What Kids Need to Know When They Finish Kindergarten

Kindergarten focuses on teaching children how to function in a school environment, helps children work on fine motor skills like their pencil grip -- which allows children to learn to write properly-- and works to ensure each child learns foundational skills in reading and math. By the time a child completes kindergarten, she will have spent significant time learning both social and academic skills that should enable her to advance successfully to first grade 3.


By the time a child completes kindergarten, she should know her street address, telephone number and parents' full names 3. The Scholastic website points out that this is a valuable safety precaution for times when she may be lost or need to contact you while she's away from you. A youngster should also be able to read, spell and write her own first and last name.


During the kindergarten year, students learn the correlation between the alphabet and sounds in words, according to the National Institute for Literacy 2. They should recognize that different letters blend together to make different words, each with different meanings. Graduating kindergarteners should be able to recognize at least 18 familiar words and they should understand that reading occurs by moving from left to right on a line, moving from top to bottom on a page.


Upon the completion of kindergarten, students should recognize and write numbers up to 20, according to the Great Schools website 3. The students should be able to count by both ones and tens up to 100 and should be able to complete addition and subtraction problems with sums up to 10. Students should also be able to identify basic shapes such as squares, circles and triangles by name.


Graduating kindergarteners should be able to listen, understand and follow both one- and two-step instructions, states the Michigan Department of Education. Students should be able to speak logically in fluent sentences, too. Students should also be able to follow rules, take turns, share willingly and focus on a lesson or a presentation for up to 20 minutes at a time. A child finishing kindergarten should also have the ability to formulate an opinion about a given subject and then state the opinion verbally or by drawing or writing a simple sentence (the sentence may have errors) 3. These skills are important to learn in kindergarten because they enable them to spend more time on actual academics when they start first grade.