I know it seems a little early to talk about kindergarten but, some schools are already beginning enrollment for the 2015-2016 school year.

Children are required to go into kindergarten with certain tasks already learned. If you are older than 25, you probably went into kindergarten with little to no education. You may have known your colors and the ABC's but anything beyond that was rare.

Children now are required to master several skills before kindergarten. If children enter kindergarten don't have these skills, teachers and parents spend the next 2 years catching them up.

As a parent there is nothing worse than realizing your child is starting out behind. I've learned a lot about my children's education in the last 3 years. Here is the top 15 things every child should know before entering Kindergarten.

  1. Be able to state first and last name when asked.
  2. Be able to write first name with first letter upper case and remaining letters lower case.
  3. Use appropriate three-finger grasp when using writing instruments (pencils, crayons and scissors)
  4. Count to at least thirty and tells what number comes before or after a given number to 20.
  5. Know all the letters in their first name.
  6. Identify basic geometric shapes (triangle, circle, square, rectangle, oval, star, rhombus (diamond) and heart)
  7. Know basic colors (red, blue, green, yellow, orange, purple, black, white, brown, pink)
  8. Identify numerals 1-10 in random order.
  9. Make most letter/sound matches.
  10. Identify most upper and lower case letters.
  11. Use finger to accurately touch count items to ten.
  12. Knows concepts of print (front and back of book, which page comes first, track words left to right).
  13. Be able to rhyme words.
  14. Retells simple stories in sequence.
  15. When given a word (“man”) and a new beginning sound (/f/), creates the familiar word (“fan”)

This list can be overwhelming for some kids and come naturally to others. I am not an expert when it come to raising kids, but if I could give parents one piece of advice about education it would be to start early and be involved.