The quality of academic subject matter has been emphasized across the
elementary school platform in recent years. But in kindergarten, the
emphasis on academics is a bit newer. Whether you agree with this
approach or not, the fact is that kindergarten is your child's first
experience of "real" school. Kindergarteners learn lessons in that first year
that are not in the books. These are skills they will take with them into
their subsequent school experience.
Here are things children will learn in kindergarten that you may not have
1. Paying Attention
In kindergarten, children learn to listen and pay attention to the teacher
and, depending on how the classroom is set up, to pay attention to their
2. Following Directions
Kindergarten involves following directions. It's essential for the classroom
to run smoothly, so teachers usually make sure it happens. For academic
success, following directions is key.
When kindergarteners are put in to a classroom together, they learn how
to interact. If your child did not go to preschool, then this may be the first
time he or she is in a group of peers. Relationship skills are important, and
in kindergarten, children learn the basics like cooperation, resolving
conflicts, asking for help, and dealing with social pressure (especially if it
involves feeling pressured to do something the child feels or knows is
A kindergartener begins to learn how he or she feels about things. He
begins to see where his interests and preferences lie, and starts seeing
some strengths and weaknesses. He'll develop favorite activities and
there will be others he doesn't like as well. Hopefully, this self-awareness
will underpin a healthy self-confidence.
5. Making Decisions
Decision-making is a very important life skill, and your child will begin
learning how to make decisions based on realistic consequences. In
kindergarten, children can make decisions based on social norms (which
they are also learning) and respect for others.
6. Social Awareness
Part of self-awareness for your kindergartener involves social awareness.
He begins to perceive the emotions and sensibilities of others, and
empathy begins to develop. He starts seeing the place of family, school,