BlogSchool Resources for KidsWhat Do Kids Learn in Kindergarten: Overview, Subjects & Skills

What Do Kids Learn in Kindergarten: Overview, Subjects & Skills

Your children are growing up so fast! It feels like they were learning to crawl only yesterday, and now they’re ready for kindergarten. But what exactly will they be learning at school? What is taught to kids in kindergarten?

In the United States, the kindergarten curriculum varies from state to state, but most include basic subjects such as math, reading, and writing. In addition, many kindergarten classrooms also incorporate science and social studies into their lesson plans. Extracurricular activities are also essential aspects of a well-rounded kindergarten curriculum.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the things typically taught in kindergarten!

What Is Taught to Kids in Kindergarten?

Girl learning to paint with her teacher What is taught to kids in kindergarten

Most people consider kindergarten a time when children learn to read and write, but much more goes into a good kindergarten curriculum. What children learn in kindergarten can set the tone for the rest of their schooling. So, what should be taught in kindergarten?

1. Reading in Kindergarten

One of the most important things children learn in kindergarten is reading. This is a critical skill they will use for the rest of their lives. Many kindergartens use a phonics-based approach to teaching reading. This means that children learn to identify the individual sounds (or phonemes) that makeup words. Once they know the sounds, they can start to put them together to form words.

Some essential topics that are typically covered in reading instruction include:

  • Learning the names of the letters of the alphabet.
  • A comprehensive introduction to the most common letter sounds.
  • Blending individual sounds to form words.
  • Recognizing common sight words.
  • Reading simple sentences and stories.

Some teachers also include reading games and activities in their instruction. These can be a great way to help children practice and solidify their new reading skills. SplashLearn’s reading Games for kindergarten are a great example of this.

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2. Writing in Kindergarten

Writing is another fundamental skill that children learn in kindergarten. Like reading, what children learn in kindergarten will later lay the foundation for writing skills.

Most kindergarten classrooms use a developmental approach to teaching writing. Children are encouraged to write without worrying about spelling or grammar. Instead, they focus on conveying their thoughts and ideas on paper.

As children become more confident in their writing skills, they will learn some basic spelling and grammar rules. However, the focus is still on communicating ideas rather than perfecting techniques.

Here are the most essential topics covered in kindergarten writing instruction:

  • Learning how to hold a pencil correctly.
  • Practicing writing the letters of the alphabet.
  • Writing simple words and phrases.
  • Telling stories and composing short sentences.

3. Math in Kindergarten

kids doing artwork What is taught to kids in kindergarten

Kindergarten is also a great time for children to start learning about math. Many people think math is all about numbers, but it is much more than that! Children begin understanding mathematical concepts such as addition, subtraction, and shapes in kindergarten.

Kindergarten math instruction usually takes a hands-on approach. Children are encouraged to explore and discover mathematical concepts for themselves. They might use manipulative objects such as blocks or beads to help them understand what they’re learning.

Some topics that are typically covered in kindergarten math instruction include:

  • Recognizing and counting numbers up to 20.
  • Identifying basic shapes such as circles, squares, and triangles.
  • Adding and subtracting numbers up to 10.
  • Measuring length, weight, and capacity.

4. Science and Social Studies in Kindergarten

Kindergarten is the time when kids learn about the world around them. This includes both science and social studies. In science, they learn about the basic building blocks of the universe, including plants and animals. They also learn about the Earth’s resources and how to conserve them. In social studies, they learn about different cultures and how people live and work together.

Kindergarten science and social studies instruction are usually very hands-on. Children learn through exploration and discovery. They might plant a garden, build a fort, or make a simple machine.

Here are some famous topics covered in kindergarten science and social science:

  • The five senses.
  • Plants and animals.
  • The four seasons.
  • Weather and climate.
  • The solar system.
  • Different cultures and traditions.

5. Extracurricular Activities in Kindergarten

In addition to the core academic subjects, kindergarteners also participate in various extracurricular activities. These activities help children develop essential social and emotional skills. They might play games, sing songs, or do art projects. Some kindergartens also have sports teams that children can join.

The extracurricular activities that are available to kindergarteners vary from school to school. However, some of the most common activities include:

  • Art: Drawing, painting, and sculpting are just a few of the art projects that kindergarteners might do.
  • Music: Kindergarteners might learn to play simple instruments like the recorder or xylophone. They might also sing songs and learn about different musical genres.
  • Drama: Acting out skits and plays is an excellent way for kindergarteners to develop their imagination and communication skills.
  • Sports: Some kindergartens have sports teams that children can join. This is an excellent way for them to exercise and learn about teamwork.

Kindergarten is a time for children to explore their interests and develop new skills. By participating in various activities, they can learn about the world around them and develop important academic and social skills.

Let’s Get The Kids Ready for First Grade!

Woman sitting with kids at a table painting What is taught to kids in kindergarten

So, what does a kindergarten curriculum entail? It is usually designed to prepare kids for their first school year. Parents should not worry if their child is not reading or writing fluently by the end of kindergarten. Kindergarten aims to provide a foundation for learning, not to teach children everything they need to know. Children who attend kindergarten are more likely to succeed in first grade and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is kindergarten mandatory in the United States?

No, kindergarten is not mandatory in the United States. However, most children do attend kindergarten. About 95% of all 5-year-olds in the United States are enrolled in kindergarten.

How long does a typical kindergarten day last?

A typical kindergarten day lasts for about six hours. However, the exact day length depends on the school and district.

Will my child be able to read and write by the end of kindergarten?

Kindergarten aims to provide a foundation for learning, not to teach children everything they need to know. With that said most children who attend kindergarten will be able to read and write by the end of the year.

What types of extracurricular activities are available to kindergarteners?

The extracurricular activities that are available to kindergarteners vary from school to school. However, the most common activities include art, music, drama, and sports.

What is the goal of kindergarten?

The goal of kindergarten is to provide a foundation for learning. This includes teaching children basic academic and social skills. Children should be prepared for their first year of school by the end of kindergarten.

Jill Baker
Jill Baker has been teaching for 10 years and she loves sharing everything she has learned to help other teachers.
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