General Guidelines for Kindergarten

Keep in mind that children are individuals. God has created each one with different gifts, interests and abilities. The skills listed below are guidelines only.

Note: A portion of this list comes from Active Learning for Fives by Debbie Cryer.

Five Year Olds can:

Motor Skills:

  • handle toileting by self, usually dry through the night
  • prefer to use either left or right hand
  • cut well with scissors 
  • dress and undress well alone
  • draw person with head, body, legs, arms, and other parts
  • print name, but not too clearly
  • write some, but not all, letters of the alphabet
  • draw most easy shapes

Pre-reading Skills:

  • answer the telephone and call correct person to the phone
  • know colors and color names well
  • understand place words (on top of, over, under)
  • use time words (morning, night) to tell when things happen
  • listen well to a story read to a large group of children
  • make up rhyming words
  • use long sentences, tying thoughts together
  • tell a story from a picture book very well
  • tell left shoes from right shoes
  • make only a few mistakes in speaking
  • confuse some similar words, such as ask and tell
  • play easy table games with a friend and often follow rules
  • begin to tell one letter from another
  • name most uppercase but not most lowercase letters
  • read a few words
  • know how to read his/her own name
  • recognize upper and lower case letters
  • hear the beginning sounds of words, like “d” in dog
  • read some high-frequency words (Dolch list, pdf document).
  • read the first few levels of decodeable readers for kindergarten;
  • retell in simple terms stories that have been read to him/her as well as make simple evaluations and interpretations of their content
  • connect, with your help, what is read to him/her with real experiences 

General Guidelines for Math:

  • understand more and fewer
  • understand size (biggest, tallest, smallest, etc)
  • understand patterns of numbers (missing numbers 1-10, counting by 5’s, 10’s)
  • understand positions (top, bottom, left, right, center)
  • say numbers from 1 to 20
  • know shapes and do shape puzzles well
  • write some numbers and tell their names
  • count things quite well
  • begin to understand money and how it is used
  • know when something is cut in halfs, thirds, or quarters
  • say some numbers above 20
  • do very easy adding using 1, 2, 3, 4 (1+1, 2+3)
  • begin to understand clocks and time
  • begin to know what a ruler and thermometer are used for