To be ready for Kindergarten, the child should also know their name. It helps if they are ahead of the game before they enter school so that they don't fall behind. If your child knows their ABC's, knows how to count, and knows colors, those are the basics. In Kindergarten, children will learn to identify letters (both upper and lowercase), count using objects up to twenty, write their letters and numbers, write their name, and learn their address and phone number. By the end of Kindergarten, children should be reading on at least on a level 3 text- simple words, repeating text, supportive pictures; know Kindergarten leveled sight-words, and be able to write words as well.
Of course in the early years of school (PreK, K, and 1st) children should be developing their social and language skills. Play and social interaction is probably the most important thing in those first years. Children need to learn how to follow rules at school, work, play, and make friends.
I never recommend skipping grades. Children may be ahead of others academically, but they usually aren't ready for the social and emotional aspects higher grades and older kids bring to the situation. Schools typically will not skip grades anymore, and especially not that young. Most schools and teachers will be able to identify gifted children, and support their need for enrichment and advanced opportunities. We have talented and gifted programs, and I always provide my higher-level kids with extension activities and more choices in their learning.
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Here is a link to some Preschool standards for Michigan. Most states have similar standards, but none are currently mandated. Within the next 5-10 years, most are expecting that Preschool will become mandatory with similar academic standards. http://www.macomb.k12.mi.us/Utica/lrn_link/ele_001/page1.htm
Here are links to the South Carolina and Illinois kindergarten standards. Again, most are similar in nature to other states. There are always some small differences, but this will give you an idea of what Kindergarteners are expected to know. http://www.greenville.k12.sc.us/district/parents/standard/kinder.asp
http://www.ahsd25.k12.il.us/LearningStandards/kind.html Heavens no.there is too much socialization in kindergarten. If you really think your child is gifted try home schooling. As for starting kindergarten they need to know the alphabet, colors and numbers...thats about it. If the child is way beyond that he will play all year and have a great time helping other kids. In my community there is a gifted pre-school...that was really good for my two boys because they were given opportunities not available in regular pre-school. I was happy with my decision not to skip grades although my boys had very high IQ's because there is a social impact on a child as well as academic. Look for a Montessori pre-school or any kind of pre-reading or gifted pre-school. You don't want your 12 year old son in a room full of 14 year olds in school later on because his peers will outcast him. It's hard enough becoming a man in today's world.let's not make it harder.also consider sports.Being in 10th grade but not allowed to try out for the team because of age..much to consider. gasp!!
four year olds should be working on social skills in group/educational settings and fingerpainting.
please, please, please don't put academic demands on your four year old. sure, have fun with the a,b,c's, and teach him/her how to write his/her name. practice counting. read to him/her often. work on developing a positive attitude about school and learning. encourage curiosity and exploration. and lots and lots of play dough and singing.
i worked with kindergarten teachers who had the formidable task of getting their little guys to write poetry, thanks to the spreading idea that academics should start early. these poor teachers were pulling their hair out! "some of them can't write their name, how can they write a poem?!" and of course, that stresses the kids to no end. and for what? why not have them make up rhymes and poems by speaking them as a group? that's far more developmentally appropriate, and helps kids enjoy school rather than feeling anxious about it.
as for skipping grades, four seems a little young to be making that determination. why not see how they do in school for a couple of years, how they develop, how they feel about the whole thing. those early years of school are critical and there's no reason to skip them. think of your child's happiness and social development rather than just your own desire to feel like you have an academic super child. This is not an exhaustive list... Academically, most four year olds know basic shapes and colors, can count reliably to 10 and may be able to count to 20. They can recognize their name in print and may be able to write it. They will probably start recognizing symbols and "reading" them (the Golden Arches = McDonalds, the Cheerios logo, a stop sign, etc). They should be able to memorize their phone number, full name, address and birthday between age 4 & 5. They are beginning to recognize letters and numerals and associate their sounds and values. They are beginning to have a concept of the calendar, days of the week, months, holidays, etc. They should understand basics of weather and seasons, the type of clothing we wear during each, etc. They understand one to one correspondence and are able to sort and classify objects. They can do patterning and sequencing (red blue red blue red and seed, vine, pumpkin for example). They can listen to a story and may be able to simply retell the beginning, middle, and end.
Most people and almost all educators will discourage early promotion or skipping grades. They will argue that it's socially destructive to the child. In making the decision to promote a gifted child, one needs to take into account the whole child... not only academic skills, but also social and emotional skills. Some gifted children also have greater empathy and self-control than would be expected for their age. For children who are also socially and emotionally advanced, it is harder for them to get along with same-aged peers than with older students who are on their same level. Being intellectually and socially unfulfilled can be just as detrimental to a child's well being as struggling academically and socially. Very few people would argue against retaining a child who needs an extra year to develop but you have to fight tooth and nail to get a gifted child placed where he or she needs to be.
In the ideal world, a school will discuss all the options with parents in order to meet a gifted child's needs. That may be a gifted pull-out program, enrichment in the child's classroom, allowing the child to taking reading and/or math in a higher grade level, or even skipping a grade. Some schools have begun offering mixed aged classrooms, "high fives" (for older K's), Montessori, and other programs for accelerated instruction. Some teachers are much better than others at challenging gifted children. Some schools have better resources than others. If the school can't or won't provide the child with instruction on the appropriate level, skipping a grade may be the most viable alternative (many parents have turned to homeschooling to solve this problem). A child shouldn't be penalized with suffering through one boring school year after another because she already knows the material being covered by the instructor just so people can feel good about her playing with kids who are supposedly the same age.even though with kids being held back and late summer birthdays kids can be as much as 2 yrs apart in one grade. my daughter is 4 and i find it fun yet difficult to get her excited about learning with me but yet she begs to go to school. i have taught her to write her name but counting to ten ges like this 1234875698410 and instead od abc's she says a b b c's so it is difficult but the basics are those. as far as skipping grades i graduated at 16 i was still too young to even date i do not recommend skipping grades at ALL
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