Recently, you wrote about kindergartens being far more academic. In my kindergarten class, the children are expected to master a great deal by the end of the year. In the area of reading, the expectation is that they recognize all upper- and lower-case letters out of sequence, as well as all beginning consonant sounds, short vowel sounds and three digraphs: ch, th and sh. They should be able to spell simple three-letter words with the appropriate vowel sound in the middle. All of our students are also expected to identify rhyming words. When the students read or an adult reads to them, they should be able to point to each word as it is read.

I have 17 children this year, and 13 of the children can read. The four who are not reading came as non-English speakers, and three have just about mastered all requirements except reading, which we hope to have as a goal, but is not a requirement for kindergarten students.

By the end of the year in math, the children are expected to count in a variety of ways - at least to 30 by ones, to 110 by 10s, to 100 by fives and backward from 10 to one. They are expected to understand patterns, sort and classify, recognize and draw shapes, identify coins, tell time to the hour, and add and subtract. They not only write numbers, but after using concrete materials can write the number fact to go along with their work. - Kindergarten Teacher


Thanks for your input, demonstrating that today's kindergartens are more academic. This is largely because of the push for higher standards. Redshirting children also plays a role in some communities.