SchoolFamily Voices

Join our bloggers as they share their experiences on the challenges and joys of helping children succeed in school.

Easing the Back-to-School Transition for Preschool Siblings

by Kathryn Lagden

My 6-year-old left the safety of the “kindie pen” and walked into grade 1 with confidence and ease. Back- to-school transition handled. But it wasn’t quite so easy for my feisty two-and-a-half-year-old who is desperate to go to school with his “big bruvva.”

I’m scrambling to pull together a few ideas to help him adjust and feel included in the back-to-school excitement over the next couple of weeks. Here’s what I’m thinking:

Pack a backpack: Part of our morning routine is getting everyone’s bag packed with all the necessary gear for the day. I’ve found a small backpack for my little guy and created a spot for it in the front hall. When everyone else is packing up, we’ll ask him to put his snack and hat inside. He can carry it when we drop off his brother after, to wherever he’s spending the day (daycare, Grandma, Nana).

Label stuff: I’ve never met a 2-year-old who doesn’t like stickers. It’s easy-peasy to get out the tape and markers and let him label his gear (and likely various pieces of furniture and body parts).

Close the school day: My school kid is pretty proud of his “agenda” that has to be signed each night. It’s still early days (only about a week in), but he carefully places it on the counter when he gets home. Daycare is only part-time, but to include my younger son I think we’ll start keeping the slips of paper they fill out detailing what he ate and when he napped so he can put them with the agenda.

Try a name change: Instead of “school” and “daycare,” we’ve started talking about “grade school” and “daycare school.” It seems almost too simplistic, but I tried it out this morning and my 2-year-old beamed.

I’m thrilled with how easily my school kid started 1st grade, but I’m quickly realizing some of the time and attention I put on helping him transition would have been better spent preparing my preschooler. Hopefully these quick hit ideas will help him along now, and also encourage his own independence which can only help when it’s *finally* time for him to enter the schoolyard.

Any other ideas or experience? I'd love to hear them.

Kathryn Lagden is vice president, digital strategy at School Family Media, SchoolFamily.com's parent company. She lives in the greater Toronto area with her family.

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What Pet Should I Get? Is Finally Here!

Dr. Seuss' new book

As a parent and a 1st grade teacher, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Seuss. I could not wait for the release of his new book, What Pet Should I Get? And I am delighted to say it was worth the wait!

From the front cover of The New York Times Book Review to a review by a Dartmouth College English professor, Dr. Seuss’ new book is being hailed as “an instant classic” and “will remind us, delightfully, that Dr. Seuss, over half a century ago, made learning to read an adventure.”

What Pet Should I Get?

This long-anticipated book, released by Random House on July 28, 2015, follows the same two siblings that first appeared in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. This brother-and-sister team is on a quest to find a single pet. He likes a dog, she likes a cat. The first decision they face seems easy; a dog or a cat? Then Kay says, “Now what should we do? Dad said to pick one, we cannot take home two.”

As the children find more attractive animals, their decision becomes more complicated...a bird that sings, a rabbit, a fish. Their process is compounded by a deadline, “We have to pick one pet, and pick it out soon. You know mother told us to be back by noon.” A very unsubtle two-page headline adds to their quandary and pressure to make a decision: “Make up Your Mind.”

Common sense wins out after the children consider buying one of each kind of pet. “Dad would be mad.” Yet, then the pressure is on, “If we do not choose, we will end up with none.” Their final choice of a pet will probably puzzle young readers (and some parents, too). However, their final selection takes a back seat to Dr. Seuss’ lessons on the decisionmaking process, the ability to find compromise, and being able to develop a positive resolution while the clock is still ticking.

This is a book that can inspire long periods of discussion between young readers and parents. It should prompt many questions that can be asked by children to adults, and vice versa. Like all other Dr. Seuss books before it, What Pet Should I Get? is a true childhood adventure.

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The Pleasure of Healthy Play

Spring equals time for young children to get out there and play! Happy, healthful outdoor play is important for building muscular readiness… and that’s needed for all sorts of gross and fine motor skills used in academics.

Here are six easy suggestions for children to shake off those winter doldrums and get back to their “business” of play:

  • Review rules before starting a game. For example, the “goal” is scored when the soccer ball is kicked between the two rocks in the yard.
  • Have a quiet game follow an active one. Play “I Spy” after a rigorous game of tag.
  • Sharpen eye-hand coordination. Toss a tennis ball for him to catch. Start about 3 feet apart. Then, as he gets good at catching, increase the distance by one or two feet at a time.
  • Couple rhyming with coordination. Help her say poems while jumping rope…or make up rhymes as she jumps.
  • Play hopscotch for balance and number recognition. For younger children go with the classic 1-8 hopscotch grid. For first or second graders put simple addition or subtraction in each box that must be solved before jumping.
  • Play to strengthen social/emotional skills. Hide and seek is a great game for three or more children. Interacting with other children, problem-solving (Where did they go?) and the satisfaction of “finding” can help build confidence and friendships.

Take advantage of the nice weather and let your children be children and play their time away!


> Make Learning Fun With Classic Childhood Games

> Creative Play Leads to Learning

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Encouraging "Deeper-Level" Thinking in Young Children

Asking and answering questions has been a staple of teacher and student interaction for centuries. A big shift in today’s classrooms is for teachers to challenge students with “deeper-level questioning.”

This means getting away from short one- or two-word answer that come only from recall. Examples of short-answer questions are “What color is the snow?”  or “Can you point to the car in the picture?” To answer these low-level questions, students only have to have the ability to accurately recall facts.

While recall of facts is a good place to start with young students, parents can help take this process to the “next level."

Here are four easy steps parents can use when asking about reading, writing, or math to develop deeper-level thinking in the minds of young students.

Have your child paraphrase, or put things in his own words. For example, “Why do you think Jack wanted to climb the beanstalk?”

Drawing conclusions:
If you know that 1+1 = 2, what does 10+10 equal?

Connecting information or recognizing patterns:
If the sky is usually blue, why does it sometimes look gray?

Creative thinking:
If you were Jack, how would you have taken the goose and golden egg?

By helping your child become a deeper-level thinker, you teach her to understand in ways that result in multiple correct answers. This greatly enhances her problem-solving skills. These are attributes that will benefit your child for life.


> Critical Thinking Skills Printables

> Open-Ended Questions Stretch Your Child's Thinking Skills

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Simple Rhyming Songs Can Enhance Early Learning

Music is a powerful tool to help a young child learn. It blends movement and rhythm with words and rhyme to increase phonemic awareness.

Music helps young children naturally cross “over the midline” to understand left-to-right progression, a key element for reading and writing successfully. Music also helps the brain enhance memory.

Putting music to rhymes can help with gross and fine motor skills as well as math practice.

Here are two simple and easily recognizable songs to boost rhyming, early reading, and counting skills:

This Old Man
This old man, he played one
He played knick knack on his thumb
With a knick knack, paddywhack
Give the dog a bone
This old man came rolling home

Examples of the sequential verses are “two shoe, three knee, four door, five hive, six sticks, seven heaven, eight gate, nine line, ten pen.”

Down by the Bay

Down by the bay
Where the watermelons grow,
Back to my home,
I dare not go,
For if I do
My mother will say,
Did you ever see a whale, swishing its tail…down by the bay?

Additional rhyming verses are “Did you ever see a pig, dancing a jig? Did you ever see a goat, sailing a boat?” Or you can use any funny animal rhymes you can create together.

Little students love songs and movement. Incorporating music helps make learning fun and memorable!


> The Five Steps to Phonemic Awareness

> Teach Your Child To Love Reading

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Use Pennies To Teach Common Core Math Skills

Young children love pennies. So make them part of math comprehension. Use pennies to help young students practice math skills in a simple yet memorable way. Here are four easy ways to use pennies to help reinforce important Common Core math curriculum skills.

For preschool to kindergarten: Place pennies in a straight, horizontal row. Start with five across. Have your child point to the pennies as he counts them. This reinforces an important math skill called one-to-one correspondence. In other words, he’s actually saying what he’s seeing. Increase the pennies by one until he can easily point to and count 20 in a row.

For kindergarten and 1st grade: Use pennies to practice simple addition and subtraction while subtly incorporating word problems. For example, Mom gave Sarah five pennies. Her brother gave her seven more. How many does Sarah have in all?
Or, Kevin had 20 pennies. He bought an eraser at the school store. It costs 12 cents. How many pennies does he have left? Using the correct number of pennies to solve the equations helps your child visually understand what addition and subtraction mean.

For 1st and 2nd grade: Use groups of pennies to help your child determine even and odd numbers by “pairing up” by 2’s to show even number groups, and “one left over” to show an odd number group.
Also, use groups of pennies for skip counting. Start with a large pile of pennies. Have him put the pennies in groups of 2, 5, or 10 and skip count the small groups.
Use pennies to determine “difference” or “how much more, how much less?” This is a game for two players. You will need a pair of dice and a pile of pennies. The first player to roll the dice counts the dots then lines up that many pennies in a horizontal row. The second roller counts his dots and lines up his pennies directly underneath the first row, in alignment with the pennies above. The second player will either have more, fewer, or an equal amount of pennies. Then players determine who had more and how much more. Who had less and how much less?


Using pennies is a great hands-on way for young students to make “cents” of math!


> Improve Subtraction Skills With a Fun Pennies Game

> An Easy Game To Help Kids Practice Important Math Skills






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Celebrate Spring With Stories and Common Core Activities

Celebrate Spring With Stories and Common Core Activities

Warm weather is coming, and seasonal books, with fun and easy connecting activities, are a great way to celebrate with your young child. A variety of springtime books are readily available at your local library or on an e-reader. Here are two of my favorites, plus simple activities that extend the learning and promote Common Core skills.

Book and Activity 1:

  • Together read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
  • When reading is done, go outside to see whether you can find any caterpillars. Let your child be a scientist. Look closely at the caterpillar. Use a magnifying glass, if available. Note size, body segments, and legs.
  • When back inside, cut the bottom part of a cardboard egg carton in half lengthwise. Turn it over to make a caterpillar’s body. Paint or color it. Add cut pipe cleaner or toothpicks as legs and antennae.

Book and Activity 2:

  • Together read It Looked Like Spilt Milk, by Charles G. Shaw
  • Talk about the different cloud shapes your child might see, referencing the book.
  • On a sunny day, take her outside to look at the puffy clouds and let her find any shapes that are the same as or different from the ones in the book.
  • When back inside (or outside if weather permits), have her rip white construction paper into different “cloud” shapes of her own design. Paste them onto a blue piece of construction paper for her own “spilt milk” clouds.

Relating stories to children’s real-life experiences helps them make a Common Core “self-to-text” connection, greatly increasing their understanding of details and settings in the stories.

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Icky Childhood Illnesses: My Family’s Icky Illness and the Yuck Factor

The phone rings and I recognize the school’s number on my caller ID. It’s not a number I want to see. The school doesn’t call to say hello. It’s the school nurse, and she’s calling to tell me that my daughter has ringworm.

My first emotion is humiliation. No, it’s not concern for my daughter’s wellbeing or relief that it’s not something serious. Instead, I’m embarrassed, and I feel like a bad mom. My belief that it’s okay to go six nights between baths has caught up with me.

At least she doesn’t have head lice.

I pick Celia up. There it is, a dime-sized ring over her eye. I saw it a few days earlier and thought she scratched herself in her sleep (she chews her nails to the nub, so I admit that theory was weak). I just wasn’t concerned. Bad mom!

When we see the pediatrician, I learn that ringworm has nothing to do with worms. It’s a fungus. She could have picked it up anywhere. It is not an emblem of poor hygiene (or six nights between baths). And it’s no big deal. Yes, it’s contagious. But the infection is harmless and treatable. The doctor writes the name of an over-the-counter ointment and orders Celia back to school.

 6 Childhood Illnesses That Are Icky, Gross, and Disgusting (but Harmless)

When I take Celia back to school, I get raised eyebrows from the front office staff and the nurse. I deliver Celia to her teacher and explain that we put ointment on the fungal infection and that she has been cleared to return to school. (I sidestep the word ringworm.)

I kiss my child and return to work.

For today, at least, I’m not a bad mom after all. But why do we let intense, irrational emotions throw us into a tailspin when it comes to our kids? Why are we so quick to assume we’ve failed every time the school calls?

Sometimes kids get icky illnesses or things. Warts. Cold sores. Pinkeye. There may be ooze and pus involved, and that can be disgusting. But instead of worrying about whether we’re bad moms (we’re not), it’s better to face the yuck factor and deal with it.


Journalist Patti Ghezzi covered education and schools for 10 years for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, winning several awards, including a public service citation from the Associated Press for her exposure of grade inflation. Since becoming a freelancer in 2007, her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Miami Herald, and Adoptive Families magazine. Ghezzi lives in Avondale Estates, Ga., with her family, which includes husband Jason, daughter Celia, and geriatric mutt Albany.

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Host a Playdate for a Child With Food Allergies—You Can Do It!

Joshua, Henry, Isabella, Matthew, Jasper, Jack, Katie, and Paige.

These are just a few of the names of children who have come to our house for playdates and parties for my sons. Between my two kids there have been numerous birthday parties on the weekends, countless playdates, and lots of social gatherings with their friends’ families.

My wife and I have become seasoned experts in both caring for other people’s children with food allergies during parties and playdates, as well as placing our trust in other parents when dropping our boys off at their homes. At times, this hasn’t been as easy as it sounds, since one of our boys has food allergies, as do a handful of our sons’ friends. 

With planning, education, and understanding, however, taking on the responsibility of hosting a child with food allergies at a playdate or party—and allowing your food-allergic child to be in the care of other parents—can be safely done and is ultimately rewarding. 

My wife and I aren’t alone in these experiences. Recent studies show that about 8 percent of U.S. children have a food allergy. That means there's a good chance that at some point you will be taking care of a child with a food allergy. Food allergy awareness and understanding are key. Both will allow you to safely include a food-allergic child—who could otherwise easily be excluded—at fun parties and playdates.  

Food allergies among students in U.S. schools have become more and more common as well. And tragically, food allergy-related deaths continue to occur in and out of school. 

Some school communities have become divided over policies set up to protect children with food allergies, such as peanut-free lunch tables and the like. However, food allergy education and awareness in our school communities is critical for the safety of kids with food allergies. These kids need to have their food allergies managed at all times and in all circumstances. Remember, allergic reactions can be life threatening.

To help, here are some basic Food Allergy Management Tips:

  • Know how to prevent allergic reactions from occurring. There needs to be a responsible adult present when hosting a food allergic child, who knows how to avoid a potential allergic reaction. This is done by accurately reading food labels, avoiding cross contact, knowing about hidden ingredients, and communicating effectively about the food allergic child’s allergy. Children can be messy eaters and inadvertently serving food that is an allergen to other kids may put the food-allergic child at risk. If you are not comfortable with preparing separate food for a child with food allergies, it is perfectly acceptable to ask that safe foods be provided by the child’s parents. Some families may even feel more at ease providing their own food to make it easier on you, and also to reassure themselves (and their child) that the food their child will eat is safe.


  • Emergency preparedness is a must. A person who can recognize allergic reactions and knows how to respond with the appropriate emergency medicine, must also be present. If you’re hosting the visit of a child with a food allergy, make sure you have a copy of the child’s emergency allergy action plan (a document that outlines what to do for an allergic reaction), and his epinephrine auto-injector (Epi-Pen or the like), if the child’s doctor prescribed one. (Here is a printable Food Allergy Drop-off Form). The parent of the food-allergic child can teach you how to administer an epinephrine auto-injector using a training device. If you are not comfortable with this responsibility, invite the parent to stay for the party or playdate.


If you prefer, there’s also a printable summary of Tips for Managing Food Allergies, as outlined in the points above.

Knowing how to avoid food allergens and always being prepared for an allergic reaction will not only help you safely host a child with a food allergy but will also help you do your part in creating a community of inclusion and support. Your children can also partner with you in this effort by gaining an awareness and acceptance of their classmates’ differences. With a solid understanding of food allergy management you can make a huge difference in a food allergic child’s feeling of acceptance—and possibly even save a life.

Please note that this post is intended to increase awareness and encourage you to obtain more information from additional resources. Before making any changes in management please discuss with the parents/healthcare providers.

Helpful Resources for Food Allergy Awareness:


Michael Pistiner, MD, MMSc is a pediatric allergist with Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, and volunteers at Children’s Hospital Boston. He is the father of a child with food allergies and serves as a voluntary consultant for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, School Health Services. He is chairman of the medical advisory team for Kids with Food Allergies Foundation, and serves on the board of Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, New England Chapter. Dr. Pistiner is the author of Everyday Cool with Food Allergies, a children’s book designed to teach basic food allergy management skills to preschool and early school age children, and is co-creator of AllergyHome.org, a website that provides free modules designed to increase food allergy awareness in the community.


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Does Your Smartphone Double As a Baby Toy?

File this under What will they think of next?”

We all know that smartphones are hugely popular. (Some of us have them and wouldn’t be without them, Yours Truly included.) And we generally know that apps for said smartphones are plentiful, varied, quirky, helpful, and generally curious.

We’ve come up with our list of the top 26 apps for students, parents, and families. Why? Because these apps can make life easier. Not better, mind you; just easier.

That said, some apps are, well, simply over the top. Take Geico’s BroStache (allows you to speak via your smartphone with a “mustache”), and the Bowel Mover app, which tracks…yeah, you guessed it (though, come to think of it, this might be a good app for parents who are potty-training their toddlers!).


Take our poll: Does your baby or toddler find your smartphone irresistible?


But how about apps that turn your smartphone into child’s play—literally? Fisher-Price sells hugely popular apps (700K downloads+) that the toy giant calls “Apptivity” sets. The apps go hand-in-hand with hardware that protects your smartphone. The “Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case” for iPhones and iPods is for babies 6 months and older. The cases have handles and rattles, and they protect your smartphone (or iPod) from your baby’s drooling, teething, and misdials while she’s playing with it. For toddlers age 3 and up, there’s the “Kid-Tough Apptivity Case” for your iPhone or iPod Touch. This case comes with a clear screen that protects against your little guy’s sticky fingers (and spilled glasses of milk, we presume). It also has a hole so that your toddler can take photos with your smartphone’s camera.

Are these apps over the top? Giving babies expensive smartphones to play with? As moms, many of us relented at some point and let our babies play with our car keys (which were full of germs and just gross), until that one time when (some of us) went to take the keys back only to find that they were missing (dropped by baby many, many steps ago). And, sure, your baby is just as fascinated today by your smartphone. But downloading apps for your baby to play on the phone?

Am I just getting old? Or, instead, do I just think that my $300+ smartphone isn’t a toy...



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Potty Training: Can We All Just Lighten Up?

This guest blog post is by Rose Cafasso, a senior editor and the community manager at School Family Media, Inc.

I was so fascinated by the recent preschool toilet-training debate we had here on the site that I had to put on my old teacher’s hat and have my say. (If you missed this and want to weigh in, cast your vote in our poll about whether preschools should require kids to be potty-trained, and then add your thoughts in the comments section below the poll!).

To all the parents out there, please don’t get stressed over potty training. There’s so much more really important stuff going on in your child’s life. When you are evaluating preschools, consider giving your kids – and yourselves – a break and think seriously about those schools that don’t have strict toileting rules.

Here’s why: Toileting is not the critical measure of a child’s development. A child can be ready emotionally, socially and cognitively for preschool and just not have worked out a potty routine yet.

If you come across a school that has strict toileting policies, there’s a good chance that this rule is more about the school's physical setup than any child development theory. In other words, schools that do not have bathrooms in preschool classrooms require that teachers accompany children on bathroom trips down the hall, thereby removing the teacher from the classroom several times a day. Because of this, these preschools tend to enforce strict toilet-training policies—but, again, only because of the building's setup, not because of any child development guideline that says toileting equals preschool readiness. 

So, don’t let toileting rules intimidate you. Before I came to School Family Media, I taught preschool for eight years. It’s true; we spent a fair amount of time in the bathroom helping kids with toileting during the first few weeks of school. But, by the time October rolled around, the whole toileting issue would have leveled off and we would have only an occasional “accident’’ or diaper change.

Yet, I can remember one year when I would get frantic phone calls from one mom in particular who wanted me to understand that she really was working on training her son. Of course she was. She also had a full-time job and another child.  We all understood. But it was still hard for her.

And what would it have been like for that family if they had tried to make a go of it at a school with strict potty rules?

Her little boy was quite a kid. Yes, he was still in diapers and some days I’d catch him zipping through the art room or heading toward the small blocks area with a fully soaked diaper and I’d just say, “Let’s head to the bathroom.’’ And we would, with extremely little fanfare.

What stands out more to me was how gentle this little boy was with his classmates. Also, he was writing his name halfway through the year. Plus, he was the only kid in my class that year that grasped when it came to watercolor painting, you had to dip the paintbrush in water before you put it in the paint. That is not an easy concept to grasp when you are just turning three.

Pretty much like toileting isn’t an easy concept to grasp at that age.

So, let’s lighten up. And worry more about what’s really important.


Rose Cafasso is a senior editor and the community manager at School Family Media, Inc. She was a PTO board member for many years at her daughters’ schools, and she’s worked as a writer, editor, and a preschool teacher. Follow her on Twitter @RosePTO and on Facebook at facebook.com/rose.ptoeditor.

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1st Grade, 2nd Grade End-of-Year Academic Checklist

If you're the parent of a child completing 1st or 2nd grade, how do you know if your child has mastered the skills necessary for moving up to the next grade? The following academic checklist can help. While it isn't a comprehensive listing of all that is covered in 1st and 2nd grades, it highlights 12 major academic standards that your child should meet by the end of these grades. (For an academic checklist for preschoolers and kindergartners, see Preschool, Kindergarten End-of-the-Year Academic Checklist).



1st Grade Academics: By the end of 1st grade your child should:

  • Be able to read grade-level text accurately and fluently
  • Understand what she has just read
  • Know the difference between fiction and non-fiction texts
  • Apply known skills to sounding out new and unfamiliar words
  • Be able to use a dictionary or other reference aids
  • Be able to write simple stories that have a beginning, middle, and end
  • Count to 100 forward and backward
  • Skip count by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s forward and backward
  • Complete simple two-digit addition and subtraction (no borrowing)
  • Understand and solve simple word problems
  • Tell and write time to the hour and half-hour, on both analogical and digital clocks
  • Be able to divide objects into two or four equal parts

2nd Grade Academics: By the end of 2nd grade your child should:

  • Read on-level texts with purpose and understanding
  • Read a variety of genres including fiction, poetry, informational texts, history, social studies and science. 
  • Ask and answer the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” questions to show understanding of key details.
  • Be able to show evidence from the text to support ideas
  • Write an opinion story, supplying reasons that support the opinion
  • Use temporal words when writing (first, next, then, last, etc.)
  • Determine the meaning of unknown words based on the content of the story
  • Understand three digit numbers (For example, knowing that 367 means 3 hundreds, 6 tens, and 7 ones)
  • Count within 1,000; skip count by 5’s, 10’s, and 100’s
  • Tell and write time within 5-minute intervals on both digital and analog clocks
  • Solve word problems involving dollars bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies
  • Represent and interpret data, such as bar graphs and picture graphs


These skills are usually sequential, and allow students to build new skills on ones already mastered. The skills found above are from the Common Core Standards that have been adapted by 48 of our 50 states.





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Preschool, Kindergarten End-of-the-Year Academic Checklist

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).


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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?

Yes - 31.6%
Sometimes - 25.4%
No - 37.4%

Total votes: 4919
The voting for this poll has ended on: June 25, 2016