Homeschool 101: Kindergarten Checklist

When I became a mom with children in school, my biggest concern was making sure they never fell too far behind for their age and development. Honestly, with my oldest (my twins), that was something I worried about pretty much from 12 months on when they both qualified for speech therapy.

In the early years, both my twins went through years of various types of therapy…speech to rid the twin talk. Occupational for twin A because he was diagnosed with a minor sensory processing disorder and for twin B because he had GERD as a baby with then resulted in a VERY picky palate and throwing up when trying anything even remotely new in the way of food. Twin B did 6 months of physical therapy to help strengthen his legs since he was short for his age and couldn’t perform certain activities such as going up and down stairs one leg after another or pedaling on a tricycle.

I became VERY familiar with what was age-appropriate for my twins early on and it caused me to be a neurotic parent. It took me a long while to figure out that as long as I was doing the best for my kids, that was enough. AND to stop comparing my mothering and my children to others. Once I did that, a HUGE weight was lifted and I was able to focus much more on my children than what I thought the world expected from my children.

That being said, I went through a minor bought of inadequacy and comparing the first few months we decided to homeschool. It wasn’t until my mom sat me down and told me that I’ve always had good instincts when it comes to my children and anyone could tell me what I’m doing wrong; but that as long as my children are progressing and learning I should know I’m doing something right. Still, I’ve always been a parent that likes to have a physical checklist. I need to know roughly what is expected of my children during certain stages of their lives. I know I am definitely not the only one.

Compiling my own experiences, advice from my own mother, who has been an elementary educator for years, observing my children and their teachers in public school; I have decided to come up with my own lists of what is age appropriate. This first list is geared toward kindergarten ages 4-6 since each state varies in the cut-off age to begin school.

Now, take this list as just suggestions. Like I said, each state is different. In our current school district, they begin Fry’s sight words in kindergarten. Other states don’t go anywhere near sight words until first grade. Also each child moves at their own pace with things. Twin B had absolutely no desire to learn how to tie his shoes. We jokingly blamed it on the fact that he’s a lefty. He made it all the way to 4th grade before his stubbornness calmed down and he taught himself to tie his shoes. You are the parent, you know if your child is being stubborn or if they truly are struggling. These checklists are there for guidance, not the end-all-be-all. If your child doesn’t meet each check, that doesn’t mean they are behind or that you are failing as a parent.

Also, there are PLENTY of help tools out there…YouTube videos about the water cycle. TV shows such as Magic School Bus to teach the 5 senses. You don’t have to do it alone.

You will notice that not every subject is on these lists. There isn’t any Social Studies/History. Most often that is not a subject that is targeted in kindergarten. Motor skills both whole body and fine motor skills are more impressed. Kinder teachers are not only responsible to set the foundation in education, but they are also required to impress life skills onto the children as well.

Do you have anything that you think needs to be added to this check list? Are there any skills you know are vital for children age 4-6? Remember, do the best you can and ask for help when you feel yourself falling short. AND stop comparing your parenting to others. You know what works for your family and you know your children. Hope y’all are having an amazing week!

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