Preschooler Is Reading; What Will Grade K Be Like?

Updated on November 10, 2012
J.O. asks from Novi, MI
19 answers

Last year for kindergarten, my son struggled a bit, being a very young 5 and a very active boy. My daughter (who was 3) sat at the table with us for every homework session. She learned all the sight words, and watched us work through the math, too. Now she's in her last year of preschool. She LOVES school and academics. She is now reading some of my son's first grade readers, often getting words he can't. She flies through grade K math books.

So my question, for any moms who've been there, is how to approach her kindergarten next year? She knows everything academic that my son learned in kindergarten, so the hours I spent with him on learning what he had to know...well, what will I do with her? I have no experience with how to best support her. I'm sure she'll love kindergarten. It's just that the time and effort I spent with my son on his work is stuff she already knows. So will it just be really easy for both of us? Or a different experience?

I don't mean to imply that if a child can read in preschool, kindergarten would be too easy, not at all. But every area of everything my son covered, she knows. And she certainly belongs with kids her age. She has some severe speech issues and is in a current special education classroom for preschool, so already will perhaps not "quite" fit in with how the other 5/6-year-olds will talk. Her speech is more like age 3 or 4.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

She will be fine. In my school, they do reading placement tests within the first few weeks. Since she can read, when they go to the library they will steer her towards books at her reading level. Yes, she'll already know the sight words, but that's ok. My child had a teacher that was great with differentiating between kids abilities in the classroom, and she actually let my son help read the books to the class with her at story time.

Same for math.

And, given her speech issues, it will be really good for her confidence to go to kindergarten and have some things that she's really good at, since there will be other areas that she'll likely have to work harder.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think she'll be fine. She may read and be able to do some of the math, but that will just make those two areas a bit easier. She may be able to help some of the other student, and in the process hone her skills.

What you don't mention is her social skills or her fine motor skills (writing, using scissors, etc.) There will still be things for her to work on.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Wichita Falls on

Only about half of what kids learn in kinder is academic. Much of what they do is learning how to learn, how to behave in a classroom, fine motor skill (cut and paste etc), and social skills. She will have plenty to learn, but it would be a good idea to talk with her teacher ahead of time so she can provide your daughter with more challenging material.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This might be a chance for her to use the Kinder year as a way to work on her speech and social interaction skills while not having the additional stress of focusing on the academics as well. If she's academically not being challenged, I'm sure the teacher will see that and give her work that's up to her level. In my daughter's class, the teacher has leveled reader books that are geared towards each kid's reading level.

In our school, the teacher's do lots of individual testing and give the kids individualized work in reading and writing based on their needs up until they're in 3rd grade.

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answers from Dallas on

Your daughter will be just fine in K. The children come in with all different levels of academics, social, maturity, speech, etc.

While in K, they learn to work together as groups, individually with specific course guidelines, with the teachers and they are evalulated regularly to make sure they are on target.

If she is strong in some areas, teachers will keep an eye on that progress and also target her weaknesses so that she evens out on all levels.

Most of the time, by the 2nd grade they have all evened out academically and socially.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

As my daughters preschool teacher once told me, "It's a teachers job to evaluate your child and work with them on their individual level from there"

So my opinion is if your daughter has a good Kindergarten teacher, the teacher will work with her whether it be with more help in speech or with pushing her beyond where she is at in reading.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Lots of the children in our daughters Kindergarten class could read, write, spell..And quite a few could not do any of this,.

They all did great. the teachers are used to dealing with all levels of children in one class.

I have said it before there was one boy 5 years old, reading on a 5th grade level in her class at the start of the year. . The problem was that the Librarian had to really be careful of the subject matter of the books he wanted to check out. he was still a young child, but had great comprehension. At the end of kinder he was reading at a 7th or 8th grade level..

His mom said he was not bored, he was being challenged by his individual work, but most importantly, learning how to follow rules, how to be social and how to behave in a classroom. .

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

My daughter was reading 2nd grade books in kindergarten. They didn't change curriculum for her (or the other advanced reading students) cuz the focus in kindergarten is to work on learner behaviors, routine, social skills, and a love for learning. During free choice time my daughter could read books of her choice. Reading levels for students often level out around 2nd grade, or so I've been told.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

What a great start she has. She is most likely going to feel very smart since she already knows the curriculum. My daughter could read in preschool too. When she went to kindergarten the teacher had her help other children in the class room and I think this really boosted her confidence.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

It's great that she already knows how to read and can do the math. K will give her the opportunity to strengthen those skills and improve on socialization and speech. Regarding the speech, I would contact your local school district....they may arrange to start speech therapy now....that will allow them to hit the ground running when next school year starts.

My daughter is also a bit advanced. She started K this year and we just had our first parent teacher conference earlier this week. They are about to start her in an accelerated reading program and start her on the sight words for 1st grade. I suggest you let them evaluate her like they always do, allow them a chance to see how she's doing in class, and then if they are not challenging her discuss it with the teacher.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Like others have said, she will likely be just fine. She will still need the practice doing things like following directions, following a routine, cutting/pasting/gluing/coloring, writing, etc. If she is in public school, she may still receive services for speech and other areas she needs help with, but they may also assess her and if she really is way ahead and maybe needs more of a challenge, may put her into a higher-grade classroom just for reading and/or math. At my daughter's school, they also do art, computers, music, and Spanish, so the kids are all learning that as well - they are getting those subjects at a kindergarten-level, and being challenged in that respect also. Perhaps you could talk to your son's former K teacher, or one of the school guidance counselors, about your daughter, and find out what they think.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

My daughter was the same way. She was at young reader chapter books when she began Kindergarten. It floored us the first few months because she'd come home with these pages that would say, " T for TOP". And in our county, the kids aren't really tested for any kind of placement until the second grade. We worried she would get bored. But she ended up being singled out with three others in her class for an accelerated reading class. They got time every day away from the class to push themselves a little farther.
She really loved it, and her Kindergarten experience. If you're concerned, I would maybe ask for a meeting with the principal to discuss accerated opportunities in the school she will be attending. Find out if your school has the funding for it and what the classes are, because it sounds like a given that she'll crave some challenges. Once you figure that out, you'll know how your daughter is going to be able to handle it and the possibilities of boredom. I'm sure she'll be fine in Kindergarten and she'll love it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

She will do great in kinder. My son was the same way but did not have the speech problems. Just talk to the teacher. I don't with mine she would let him kind of mentor and help some of the kids that struggled. It was good for him to learn that at such a young age.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Honestly... You won't know till you get there.

K was such a bust for us (bored literally to tears...and Im talking every day. For hours. HATED school, when he'd previously loooooooved it, and started changing as a person -from bright/excited/engaged to angry/why bother/ I wish I were dead) that we ended up homeschooling.

Others have a blast, go more in depth, do special projects, etc.

There's not a ton you can either plan on or count on.

Most parents tell the teacher that their kid is gifted/ahead in the beginning of the year... So talking ahead of time doesn't do a lot of good. They need to see for themselves... Which takes time.

So one of the BEST preparations is preparing for patience. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

She sounds like my son! Academically several grades ahead, but with special needs around speech and other motor issues. The phrases to google (and please do so! you'll find a wonderful community of other parents) are "twice exceptional" and "twice gifted."

What I really, really recommend, right off the bat, is that 1. You get her tested for giftedness, and 2. You meet with whoever is in charge of both gifted and special needs education (often but not always it's the same person) and bring them all the records you can.

Ideally, she could qualify for placement in a gifted classroom (or at least get supplementary academic materials) and also get speech therapy and other OT (if needed) through the special ed. program.

There are some school administrators who are fantastic in this area, and some who are honestly terrible. My son's only in first grade, but I've heard the whole gamut of stories from friends whose kids also fit this profile.

My own experience has been: My son was perfectly happy in kindergarten, but the only areas where he really learned anything were handwriting (where he struggles) and all sorts of things during this one wonderful unit the teacher did during Black History Month. I think he just assumed that you weren't actually supposed to LEARN reading and math in school.

This year (1st grade), the math curriculum has sort of caught up with him, and he's started to LOVE math. The reading is still several grade levels behind his age, even though he's in a reading group of one, but it's not really a problem for him. He just reads constantly at home and lets the school stuff sort of wash over him.

Some parents are concerned that their kids will be bored in kindergarten, but we never had that. My son doesn't know school is supposed to be any different. He knows he's expected to behave well in the classroom, and he holds himself to high standards on that.

We're also very lucky in that my son hasn't been teased at all for his speech or for his physical limitations in areas like gym. I HAVE sat down with both teachers and expressed concerns that he'd be a likely target for teasing, which may have helped, but I think he just goes to a really sweet school.

So, sorry, that was sort of disorganized. I've had so many relevant experiences on this one, it's hard to describe them in order without writing a novel, dissertation, etc. But feel free to PM me with any questions. And be proud of your wonderful little girl. (I know you already are.) Twice exceptional is twice as wonderful!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My son is in kinder this year. He has been reading fluently for 12 months and knew sight words and other basics for about 4-5 months before that.

He LOVES kindergarten. He never says that he is bored and he gets excited about the work that they do. He is working a lot on his writing, which we never focused on before. His teacher finds ways to challenge him (having him write sentences instead of single words, for example) and she is very aware of what he already knows so he doesn't get bored.

He also loves the other parts of school - music, computer lab, library, all of the art projects that they do, calendar wall and sharing time, etc. I was worried he'd be bored, too, but he is happy as can be.


answers from Chicago on

I would like it to be a good experience for you.. As for me life happens My Son war reading at 3 spelling at 4 and could count to 200 at age 4. He is now 9 years old. He is in the 4th grade and at 6th grade reading level BUT Sometimes can not wright at above a per-k level and forgets how to spell 1st grade words.......... Good luck next year and the years to come... .. .. ; )



answers from Cleveland on

I bet she will enjoy it adn it will be good for her,

some times they can do peer learing and she can help the less advanced kids practice adn she'll feel very important and smart.



answers from Washington DC on

I'm no expert by any means but I agree your daughter will enjoy kindergarten. I would think with the speech issues she may find herself feeling a bit ill at ease in the new environment. However, the fact that she already understands the majority if not all of the work will give her the confidence in herself that will help her ease through the transition to "big kid" school.

If it were me I would make an appointment with the kindergarten teacher to discuss your daughter. If the teacher is made aware that your daughter already knows much of the curriculum he/she may have already dealt with this situation before and may already have a course of action in place from the previous students.

I believe the key to success is to try to keep learning as fun as possible for the children. You already know your daughter's abilities. Perhaps you could come up with your own curriculum to use in conjunction with what she is being taught in school. Children need the challenge to keep them interested in learning. If you know she is already reading 1st grade level then I suggest you run with it and advance her to 2nd grade readers and math workbooks. You can pick up math, science, and reading workbooks at the dollar stores and walmart. I've never heard a complaint from any teachers that the children exceed what's expected at their grade level :)

I know in our case, we only see a portion of their curriculum that comes home as homework so you may find there are still many new things for your daughter to learn in kindergarten too.

Peace and Blessings,
T. B

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