What should my child know at the end of  Kindergarten before entering Primary School ?

The objective of Kindergarten is not to teach your Child  to read perfectly, but to prepare the ground for reading, to give him/her desire to learn reading  and to give him/her  very solid bases so that he/she will be able to read without difficulty within the first year of the Primary School. Nevertheless  the bases given during pre-school will enable some Children to start reading even before entering Primary School.

Visual recognition : your Child  should be able to:
*  locate letters identical to a model: if  you  ask him/her to circle all  “b's" among other letters, he/she must identify the b's among other letters and not confuse them with “p”, “q”,or “d”…
* put in the right order mixed letters of a word of which he/she has the model.
* locate a letter in a word: if you ask him/her to circle the “E's" in 5 different words for example…
*  locate a word among others: if I give the model “MOM”, he/she has to be able to  circle the words “MOM” even if they are placed among other  resembling words, like “TOM”. 
* recompose a sentence whose words are mixed and of which he/she has the model.

Most frequently occurring difficulties and solutions: 
* confusion and inversion of letters: the child circles “Q” whereas the model is “P”, he circles “ON” whereas the model is “N0”. I point out to him/her that the place of the letters is important as well as their meaning.
*lack of concentration and method: the child looks at the exercise vaguely and circles a letter when he/she sees one identical to the model, he/she forgets other letters. He/she circles words which resemble the model. I show the children that it is necessary to look at each letter and to compare it with the model,  line after line. For the words, I teach them  how to take simple reference marks: look at the first and at the last letter, at the size of the word…

Auditive recognition.  Your Child should be able to :      

* hear with which sound a word starts  if it is a sound like “A, E, I, O, U”.  For example, he/she must be able to notice that "April" starts with “A” and “Igloo” with “I” . 
* hear with which syllable a word starts. If you say what do you hear first in the word  “rabbit”, he/she must be able to say I hear “ra” and to find other words which begin with "ra". If you give him/her to classify words beginning with “Pa” and  other with “Po”, he/she must be able to do it. 
* say which vowel he/she hears in a word made up of simple syllables like “carpet” “pupil”.
* recognize the sound of  consonants studied  during lessons  “m”, “p”, “s”, “r”, “t”…
*recognize with which consonant a word starts if it is  one of the consonants studied with the teacher.

The most frequently occurring difficulties and solutions:
* the child does not have a good ear or does not understand what is expected from him/her. Only training will make  him/her  progress. At the end of the year, all children succeed in hearing the vowels at the beginning of a word and the syllables too. But to say which vowel is contained in  a specific word is more difficult! Some children cannot do it. To recognize with the ear the consonants which make a word is not easy for a child who does not have a good ear: he/she will more easily hear the beginning of the word, but not inside the word.

the combination of letters (to understand that “b” and “a” do "ba")

*  write a syllable dictated picked out of the syllables studied during lessons (my, me, semi, mo, driven, pa…)

* write a simple word made of 2 studied syllables: “motor ”, “baby”...

The most frequently occurring difficulties and solutions:

Each child  has a  different rythm of understanding : the comprehension  of  the " system of combination of letters to make syllables” occurs at a different time for each child. Once this system is acquired, the child is almost a  reader or will soon become one.
* if the child does not know the vowels, and the sound which they make, he/she cannot understand the mechanism.
*it is necessary then that he/she understands that  consonants make sounds, a different sound for each  consonant, and that associated with a vowel, they make syllables. He/she has to keep in mind which sound is obtained with a consonant. At the end of the Kindergarten , between 2/3 and 3/4 of  children understand the mechanism, 1/4 will understand it during first year at Primary School.

During the pre-school time you  should not urge him/her to learn  reading  if he/she does not want to. On the contrary, you should not answer him/her “you will see that when you are older” if he/she raises questions about  reading.

Knowledge of the alphabet

* know the alphabet by heart.
* recognize all letters of the alphabet written in capital letters, even when they are presented in  disorder, and  name them . 
* know that there are 2 other writings (script and cursive or small letters ), and  know as many letters as possible in these writings, in particular vowels.

The most frequently occurring difficulties and solutions:

*Some children do not manage to memorize the name of the letters as soon as they are shown in disorder. Remedies:  puzzles with letters, alphabetical  puzzles where a  picture is associated to the letter, games on the computer…