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What Your Child Should Learn From Kindergarten To 6th Grade

Updated on September 3, 2016

As you mature in age, wisdom is one of your best friends, your occasional cogitation consist of wishing to have that maturity of mind when you were “younger”. This aspiration is similar to what I often desired as it relates to my daughter’s education. I knew nothing about the education system, what it aspired to, grade level expectations or how to ensure a quality education for my child. As a result my daughter’s promotion from grade to grade was always an unknown frontier. Having the presence of mind with what my child should learn in every grade would have been a tremendous help. Consequently, let’s take a look at elementary school grade by grade and see if it can be of help to single parents who are busy working two and three jobs in order to survive.

The Mommy World Of Kindergarten

This level begins the foundation stage for any education. Within this initial learning a strong educational foundation can mean success or hardship in college. In this classroom your child learns what experts call the “basics”, without it your child will fail every grade level.

In this classroom you are sure to hear a tiny one call her teacher “mommy”. It is guaranteed at least once a day. Students at this age exist in momism, and often transference occurs with any adult that they are in frequent contact with. So, yes if they have a male teacher, they will inadvertently call him mommy. If and when you go to kindergarten orientation you are sure to get a list of supplies; this list can provide some insight into what kindergartners will learn. In fact all grade levels offer a preliminary school list supply with recommended items to purchase.

In kindergarten, your child assimilates and frequently learns social skills such as cooperation, cultural diversity, and sharing. Teachers introduce students to the concept of respect for people’s property, space and rights. This grade demands a gifted teacher whose aptitude extends to communicating well with little children. This learning level poses as a challenge to many teachers; most teachers try to avoid this grade. Therefore, parents should try to be understanding and patient with kindergarten teachers. Imagine having to teach 10 or more post toddler students who are me oriented with very little social skills.

The academic work in kindergarten consist of introduction to the alphabets and numbers. A lot of songs and games help with these teachings. The tiny students learn basic sight words that consist of propositions and single consonants. Math work begins with counting from 1 to 100 and then advances to single digit addition. Penmanship consist of tracing and independent writing of alphabets and single or two letter words. As you review your child’s writing and notice that his letters appear backward do not despair, experts declare this way of writing is normal for first timers. This is adaptive and does not indicate a learning disability. The reading process incorporates phonics and rhymes. By the end of the school year your little angel should be able to identify the features of a book – the front and back cover, the author, title and the story line. A skilled teacher is expected to manage this classroom of kids even as they tend to be more mobile, active and agitated. Hence when you work in your child’s room do not be surprise when you observe two or more sectioned out areas. This approach is a great adaptation technique for highly active students.

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First Grade

In this classroom setting students have a very structured academic pattern. Discipline and focus takes over in this grade level. Therefore, if a strong kindergarten education is not in place, this grade can be a struggle for child and parent. Teachers do understand that sometimes this early schooling loses strength and will begin each school year reinforcing all kindergarten concepts for the first month and then aggressively progress to academic subjects such as language arts, social studies, math, reading and writing skills.

Your little angel will have exposure to poetry, narrative and prose in fiction and nonfiction format. His reading skills will extend to chapter books. At the end of the year he will write single sentences, know the second level of sight words such as “they” and “which”. If you ask him to get a quarter out of your purse he can do it, because his teacher covered money recognition as well as the telling of time. His mastery of addition and subtraction along with understanding the concept of equal to, greater or less than takes hold. Expect homework at this grade level. Occasionally kindergartners receive homework but it is at first grade level where teachers stress the importance of completed homework. Students are sometimes graded on homework.

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Second Grader

At this stage in your child’s education he grows into a more sophisticated thinker. There will be demands for him to write stories as well as be an advance reader. His teacher will ask him to relate the stories he read to people and events in his life. He tackles math mentally as his penmanship expands to single line entries as appose to the double line entries of first grade. Your seven year old will have homework assignments and at times become hidebound on how to organize them. Your second grader demands accuracy and perfection and will need help remaining focus to complete assignments.

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Third Grade

Here memorization of the multiplication table, solving of single digit multiplication problems, addition and subtraction of two digit numbers and if time allows basic division and fraction problems appear on the blackboard daily. In language art your child learns sentence structure and paragraph building. Spelling skills are developed as students dive completely into cursive writing. History is briefly introduced and the concept of science begins. This grade begins the takings of the “standardized test”. The results of this test predicts whether or not your child transfers to the next grade level.

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Fourth Graders

History, science, and social studies appear on the blackboard on a regular basis. Your child will read daily about topics and concepts. His reading skills play an important role on how well he learns. Writing skills mandate special attention since on the standardized test children get to demonstrate this ability. Math work books contain fractions, complex division problems, word problems, and various types of measurements. Teachers enjoy this grade level since these students work independently with eagerness and vigor.

Fifth Grade

In this grade your child fully realizes his independence and it reflects in classroom assignments. Teachers request more book reports as well as additional reading. Assignments are picked at, reviewed, with demands for revisions which help development your child’s cognitive and writing abilities. Your child’s attention surges towards basic geometry, decimals, more fractions, and percentages. He advances towards government history and the basic concept of economics. Science a more sophisticated pursuit consists of experiments.

Sixth graders/Middle School

In this grade your child will move from class to class to learn science, math, history, reading and writing. This grade level goes under the category of the middle school years which means dealing with students and their raging hormones. Middle school teachers, similar to kindergarten teachers, need extensive support. This is a hard to focus period for kids that is, had to focus academically. They seem to focus just fine on the opposite sex. Pre-algebra starts at this grade level and as you can image every subject is taken to the next level of learning. Hence, expect more reading, writing, reports and yes more homework. This is the heavy backpack grade since your child will have “hardcover textbooks” to trek back and forth to different classes.

This is a short list of what to expect from kindergarten through 6th grade for more detailed and in-depth information visit any community library and go to the reference section for a series of books on what every child should know per grade level.


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    • Flipsgeraldine profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Marshall 

      3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      georgialgal1984 glad to hear you connected with the substance of the article. Thanks for sharing.

    • georgialgal1984 profile image

      Mrs Clark 

      3 years ago from United States

      Great, in depth article! I have four children in elementary school at them moment, so I can relate to a lot of what you shared. Hope you have a great day!


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