What Should I Teach in Kindergarten?

Dear Homeschooler,

Have you ever asked yourself, “Am I teaching the right materials?” I have. I think this crosses all home educators’ minds at some point throughout each year. 

As I’m sure you do, I put a lot of time and research into which curricula I choose, which supplemental materials I need, what additional lessons I want to add, etc. We all want to design that  tailored educational experience for our children, but is it enough? Am I hitting those important skill targets?

Whether you follow a curriculum, piece together a variety of curricula, or create your own, having a set of skill targets is helpful. It helps you to see clearly — no matter how you decide to teach them — what your goals for the year are. 

I have comprised this Kindergarten list as a guide or checklist, referencing different curricula, guides, and, yes, standards; however, you know your student. You may get through all of this and more or you may only get through half of it. As a home educator, YOU decide. 🙂 You may use this list to provide a check and balance against the curriculum you are using or perhaps provide a framework so you can create your own curriculum. 

 

Literacy & Language

In Kindergarten, children are starting to break words apart and put sounds together, to read simple words and sentences, and to understand the relationships between words, objects, groups, etc. They are learning about story elements and sequence, how to compare and contrast, and ask and answer questions. 

  • Spell first and last name
  • Associations: sock-shoe, paint-paintbrush, etc.
  • Story Sequence: first, next, then…
  • Sorting Classes (things that are hot, cold, etc. vehicles, food, what you wear in the winter/summer, etc., things that fly, swim, etc.)
  • Identification of Uppercase Letters
  • Identification of Lowercase Letter
  • Identification of Letter Sounds
  • Sequence alphabet
  • Beginning Sounds: What is the first sound in cat?
  • Sight Words
  • Ending Sounds: What is the last sound in cat?
  • Word Families and Rhyming: -at, -og, -an, etc.
  • What is a sentence?
  • What Doesn’t Belong
  • Opposites
  • Prepositions: Be able to describe where the pencil is. The pencil is ___ the table.
  • Capitalization: names, Beginning of a sentence
  • Simple Punctuation: .?!
  • Segment one-syllable words into sounds: c-a-t
  • Segment spoken words into onset and rime: c-at, sh-ip, fl-ower, etc.
  • Identify initial-medial-final sounds of spoken words
  • Ask and Answer questions about a story
  • Retell Story
  • Identify Characters, Setting, and Major Events
  • Compare and Contrast 
  • Syllables: Count, pronounce, blend, and segment
  • Read and Decode Simple CVC Words
  • Plural words: dog-dogs
  • Question Words: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How

 

Math

In kindergarten, we introduce numbers and how they relate to each other and how we can use them to relate different groups. We begin to teach how we use numbers to describe, analyze, and understand our the world around us.

  • Count by 1s to 100
  • Count by 10s to 100
  • Sequence Numbers
  • Count on from any number up to 100
  • More/Less: Which group has more? less?
  • Counting Objects
  • One More/One Less: What is one more/less than a specified number?
  • Largest/Smallest Number 
  • Largest/Smallest Quantities
  • Most/fewest: Which group has the most/fewest?
  • Addition with Numbers 1-20
  • Subtraction with Numbers 1-20
  • Word Problems: Addition with Numbers 1-20
  • Word Problems: Subtraction with Numbers 1-20
  • Place Value
  • Length: Which object is longer/shorter? How many paperclips long is an object?
  • Weight: Which object is heavier/lighter? Compare weights using a scale.
  • Height: Which object is taller/shorter? How many paperclips tall is an object?
  • Graphs
  • Shapes
  • Identification of 3D Shapes
  • Qualities of 3D shapes (number of sides, etc.)
  • Use Shapes to Make Pictures
  • Identify coins and their value 

 

Writing and Spelling

Kindergarteners are practicing to write their letters with precision, understand simple sentence construction, be able to spell simple words and sentences, and express ideas and stories.

  • Write Numbers 1-100
  • Write All Uppercase Letters
  • Write All Lowercase Letters
  • Write and spell simple Consonant-Vowel-Consonant words
  • Simple Punctuation (period, question mark, exclamation point, etc.)
  • Capitalization (beginning of a sentence, names, etc.)
  • Express ideas using drawing, dictation, and simple writing

 

Science

In kindergarten, emphasis is put on equipping students with the tools to start on their journey as scientists using the scientific method: using your senses to identify various characteristics, note how they change, and record your findings. 

  • Senses
  • Use Senses to Gather Information
  • Movement: Speed and Direction
  • Sorting Objects by Characteristics or Properties
  • Cause and Effect: Pushing, Pulling, Kicking, Blowing, etc.
  • Alive v.s. Inanimate
  • Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
  • Observe, Explore, and Record How Living Things Grow and Change
  • Life Cycles
  • Importance of Sun (Heat & Light)
  • Observe and Record: Temperature, Weather, and Seasons 
  • Notice changes and patterns: Temperature, Weather, and Seasons

 

History & Geography

In Kindergarten, we are teaching the concept of time and chronology. You’ll notice in the bullets below that I haven’t specified a time period or specific countries to study. Choose moments in history that is interesting to your student. In Geography, we are learning that the world is broken down into continents and oceans, etc. and about simple topographic features, such as volcanos and mountains, etc. Obviously, a kindergartener is not going to memorize every country, but they should understand that continents are broken down into countries that are (mostly) self-governing with their own histories and traditions. Pick a few and learn about their cultures and compare/contrast them to each other and your own. Lastly, kindergarteners should learn about their community: the people in it (jobs), that  rules or laws help keep order, what it means to be a contributing member of community, and a simplified voting process, to name a few.

  • Understand Time Passes
  • Understand Words Associated With Time
  • Calendar: Year, Month, Week, Day, yesterday, today, tomorrow
  • Compare Similarities and Differences of Past and Present
  • Read Stories About The Past and Answer Questions
  • Sequence Events
  • World: globe, maps, oceans, continents, countries
  • Simple Topography: Mountains, Rivers, Caves, Forests, Deserts, etc.
  • Compare and Contrast: How People Live Around the World
  • Community Helpers
  • Good Citizenship

 

Free Download: Kindergarten Checklist

Kindergarten checklistDownload the Kindergarten Checklist here

 

 

 

If you have a preschooler, check out this post on Preschool Developmental and Academic Goals. Stay tuned for checklists for other elementary grades!

If you have any questions or would like clarifications or further ideas on how to teach these skills — or have a great idea you would like to share–comment below! I’d love to hear from you.

Till Next Time, 

Jennifer 

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Olivia Learning Pack Winner, Paleo, and More! - Dear Homeschooler

  2. Thank you for this list. We’re right here in our homeschooling and help is always appreciated.

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