Should kids know their alphabet going into Kindergarten?

United States
July 28, 2007 6:39am CST
I remember that I knew mine and how to spell some simple words. My mother in law was a Kindergarten teacher for over 30 years. She had kids anywhere from not even potty trained to kids who were full blown reading. I know kids all learn at a different rate but do you think parents should work with kids before they go into Kindergarten? Even Kindergarten is so different from when I went to school. I can't believe the stuff some elementary school kids know.
3 people like this
17 responses
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
28 Jul 07
For us here it is required that they know their abc's and their numbers up to 20 before going to school. Also they need to know how to spell their first name and not all capitals. They need to know how to tie their shoes. They need to know their colors and basic shapes as well. They need to know their phone number, bus drivers name, town they live in, be able to say their last name and parents name. It comes in a package about four months before they start school. I didn't know most of this stuff going into school. I had no problem with my daughter learning all this before school but my middle child is special needs and my last child has learning challenges so I couldn't get them to learn all that material before school. Kids today though know way more than I did when I was their ages. Vicki
@sedel1027 (17873)
• United States
28 Jul 07
Some of that seems like way too much. In our area, kids are taught how to spell their full names in school (they do need to know their name). Most kids know their full name and can write their first name just from being in other programs. They are expected to know their bus number, not necessarily all the other information and that is after school starts.
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
28 Jul 07
Yeah I think it is a bit much too!
@Foxxee (3654)
• United States
29 Jul 07
They say it's all required, but by law, they can't refuse a child going into Kindergarten just because they don't know this and that. They like the child to know all the above because that is helpful for the teachers. If the child doesn't know the above, then they just have to work harder with the child. Most kids catch up. If the child doesn't catch up, then what happens, is they might have to repeat Kindergarten.
@BinKsBaBy (510)
• United States
26 Aug 07
when i was in kindergarden i remember making a contact card with my full name address phone number age adn bithday! well i finished the whole thing is 2 days only because i was unsure on how to spell my middle name so i had to ask my parents where the same activity took the rest of the class the whole week. My mom taught me all that kinda stuff before i started school, i never went to day care or preschool. It did affect me the first week of school because i was not used to being away from my home. But the teacher took me under her wing I had a special spot right next to her on the piano bench at story time and soon I was comfy. I remember knowing my abc's however my mom failed to teach me lower case letters (lol) I'll never forget arguing with the teacher that she was wrong when she told us that this was a "g" I quickly wrote a "G" and said this is a G. So then I needed to learn my lower case letters I did so in about a week with a little trouble with my b's and d's from time to time. My duaghter stars kindergarden on the 27 and i made sure she knows all letters capitols and lowercase. LOL
• United States
26 Aug 07
Children definitely should know at least half of their alphabet by the time they get into school. The standards for school are set much higher than they were before and this ensures that all children are sort of on the same level, or on a level where they can get some sort of help to make sure they are moving along in their development. Right now, where we come from, children have to be potty trained by the time they hit kindergarten. I mean, we really don't allow children that aren't potty trained into preschool. It's just an essential thing. Knowing the alphabet and what not shouldn't be essential or the foremost thing, but if they at least know some, it really helps the teacher.
@drannhh (14680)
• United States
18 Aug 07
Yes, I agree with others here that children should know the full alphabet and how to count at least to 10 before attending school. There was no kindergarten where I grew up, and the school told our parents NOT to teach us the alphabet, but my parents taught me anyway, with the result that I did way better in school than most of the other children and went on to have an academic life. The problem with schools is they tend to follow learning fads. One of my brothers was taught only phonics and the next brother was taught only look-say, and I would have been taught some combination, except that I learned to read before attending school. This annoyed the school officials, but it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I would have been bored silly having to wait to learn things.
• United States
17 Aug 07
Theres a bunch of things a school gives you before your child could enter and that's usually on there. I had to learn it before entering pre-k. They do review it during kindergarten up until 2ndish grade. That's what I remember anyway. It doesn't hurt for a child to learn.
@magnet (2089)
• United States
16 Aug 07
All children learn at different rates but I think that children should know their alphabet before going to kindergarten. My daughter will be 2 in 2 weeks and she can sing her alphabet. Next I am going to introduce her to letter recognition. It's all in fun. We just sing the alphabet everyday until she learns it.
@guss2000 (2234)
• United States
30 Jul 07
I can barely remember kindergarten, but I do remember I knew my ABC's and how to count. I guess it all depends on the child and how much the parent's encourage learning. I know my newphew didnt' really know all that much when he went into kindergarten, but my little sister knew a ton of stuff.
@carlaabt (3509)
• United States
29 Jul 07
I think kids should know the alphabet and how to count to at least 10 before they start kindergarten. Parents should work with their kids before they start school, or at least send them to a preschool type daycare if they work too much to have time to work with the kids themselves. I do think there are some requirements that seem a little much, though. I don't think kids should necessarily have to know how to spell their full name and write it out without any mistakes, but I know some schools require that. I know when I was in kindergarten, we just had to be able to say our full names and our parents names. A lot of kids didn't know how to spell their names. I know that one of the boys in my class had a little brother who had to come to our class when he was in kindergarten, because he didn't know how to spell his last name, and the print out that the teacher had, cut off part of his last name so she wasn't sure how it was spelled either.
@Foxxee (3654)
• United States
29 Jul 07
We had our daughter in preschool, so she could get ready for Kindergarten. One of the requirments for Kindergarten is she needs to know her ABC's and needs to count to 100. Plus she has to know how to write her name, first and last. Has to know her birthday and address. If she doesn't know all this when she starts Kindergarten, she still has every right to attend Kindergarten, she just might be behind. They can't turn down a child though because they don't know their ABC's. The teachers just have to work extra hard.
• United States
28 Jul 07
Yes, children should know their alphabet and numbers upon entering Kindergarten. If they do not then you have to teach it to them as soon as you can, but they should know it the minute they are in Kindergarten.
@eden32 (3978)
• United States
28 Jul 07
I think it's far more important that children be ready emotionally for school than what they know. I still remember starting kindergarten. At the time, they would let a child start who was under the normal minimal age if the child could pass certain tests. I passed with flying colors, but I was 4.9 years old. Most of my classmates were closer to 6. I had no idea how to make friends, how to start conversations, or even how to ask the teacher when I needed something. I was painfully shy for the first several years of school, and I think it all stemmed from starting before I was ready.
• Australia
28 Jul 07
I believe that it is important for children to know their alphabet and numbers prior to starting school as when they do start school, the learning of this material is only a refresher as it is expected that they would have already been taught this at prechool and the only thing needed is revision learning.
@anousha (406)
• Mauritius
28 Jul 07
I myself knew my alphabets by heart before going to kindergarten and it was very useful to me coz I didn't had to bear the screams and stick of the teacher for learning 'em! But nowadays in my country the education system has changed a lot and many children don't know their alphabets until they are 6 or 7 years old. Thus, later on they face a lot of problems when it comes to spelling and writing of words and phrases. So I think its very important for a child to be able to atleast write his name and spell some simple words before going to kindergarten.
@ibuemma (2954)
• United States
28 Jul 07
When my daughter entered the kindergarten last year, taht's the requirement. The alphabet, the number i think up to 20. And they have to know to spell their name. But if i'm not mistaken if a child don't fulfill the requirement, it doesn't mean they gonna reject your kid, but during the kindergarten they provide extra hour so the kid can catch up.
@Flight84 (3051)
• United States
28 Jul 07
I'm a preschool teacher and I do know that kids are expected to know way more than what we used to have to know. They ahve to know full names, parent's full names, addresses, all kinds of stuff. I think it's all a little overwhelming how much they expect small children to know. Granted, most of the time they do know all that stuff, but what happened to just expecting them to know colors and how to count and knowing the alphabet? Why are kids expected to know as much as little adults now? They have way too many pressures in the early grades now. I know at one local Chrisitian school, the kids are doing division in 2nd grade! Are you kidding me? I think I learned division in 3rd or 4th maybe. They also start doing a little Algebra in 5th grade here. By the time I have kids, mine will probably have to name all the states and presidents, and be able to do my taxes.:P
@friendship (2086)
• Canada
28 Jul 07
When I was a kid, I studied and spelled alphabets and numerics in a Kindergarten school and I think today schools have also to do it.
@sedel1027 (17873)
• United States
28 Jul 07
I believe kids should know their ABC and count at least to 10 by the time they are in Kindergarten. I don't know how kids are getting into Kindergarten un-potty trained. If you have a child who is over 3 in any preschool program, the child has to be potty trained. I believe now that kids go to pre-K and/or a structured preschool, most of them know their ABC's and to count until 20 or so by the time they get into Kindergarten. In our area, most Public Schools test kids before they are let into pre-K (age 4), if you can't pass the test, you can't get into the program. If you fail the test (which they do right before summer), the child is allowed to re-test a few weeks before school starts. I believe that if you don't take the pre-K, you have to be tested before going into Kindergarten. My son went to KinderCare at a young age. They start working with the children on their colors, ABC's, etc in the 2 year old room. My nephew just turned 3 in May and he knows his ABCs, can count to 10 in English and Spanish, colors, can identity animals and their sounds, etc.