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The Seven Things Every Child Needs To Know Before Entering Kindergarten

For the past several months, my four year-old has been enviously watching her big sister go off to school on the school bus.  She’s dying to jump on and be “the big girl.”  I’m not sure if mom’s there but, ready or not, she’ll be on her way off to kindergarten this September.

I’ve always left the educational preparation for kindergarten to her pre-school teachers.  But what does she really need to know to be prepared?  You have to make sure your kids have their vaccinations before they start school but does anyone give you a list of the basic skills they should know?  My good friend Stacey Kannenberg, better known as the “Get Ready To Learn Mom,” is the founder of Cedar Valley Publishing and wrote the highly acclaimed books Get Ready For Kindergarten and Get Ready For First Grade.   She is a nationally renowned education expert and award winning author with an expertise in children’s education, and “Mom   entrepreneurship”.

Stacey found a great way to put together the alphabet, numbers and shapes for parents and teachers in order to allow them to empower kids entering kindergarten and the first grade.  The books are colorful, durable and interactive and kids love them!

In talking to Stacey I learned a disturbing fact.  When she surveyed pre-school teachers to see if they knew what the seven basic skills were that children needed to know before entering kindergarten on 4% were able to answer correctly!

So, if your son or daughter is entering kindergarten this year, print out this list and review it with your pre-school teacher to be sure they are teaching them the basics they will need:

  1. The upper case alphabet out of sequence or mixed up.  Kids will be asked to name the letters listed, such as: B, D, X, K, J, M, O, etc.
  2. The numbers to 10, out of sequence or mixed up.  Kids will be asked to name the letters, listed, such as:  2, 5, 9, 8, 1, 3, 4, etc.
  3. Kids will be asked to identify basic colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple
  4. Kids will be asked to identify basic shapes: circle, diamond, rectangle, triangle, oval and square
  5. Kids will be asked to identify basic coins: penny, nickel and dime
  6. Counting objects to 10
  7. How far they can count to 100

And here are some other skills to practice at home:

  • Share, take turns and listen quietly
  • Wait patiently and use words to communicate
  • Recognize and know your full name
  • Know your parents and/or caregiver’s first and last name
  • Use toilet by yourself
  • Dress yourself
  • Know how to zip, snap, tie, button and fasten your clothing
  • Recite and recognize alphabet letters
  • Recognize your left and right hand
  • Know basic colors, shapes and numbers 0-20
  • Recognize a penny, nickel, dime, quarter and dollar bill
  • Use positional words (over, under, up, down)
  • Print your first name, uppercase for first letter only
  • Know your address and phone number
  • Know how to use a pencil, crayons, glue and scissors


To learn more about Stacey or to order her book you can visit her site

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