For most students, the school year is coming to an end in the next few weeks. But as a parent, how do you know if your child is prepared for the next phase? Here is a simple checklist for your preschool or kindergarten child, to insure that key skills have been mastered (For children in 1st and 2nd grade, here's a 1st grade, 2nd grade academic end-of-the year checklist.)

A child in the last year of preschool should:

• Know his full name, address, and phone number
• Be able to count to, and recognize, numbers 1 to 10
• Be able to count out objects to match numbers 1-10
• Know basic shapes: circle, square, triangle, rectangle
•  Identify rhymes
• Say a rhyming word (for example, you say “hat,” she says “cat.”)
• Say and recognize letters of the alphabet
• Know some beginning letter sounds
• Be able to write his first name

At the end of the kindergarten year, a child should:

• Be able to write her full name, with one capital letter and the rest lower case.
• Hear individual sounds in words (for example, know that “van” starts with “v”)
• Recognize the same sounds in different words (for example, door, doll, dog all start with “d”)
• Recognize ending sounds
• Start to blend sounds to make words
• Start to recognize common sight words
• Start to sound out words
• Understand the main idea of a story, that has been read aloud by an adult
• Write numbers 0-20
• Know that “0” means no (zero) objects
• Count to 100 by 10s
• Identify more than and less than
• Recognize two-dimensional and some three dimensional shapes: squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres

What should you do if your child has not mastered all of these skills at the end of preschool or kindergarten? Talk to your child’s teacher and see what the teacher suggests you should do over summer vacation to help your child. In addition, keep visiting my blog here at SchoolFamily.com this summer, where I’ll be sharing some fun activities and learning games.

Editor’s note: Don't miss Connie's End-of-Year Checklist for Children in 1st and 2nd Grade).