challenge him and help him grow in these areas. Sadly, kindergartgen is a challenge for some kids because of the very strict traditional sit at desks approach we ask of them too early. However, I think your son sounds normal and creative. Let him embrace learning in his own way and support him and demand tha this teachers work with him during the adjustment.

Look into Montessori cirriculums. They are fabulous, espeically relevent is the focus on teaching kids to move through developmentally appropriate stages at there own pace. The goal is letting them be succesful in their own way and find intrinsic value in learning.


answers from San Antonio on

My 2 yrold (almost 3) loves to read and wants to write. I wont' brag too much about him, but will tell you that the biggest things that have helped him to blend wors, read his sight words, his letters, and his numbers are:
- Meet the Letters, Meet the Numbers, Meet the Sight Words (all from (cheaper bought from
- Between the Lions tv show on PBS
- Super Why tv show on PBS

Those three, plus we visit the library every week and I read to him -- all help and encourage his love for reading. So go to the library and get some books about King Tut. Dress up and help him to maybe write a book (with your help obviously). Let him act out a story or draw a picture of it, while you read with him. Have him point to the words, even if your hand is guiding him. If he's interested in what you are reading to him, he may be more interested in reading himself.


answers from Erie on

We're kind of in the same son will be 5 in july so we're trying to figure out whehter to send him or hold him back another year. he's also very smart, knows letters, numbers, etc. all of the stuff he is supposed to know but he shows NO interest in writing at all. i'll be reading the responses along with you!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Get some tub letters from target. My younger son was not as interested so I made it a game when he took a bath. I also used the tub crayons.

I strongly urge you to gt the Leapfrog Talking Letter Factory video. It does an amazing job of teaching letters and sounds. I would also get him a Leapster and some games-the educational games are a lot of fun.

My boys both went to a play based preschool. They did teach them the letters but most of the work was done by me at home. It can be done with the right approach. You have to make it fun. We had 'mommy school' that they absolutely loved. Both of my boys were reading before kinder because of this.

Hopefully he can at least say his ABCs. To me that should be a definite before K. My kids were toddlers and learned it-not sure what age other kids do.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Why not call the school and have this conversation with them? A lot of boys do better held back a year, but that is a decision you need to make in conjunction with the principal and kindergarden teacher. The ability to do things we don't like is partially learned and partially developmental-- you will have to judge where your son is. On the other hand, I don't know anyone who is sorry she held her son back, and I know several moms (including my mil) who wish she had.



answers from Philadelphia on

Dear M.,
Look for a Montessori School near you. They are excellent for getting children excited about math and reading. They prepare the child well for the school room setting. You will not be dissappointed.
Another option is teaching them at home with Cuisinart Rods, many public schools used them in the past to help teach the chilodren math. They are a lot of fun if you have the time.
The Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential may have some ideas for you, however, the greatest success comes when the children are between the ages of 3 mos. - 3 years. The Math flash cards are great if you work the program into your schedule.

Good luck with your son,



answers from New York on

I truly believe that learning starts at home. Us as parents shouldn't depend on the school or teachers to teach our children the "basics", although he will learn those things in kindergarten as well. Your son seems to be a very bright boy who loves to learn. There are plenty of toys and learning activities that can assist you with the learning process. One in particular called " Fridge Phonics". It is absolutely wonderful. It is fun. I really think this is something he will enjoy. Also vtech and fisher price are excellent choices as well. Good luck to you and your family. :)



answers from Harrisburg on

My son was the opposite. Academically, he was far ahead. He knew his letters, colors, shapes, etc. He taught himself to read as well as any 2nd grade student. He was eager to learn. I was worried that he wasn't socially ready. He didn't like taking turns. He got upset if he wasn't first in line or if he didn't win at everything. I sent him to kindergarten anyway hoping that the teacher could help him through this. Before school started, I informed the teacher about the problems I was concerned about so that she would be aware of them ahead of time.

All the kids that enter kindergarten are at varying levels. Some can read while other can't even recognize letters. The kindergarten teachers are trained to help all the kids no matter what level they are at academically and socially. I volunteer at my son's kindergarten and I have been amazed at the difference in my son. At home, he can be impossible sometimes. But, at school, he is a model student. He rarely comes home with less than a smiley face on his behavior calendar.

Don't fret about whether you think he is ready or not. The teachers will help him learn what to do and how to do it. You will be amazed at how much your son will learn once he starts kindergarten. Also, remember that kids will do for teachers what they will refuse to do for their parents.



answers from Las Vegas on

I have found with my daughter that kids have the ability to multi-task. I read a book on weather at the library while she danced around and when I tried to repeat something, she told me we already learned that. The way I see it, I introduce her and the school will test her. Keep singing the ABCs and writing his name and I bet he knows it and won't mention a word to you.

As well, kids sometimes refuse the things you want them to do the most. Just a way to pull your strings.



answers from Washington DC on

My son knew his alphabet, and could recognize letters, but he couldnt right and did not do what the teacher said when she said it last year in Pre-K, so they wanted to hold him back.

Many people seem to things that boys who are not about 5 and half by Sept 1st shouldnt go to kindergarten. Some schools thinks kindergartens should be writing. However, things vary. I would contact the school you want to send him to next year and ask them. If you need to do handwriting, to help him learn to write, I would highly suggest Handwriting Without Tears, it is a great program. It has made a world of difference for my son in one year. He went from fine motor scores at 12 percentile to 75th percentile in one years time!



answers from Honolulu on

Online if you do a Google Search, do a search on "Kindergarten Readiness" or "Kindergarten Readiness Checklists."

There is a difference between academic ability and emotional maturity.
Many bright kids, may still be emotionally immature.
Boys often mature later.

Or, you talk to the school your child will be attending, and ask them.
There are kids, in Kinder, who have gone to Preschool and those who have NO preschool experience.
How your child adjusts, depends on the child and his/her emotional maturity.

But sure, practice with him, various skills.

Kindergarten in many States, is NOT 'mandatory.'
And Kindergarten starts, per age cut-offs, at either turning 5 or 5 years old, or turning 6 or 6 years old.

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