What My Child Should Know Before Kindergarten! {FREE printable}

Looking over a list like this felt a little daunting; even for a teacher-mom!  I admit that some of the things on this list I most likely would not have even thought about introducing to my child(ren) because I would assume it would be covered in Kindergarten. It is shocking to see how much children are expected to know prior to school today! 

One of the greatest lessons parents can take take away from viewing this list of things their child needs to learn before Kindergarten, is that some type of preschool teaching is VITAL to their success in Kindergarten and Elementary School in general! Whether you choose to teach your child these skills and lessons at home or enroll them in a preschool is each family’s choice; you know what would be best for your child.

I recently compiled this checklist by using a public school, private school, and a homeschool preschool assessment. Therefore, this is a well-rounded list of what exactly you need to be sure your child knows or is in the beginning stages of mastering before entering Kindergarten. Print a copy, safe it in a safe place, and check off the skills as your children masters each skill. This checklist will be a valuable tool to have as a parent to help you decide if your child (especially those with an early birthday) is ready for Kindergarten or if they need to wait another year. 

In doing my Reading Specialist Degree at San Diego State University, we looked at many of the different studies that talked about the discrepancy between a child who comes into the school setting prepared and a child who has not been afforded the benefit of being prepared for school. Unfortunately, so many studies highlighted the fact that many children who come from a lower income socioeconomic setting are not as prepared as other students. When looking at this list, I understand some of the reason for that. Many parents who are in that lower income settings are unable to provide their children with the support they need prior to school, they are busy trying to make ends meet. It is my hope that a list like this will be able to give all parents the knowledge and how-to in order to adequately prepare their students for school. If even half of the 84 items on the list are targeted, that’s a great place to start! 

I invite you to join The Cheerios and Lattes family as we begin to work on these specific skills through fun and play! Each week will give you activities that will help our children and yours to master the skills below!

What Your Child Needs to Know for Kindergarten


  1. Wonderful thanks so much just printed mine!

  2. Thank you Mackenzie for putting this together! :)

    xx Melissa

  3. This is interesting because a friend was recently telling me that you had to pass a test and interview to go to public school Kindergarten and I was thinking – wow! we didn’t need to do any of that when we were growing up…just be 5 years old! Neat list :-)

    • Chrissy- I know… it’s crazy how how much earlier kids are being expected to know certain things. I agree. I have such mixed feelings about it all. My goal is to show our boys how learning can be fun, exciting, and very rewarding. I plan to also remind our boys constantly that it’s not ALL about how smart you are but more about WHO you know (The Lord) and WHO you are (Your Character) that is truly the most important!

  4. Ugh!! My son starts school in early Sept. He will be going to Kindergarten and also live in San Diego. Im a nervous wreck about this list. My son knows about 50-75%? THe biggest problem is the ABC’s. He knows where he lives! He can count to 20! But WOW!!! I will probably know more once his school opens back up on Aug 21. Thats when I can drop his school packet off. Wonder what happens if he DOESNT know these things upon entering??

    Thank you for the lit! I will be printing it up and going thru it everyday!


    • Rebecca,
      Don’t allow yourself to worry about it; I know that sounds easier said than done, but trust me it’s not worth the effort to worry! Pick out a few things to begin working with him on daily until he goes back to school. Check with his teacher at the beginning of the year to see if he is indeed behind and see what her suggestions are for you to focus on at home. You may need to work with him more at home this year, but again don’t worry he will catch up. He also may not be behind at all depending on the school and the surrounding demographics!

  5. This is a great list! My little one is turning 4 in Oct. so it’s perfect timing for us.

  6. I have a question. My daughter is 3 years old and able to read, does basic math, understands geography, reads time (to the hour or half-hour), etc. Her first word was at 6 months (“daddy” followed by “tickle” a week later) and was talking in full sentences with proper grammar by 18 months. She potty trained herself at 15 months and just doesn’t seem to slow down. All of the friends she picks out are much older than her. I am worried about her starting school when she has already mastered so much and prefers older kids. Are there special schools around for younger kids? Do I need to home school (which would mean quitting my job)? Does anyone have any advice? My husband and I are both smart (graduate school from MIT) but this kid is scaring me!

  7. Thank you for compiling this list. It will be useful as I organize learning activities for my two year-old.

  8. Perfect timing!! Thanks! :)

  9. Thank you for sharing this list with us!


  1. […] you’re wondering which skills to focus on, Cheerios & Latte has a free printable: What Your Child Needs to Know for Kindergarten. You’ll find other kindergarten readiness ideas on my Back to School Pinterest Board. […]

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