I am sure you just read the title of my post and thought, wait what? It is summer! Don't jump ship yet friends! I have three FREE downloads for you to ease your minds this fall! If you are the parent of a preschooler, kindergartener, or first grader these are for you! UPDATE 9/30/20 - I have added a second grade checklist as well, as I received several requests. You will find it at the end of this blog post!
A common question I receive is, "What should my child know by the end of the year?" A lot of this depends on the curriculum you choose and your state's standards (or the test you choose to administer, unless you choose the evaluation route). There are many skills which *should* be mastered at particular grade levels in order to continue progressing. Does this mean if your child does NOT master everything on my checklist they are doomed? No. This is a guide. This is meant to be helpful not stressful. I should also note every curriculum has gaps or covers a topic or two earlier or later when compared to another curriculum. This is okay. It is also okay to supplement using more than one curriculum, games, printables, or other learning tools.
One last note (promise), always take pride in your child's progress. No matter how big or small, progress is progress! Celebrate each victory! Make learning a fun experience for you both! If your child is struggling with a particular skill, circle back, find a new resource, or wait a bit before approaching again. All children do not hit benchmarks at the same time.
First up, preschool! If you have a four year old this assessment is for you. Children younger than four may be able to reach these goals. This assessment does not focus on writing, as it is not typically developmentally appropriate for this age. If you child is able to hold a pencil correctly and write, wonderful! If not, do NOT sweat it. I repeat do NOT sweat it. It is better to focus on fine motor skills through play (think sensory bins, play-doh, kinetic sand, grippers, grabbers, coloring, painting, scissor use). You can find this free download here!
Kindergarten can be stressful for parents. Reading skills begin to develop, math becomes more "complicated" and there seems to be a laundry list of skills to check off. I have those skills in a checklist for you, but I went a step further. I included an actual assessment to use.
This could be used multiple times a year to assess progress or as an end of year assessment. Please do NOT try to assess a child in one setting, or even two. Break it up and make it fun! You do not want assessments to be riddled with pressure, stress, and anxiety. Check out the video below or just grab it for free here!
Okay, you've made it through preschool and kindergarten! Now it is on to first grade. The great thing about a new school year, is that you are just building on the great foundation you've put in place! So shake the nerves and check out the first grade checklist. Language arts may look cumbersome, but you are really just expanding upon their already established phonics skills, helping them to comprehend what they are reading, and fine tuning those beginning writing skills (that is a basic overview). Grab your FREE download here!
Updated to add second grade! Click here to grab it!