If you are a grownup of a soon-to-be kindergartner, then you might be interested in what this kindergarten teacher says about What Kindergartners Should Already Know on the First Day of School.

A Kindergarten Teacher Shares What She Believes Every Child Should Know Before Entering Kindergarten.

What should kindergartner already know by the First Day of School? It’s one of those questions that pops up every year around this time and can often even be controversial!

After a little research, I found out that there are approximately 180,000 Kindergarten teachers in the United States and for every one of those teachers, I can assure you that there are equally as many answers to this age-old question. And while I am quite positive that parents and teachers alike can debate over the academic skills they feel that kindergartners should have on the first day of school, I know that there are some things that ALL Kindergarten teachers wished our little peeps had mastered by the first day of school. Want to make your child’s Kindergarten teacher happy? Then read on…

What My Kindergartner Should Know by the First Day of School

10 Social Skills Your Kindergartner Should Know BEFORE the First Day of School

1. Confidence! Teach your child that they can do anything that they put their mind to.

2. Always try, no matter what. (You would be surprised at how many kids come into Kindergarten saying “I Can’t”, without ever even trying.)

3. Respect. Have respect towards all adults, peers and the property of others.

4. Be kind.

5. Take turns & share.

6. How to make friends.

7. Conversational skills.

8. How to listen and follow simple directions.

9. Independence. (I know that this precious child is your ‘baby’, but 4/5/6 years old are AMAZING and can actually do many tasks on their own!)

10. Know how to sit in a chair.

My job as your child’s Kindergarten teacher is to teach them the basics and building blocks of education, which I am very eager to do! But my job is so much harder when I have to teach them the skills that I mentioned above. Honestly, I don’t mind if your child can’t identify all the letters of the alphabet or if they don’t know all their letter sounds on the first day of school, as that is my job to teach them these necessary academics and one that I love to do. So help a Kindergarten teacher out and make their job easier by teaching your child these skills!

And what if your child has all of these skills mastered? Well, I have a secondary list of skills that would be fabulous if they came into my class already mastering! These are not imperative, but will definitely help them out academically!

Academic Skills for the First Day of Kindergarten for those students who have mastered the above social skills

What Kindergartners Should Already Know by the First Day of School from a Kindergarten Teacher

If you are a parent or fellow Kindergarten teacher, I would LOVE for you to leave a comment and tell me what you think of the skills that I feel are important for the first day of Kindergarten…

Thank you to my friend at A Kindergarten Lifestyle for assisting me in asking fellow teachers the top 3 skills they wished their Kindergartners knew on the First Day of School.

Do you know that Kindergarten Chaos offers personal development courses & workshops? I share my tried and true tips and ideas for teaching intentionally and with purpose and fun to the kids of TODAY!

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11 Responses

  1. I would add that “Dont be affraid to ask for help” on first place.
    Teach kids express why they say “I can’t”. Many people dont understant that that it doenst mean child wont try; in most cases real meaning behing “I can’t” is ” I dont full understand what you want me to do”. I don’t know how to start”. It is their way screaming for HELP.

    1. My solution to “I Can’t”
      1. engage him in the problem solving solution
      2. offer help – maybe kid is just hungry, tired pr overwhelmed
      3. offer break – sometimes all of us need to step back from problem for while
      4. try to identify problem and redirect – e.g. low self-esteem (I will never be able to hit a ball. You can respond that you have already saw him hit ball in past and veryone need to practice to master skill
      5. be present – some kids need your presence
      6. focus on their effort
      7.give some extra attention
      8. be silly – show them you are not perfect either and that you can’t do things. Put your t-shirt backwards and say you can never make it right and that you would have to wear it this way all day long and maybe even sleep in shirt.
      9. ask them how you can help them succeed

  2. Thank you so much for this! Kindergarten isn’t what it used to be and even though I don’t have school aged kids yet, I am already trying to prepare! My almost 3 year old needs to write her name and get from 15-30. Other than that it sounds like she’s doing really well. I’d love a post on how to encourae all of these different things – whether it be hands on or a video! I’m not a tv mom but I swear my daughter learned all her sounds because of the Leap Frog Lettee Factory!

    My younger brother (10 years younger) was interviewed before he was accepted to my parents school of choice. One of the “musts” was knowing how to jump rope. That seemed so random to me! It was a private school but does every school have a criteria they go by?

  3. Great list! The bathroom skills are a must! I taught Kinder for one year and I had a student who kept coming to school in a body suit. She didn’t know how to take it off so she didn’t go to the bathroom all day. Of course she had an accident each time. The third time she came in it I made her change into her emergency clothes. Her mom just didn’t get why I wouldn’t go to the bathroom with her and dress her. Ugh!
    Also being able to eat the lunch you pack. Kids don’t always know how to peel an orange or open their thermos.

  4. It’s amazing to me how many children aren’t prepared for Kindergarten. Not only that, they are not prepared to go back to school even when they do start. Parents need to have a more involved part in a child’s education. Period.

  5. Totally agree with all of your listed skills! If the top 10 are mastered, it makes our job so much easier and more enjoyable. I am more than happy to teach kids their letters, sounds, and numbers, but it is SO much easier for them to learn if they get along with others and take risks. I would add ability to follow a routine, as well – many children come to me who have never been to daycare or preschool or play group or anything of the kind, and have a REALLY hard time understanding why they can’t just do what they want whenever they want! Just because I have blocks in my classroom and they are lots of fun doesn’t mean that we can play with them all day – we have other things to get done, too! 🙂 Being able to open and eat what’s in their lunch box is another big one!

  6. I love the social skills part! As far as academics, I never have students who know any of that at the beginning of the year, yet are still successful! But I agree with how you said, “once they master the above skills, then academics!

  7. I am a Kindergarten Teacher, and I was very surprised to see write numbers up to 30 at the start of Kindergarten, usually this is something that is learned over time at the start of Kindergarten,

    1. Yes, I agree. But many schools including mine, require them to be able to write to 100 by the end of the school year. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

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