What is Kindergarten Like?

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Kindergarten - what happens there?

Feb 2013

I am currently touring preschools (first-time parent) and it occurs to me that I don't know what I'm trying to prepare my child for. I did not go to Kindergarten, I was kept in a Montessori until starting 1st grade. My experience with that, and mind you this was 30 years ago, was very negative - mainly because the kids already knew each other from Kindergarten and I was excluded starting on day one, and also because I had no orientation to the school or how the classroom worked, and found it very challenging to adjust to. So, I definitely want my child to go to Kindergarten, either public or private, we're not sure at this point. What happens in Kindergarten? Is it like a more structured preschool? Do they still get some free-play like art and blocks/toys? Or do they sit at desks like in 1st grade? I'm looking for very current information, what is Kindergarten like now, not how it was 10 or even 5 years ago - I've heard it's ''the new 1st grade''?? Does it depend on the Kindergarten (public vs private)? Here's my specific concern - if my child is in a play-based preschool where he is never told to sit and do a specific task, will he be totally unprepared for Kindergarten? Appreciate any input on this! Thinking ahead

Yes, K is like the new 1st grade, but at the same time, they still do have free time for lounging in the corner reading books (or looking at the pictures as the case may be), playing with blocks, drawing with crayons, etc. In my experience in OUSD, they do not sit in rows of desks. Rather, they spend a lot of time on the rug, and are only at the tables when they are doing specific tasks, like writing, or scissors, or painting. They are read to daily. They definitely spend more time on academics than we did 30 years ago, but they are still learning how to line up, take turns, not speak out of turn, etc. So I wouldn't worry about this or that preschool not preparing your child for kindy. Just being in a group setting away from mommy is preparation enough. 2x kindy mom