5 Cognitive Skills That Are Important for Kindergarten

by Becton Loveless

Kindergarten is a period of tremendous cognitive growth. Children this age are undergoing a large amount of change very quickly, and are learning to see the world in many new and interesting ways. Of all the new abilities and skills that your child is acquiring during this period, there are a handful that are especially important for their sustained progress and well-being.

The 5 Most Important Skills for Kindergarten-Aged Children

1) Speaking in short sentences (5 to 6 words long), and speaking them clearly enough to be understood most of the time.

This skill is absolutely crucial. It will allow your child to become an independent student, who can express their needs, ask and answer questions, and communicate effectively with their classmates and teachers.

2) Telling a story in sequential order.

This skill is a precursor to being able to read and write. Once a child can relate an event in the correct sequence, they will understand the structure of stories more easily, and, as a result, strengthen their ability to communicate more sophisticated ideas and concepts.

3) Counting from 1 to 10, correctly and consistently.

This skill is the foundation of all math, and will come in very handy as your child's kindergarten class begins writing numbers, learning simple addition, understanding the concepts of "more" and "less", and sorting groups of items.

4) Distinguishing between a story and a fact.

Kindergarten students spend a lot of time working with stories. They listen to stories, write their own stories, and read simple stories. Of course, many will be works of fiction, and it will very important for them to understand that not all stories are true. It's important for them to understand and appreciate that factual events are not in the same category as fictional events.

5) Understanding and following multi-step directions.

A typical day at school is full of multi-step directions, and the number of steps will only increase as students grow and progress. In kindergarten, most directions come in a series of two or three steps, and your child will need to be able to understand and follow these directions without too much confusion, and without consistently asking for the directions to be repeated.

Learn more about Kindergarten Readiness

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