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Is your child ready for Preschool, Kindergarten or First Grade?

Each child develops at his or her own level, however, there are certain benchmarks that are used to tell whether the student has mastered the skills appropriate to his or her age level. Look for your grade level listed on the right to see some of the activities your child should know at his/her age. Remember, some of the skills are beginning of the year skills while others are to be mastered at the end of the year. Many of these areas overlap: what is considered to be an end-of-the-year skill in Kindergarten, may still be considered a beginning-of-the-year skill in first grade. Another thing to consider is the fact that what is considered a first grade skill in one state may still be considered a Kindergarten skill in another. In fact, even in the same state, school districts may have different ideas on what should be accomplished and at what age. Use these pages as a general idea on what your child should be able to do. For a more accurate listing, contact your child's teacher, school district or state board of education.


  • Can say his/her first name.
  • Can say his/her last name.
  • Can write his/her first name.
  • Can count to 10.
  • Can identify the numbers: 1, 2, and 3.
  • Can identify the colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, white and black.
  • Can identify the shapes: circle, square, rectangle, triangle.


  • Can write his/her first name.
  • Can write his/her last name.
  • Can count to 100.
  • Can identify/write the numbers 0-30 (or to 100)
  • Can identify the colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, white, black and gray
  • Can identify the shapes: circle, square, rectangle, triangle, oval, rhombus (diamond). (CA: cone, cube, sphere)
  • Can identify the following letter NAMES:
    a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
  • Can identify the following letter sounds:
    a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
  • Knows own phone number.
  • Knows own street address.
  • Knows his city and state.
  • Can tie his/her shoes.
  • Can cut with scissors.
  • Holds pencil correctly.
  • Can read 20 sight words: a, and, are, can, I, is, for, have, he, my, of, said, see, she, the, to, was, we, with, you
  • Can read phonetic CVC (consonant/(short) vowel/consonant) words: cat, bed, sit, dog, bug.
  • Knows his/her birthday (month and day)
  • Can say the Days of the Week: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
  • Can say the Months of the Year: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.

First Grade

  • Can count to 100+
  • Can identify/write the numbers 0-100 (or to 1,000)
  • Can identify the shapes: circle, square, rectangle, triangle, oval, rhombus (diamond), cube, cone, cylinder, sphere.
  • Can idenitify the following letter sounds: short vowels (a, e, i, o, u), long vowels (a, e, i, o, u), controlled r vowels (ar, er, ir, or, ur) consonant blends (bl, br, ch, cl, cr, dr, fl, fr, gl, gr, pl, pr, sh, sl, st, str, sw, tr, tw) and more.
  • Can read 100 sight words: a, about, after, all, an, and, are, as, at, be, been, but, by, call, can, could, did, do, down, each, find, first, for, from, had, has, have, he, her, him, his, how, I, if, in, into, is, it, its, just, know, like, little, long, made, many, may, more, most, my, no, not, now, of, on, one, only, or, other, out, over, people, said, see, she, so, some, than, that, the, their, them, then, there, these, they, this, time, to, two, up, use, very, was, water, way, we, were, what, when, where, which, who, will, with, word, would, you, your.
  • Can read CVCE (consonant/(long) vowel/consonant/silent "E") words: date, kite, bone, tube.
  • Knows prepositions: under, above, behind, inside
  • Knows antonyms: hot/cold, fast/slow, long/short.
  • Knows synonyms: happy/glad, fast/quick, big/gigantic

Reading Tips

Parents are a child's primary teacher. It is never too early to begin reading to your child! Even before they can speak, children are able to learn concepts such as colors, numbers, shapes and much more. You can help to develop their vocabulary even before they speak their first word!

  • Make reading together a daily event. It can be done outside in the afternoon sun under the shade of a tree, or at bedtime.
  • Point to objects in the picture. Name the colors. Talk about what things are used for.
  • Read with animated voices. Speak with deep voices for certain characters and high voices for others. Show excitement!
  • Read the same story over again (and again!). Children love hearing a story they already know.
  • Point to the words as you read them. See if they can find a certain letter or word for you.
  • Show them letters related to their name ("Hey this word has a "B" just like in your name!")
  • Know when to stop. If they become bored or want to go on to another activity, continue reading another time.
  • Point out words that rhyme: ("Listen! "Hat" and "cat" almost sound the same!)
  • Relate books to their life. If reading about animals, ask if they remember when they went to the zoo.
  • See if your child can spell a word that is repeated in the story, or sound out the beginning letter.
  • Have a book with you always! Read it while waiting for the dentist, on the bus, or while sitting in the shopping cart!
  • After reading a book many times, let your child "read" it to you in their own words.
  • Make it fun! Reading should be a joy, not a chore!