Are There Things My Child Should Know Before Entering First Grade?

There are definite things that your child should know before entering first grade. While it is true that some children will be able to catch up on certain areas during the first grade, the more familiar your child is with these concepts and ideas, the easier of a time she will have with things after entering first grade.

Before entering first grade, your child should have a strong command of language, and have had a variety of educational experiences in terms of language. This should include oral language practice, vocabulary, and a variety of other language concepts. He should be able to use words to describe the things happening to them and around them, and grasp basic languge concepts like shapes and colors, distance words like under and over, and near and far, sequence words like before and after, and small, medium, and large, and words that are used to classify categories of things, like animals, furniture, buildings, and plants.

Your child should understand that stories or books are printed and meant to be read from left to right. He should understand that the spaces in between words separate those words. He should understand the connection between words on the page and words that are spoken. He should also be aware of basic speech sounds. For example, he should be able to think about a word like “dog” and realize that there are three distinct sounds involved in that word: “d,” “aw,” and “g.”

Before entering first grade, your child should be aware of and familiar with the alphabet. She should be able to match a picture with its first letter. She should probably be able to at least recognize her name, even if she can’t print it. Obviously being able to print her name would be beneficial. She should be able to recognize all of the letters of the alphabet when printed, and should be able to print them herself. She should also know the sounds that the letters represent.

Depending on the particular school or the particular teacher that your child will have for first grade, there might be other things that your child should know before entering. By checking with them ahead of time, even during the spring prior to the time your child will be entering first grade, you may be able to help them get ready.

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