The requirements of kindergarten are not particularly rigorous from an academic standpoint, but this level of schooling can be a key building block for future educational success. Children may be at a variety of stages when they enter kindergarten, so each experience is going to be different. However, parents and guardians can have some core expectations when it comes to the activities and outcomes of kindergarten.
Academic subjects. At the kindergarten level, students will be introduced to basic concepts in a variety of subject areas, including reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies. Throughout the year, students will begin to develop their cognitive abilities and start to master competencies that they can replicate in a classroom setting.
Schedule and structure. The kindergarten student is still very young and is not necessarily attuned to the rigors of a demanding schedule. However, the kindergarten environment is a way to introduce a schedule in such a way that children become comfortable with a daily routine. The students will begin to understand time management, and they will learn how to balance several activities and sets of expectations throughout their day.
Groups and social interaction. Relationships are a major part of the educational experience, and kindergarten provides many students with their first opportunity to work with others. The savvy teacher will provide various social combinations, whether it is small groups or rotating partners. Children will learn about different personalities, and they will start to understand the complexities of interpersonal conflict.
Play and activity. Kindergarten is an opportunity to introduce academic pursuits, but it is also about providing activities for children who are used to moving around and engaging in physical events. The ideal kindergarten experience will include daily fitness opportunities, as well as situations where children can move around and enjoy an active time.
A balanced experience. The goal of kindergarten is to prepare a student academically for the next level, but it is also a chance to introduce children to school in a positive way. As noted by PBS.org, kindergarteners want to understand how the world works. Many kindergarten teachers attempt to create a balance between fun and challenging activities, so that students develop in a way that is positive and encouraging. Not all students have the same experience in kindergarten, but for many students, it is a key year of development before they move on to first grade.