As a former Kindergarten teacher and tutor, I know how important it is to work with your child at home before kindergarten. One of the best ways to best equip your child is to assess what skills you should be working on. The biggest things your child will hit on in kindergarten are:
- letter identification (uppercase and lower case)
- sound recognition
- days of the week
- writing name
- following directions/repeating directions
Obviously, this isn’t all of them but this is a huge chunk. The first thing I do when I begin the year or begin tutoring a new student is give them this assessment.
It’s incredibly simple and is the perfect way to get you headed on the right direction to better equip your child for Kindergarten. You can download the assessment for free at my Teachers Pay Teachers page.
For the letter identification and number identification, you have a few options on how to administer it. I recommend just using simple flash cards made on index cards though. No pictures, colors or clues. It’s a great way to see what they truly know without any help.
For the sound recognition, I recommend simply asking each individual letter sound verbally. “What does the letter A say?” Feel free to take breaks as needed! It’s not a race. You want to have a true representation of what your child knows. If they get exhausted, just come back to it later.
For colors, I simply put out crayons and say, “Can you point to the ____ crayon?” and take note. During the assessment, I encourage you to praise your child. Don’t correct them. Don’t ask them to try again. Your goal here is to simply see where they are at and meet them there. 🙂
For days of the week and ABCs, I just ask if they can tell me them. You can prompt them and see if they have any songs that will help but do not give them any of the days/letters. You want them to do this independently!
I don’t have this on the assessment print out, but I encourage you to ask your child to write their name. That is one of the first things they will work on in Kindergarten and it’s a great idea to see what they can do!
Same for following directions. I tell the student, “Please repeat this after me. “Put your red folder in your mailbox.”” You may be shocked to see that your child can’t repeat that sentence. That’s ok! If that’s the case, you can start giving simple one step directions. Have them practice repeating and following them. That is a great way to get started!
For patterns, you can use anything but I personally like my teddy bears. I lay some on to the table and just ask them to make a pattern for me. I see what they can do. Then I make a pattern and ask them to tell me what they think comes next.
That’s it! It’s so easy to do this at home. YOU CAN DO IT! 🙂 You are awesome for taking the time to get your child ready for Kindergarten. When you work at home you are preparing them for their education and boosting their confidence.
After giving your child this assessment, you now have what you need to decide what you will focus on. Are you going to focus on letters? Uppercase? Lowercase? and you go from there. You can find all sorts of resources on Pinterest but I will be sharing in some upcoming blog posts some DIY simple activities you can do at home to prep your child for Kindergarten!
Best of Luck!! 🙂
XOXO One Merry Mama