What to Expect from a Kindergartener

Many children are able to go far beyond these concepts, others are barely able to master these. This is a list of what is generally expected from a five or six year old child. (I used this when I taught Kg in the US public school system)

Language Arts
Master name and sound of all letters in alphabet

Print all letters of the alphabet- capital and lower case on UNLINED paper

Print first and last name (1st half of year teach first name, 2nd part of year, teach last name)

Color within the lines of a given picture

Know how to hold a book upright and understand where the beginning and end is located

Recognize that sounds make up words

Understand the difference between a letter and a word.

Begin to blend simple words together using "invented spelling."
(I agree with case studies and from my own experiences that invented spelling is not detrimental to a child's later ability to spell correctly when it is allowed during the brief period a child is learning to read.)

Write simple words (dog, cat, mom, dad, etc...)

Read aloud very simple words.

e.g. dog, cat, the, love...

Retell a story

Understand author, illustrator

Social Studies
Understand what is a globe

Know what is a family

Know complete name

Know address and phone number

Understand major holidays and their meanings

Count to 30

Recognize numbers to 30

Write numbers 0 to 10 on unlined paper

Understand 'before and after', opposites.

Sort various objects by color, size and shape

Know major colors and shapes

Understand addition and subtraction of combinations to five using objects and stories, but it is not necessary to know how to write it in symbolic form

e.g. A child may understand, "I had five cookies, but I ate two cookies. Now I only have three left. However, a child may not understand the symbols 5-2=3. Although, towards the end of the year you should introduce sums in written form.

Introduce money and it's value- nickel, dime, penny

Make a simple patterns (AB, ABC, AAB, AABB) using collections ( buttons, blocks, beads, etc)

Compare same/different, large/small, long/longer/longest, under/over, in/out

Know how to keep a simple beat (clapping)

Hop on one foot


Throw a ball/Kick a ball

Understand basic needs of plants and animals

Explore -insects, birds, other animals, trees and flowers


Know the three primary colors

(Experiment with mixing food coloring)

Now, here is what Charlotte Mason expected:

1. To recite, beautifully, 6 easy poems and hymns

2. to recite, perfectly and beautifully, a parable and a psalm

3. to add and subtract numbers up to 10, with dominoes or counters

4. to read--what and how much, will depend on what we are told of the child

5. to copy in print-hand from a book

6. to know the points of the compass with relation to their own home, where the sun rises and sets, and the way the wind blows 7. to describe the boundries of their own home

8. to describe any lake, river, pond, island etc. within easy reach 9. to tell quite accurately (however shortly) 3 stories from Bible history, 3 from early English, and 3 from early Roman history (my note here, we may want to substitute early American for early English!)

10. to be able to describe 3 walks and 3 views

11. to mount in a scrap book a dozen common wildflowers, with leaves (one every week); to name these, describe them in their own words, and say where they found them.

12. to do the same with leaves and flowers of 6 forest trees

13. to know 6 birds by song, colour and shape

14. to send in certain Kindergarten or other handiwork, as directed

15. to tell three stories about their own "pets"--rabbit, dog or cat.

16. to name 20 common objects in French, and say a dozen little sentences

17. to sing one hymn, one French song, and one English song

18. to keep a caterpillar and tell the life-story of a butterfly from his own observations.