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# Your Kid Will Learn in Kindergarten

What Your Child Will Learn in Kindergarten

Fancy Photography/Veer

Letters and Sounds

At School: By the end of kindergarten, kids will be able to recognize, name, and write all 26 letters of the alphabet, both uppercase and lowercase. They will know the correct sound or sounds that each letter makes and they will be able to read about 30 high-frequency words -- also called "sight words" -- such as and, the, and in.

Writing

At School: In class, kids will be taught to write simple CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words, such as hat, red, and dog. They will also write short, simple sentences such as "The cat ran home."

At Home: Keep a special box or bin at home filled with writing materials (crayons, pencils, markers, paper, and notepads) so your child can practice writing simple sentences about special things he's done or seen during the day. Ask about what he's written, and have him read it aloud. Offer encouragement by displaying his writings on the refrigerator or on her bedroom wall.

Numbers and Counting

At School: Kids this age will learn to recognize, write, order, and count objects up to the number 30. They will be able to add and subtract small numbers (add with a sum of 10 or less and subtract from 10 or less); this focus on addition and subtraction will continue through second grade.

At Home: Get your kindergartner to look for the numbers one through 30 in magazines and newspapers. He can cut them out, glue them on paper, and put them in order. When you're riding in the car or waiting in line, play a game of "What comes next?" Give your child a number and ask him to identify the following number. At bedtime, ask him to count how many stuffed animals he has, and ask, "How many books about dogs do you have? How fast can you count them?" Take two of these books away and ask, "How many are left?"

Shapes and Objects

At School: Kids will learn how to name and describe common shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle) and to identify, sort, and classify objects by color, size, and shape.

At Home: Talk about the properties of common shapes: What makes a rectangle a rectangle? How is it different from a triangle? Introduce a "Draw a shape" game, and take turns with your child drawing rectangles, circles, and squares. Have your child organize toys by types -- she can gather same-size blocks into a pile or pick up Legos by color. Take out an old box of buttons and have your child sort them by size and number of holes. For added fun, have her sort special treats, like M&M's, by color.

Time and Seasons

At School: Kindergartners will be able to identify the time of everyday events to the nearest hour. They will understand, for example, that they leave for school at 7:00 in the morning or that they eat dinner at 6:00 in the evening. But it will still be hard for them to grasp fully the concept of time because they're concrete thinkers and time is abstract.

At Home: Help your child understand the concept of time by saying what time it is during routine activities. Use and explain words like morning, noon, night, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Make a timeline together showing a typical day, with drawings of regular events and the time of day written beneath each one. In addition to learning about time, 5- and 6-year-olds can name the four seasons, so chart changes in the weather together on a special weather calendar to help your child learn how the seasons change. Find pictures illustrating the seasons (colorful leaves, snow, blooming flowers) and discuss what your child sees in them. Talk about what clothing you can both wear during each season.