As They Grow: Kindergarten Benchmarks

As a homeschooler – or even as a parent – have you found yourself wondering how to gauge your child’s development and learning?

No two kids are alike – all kids learn and develop differently, even children in the same age groups. It’s what makes all kids so special and unique but it also makes it difficult to figure out how children are performing.

However, these “kindergarten benchmarks” from Educents experts can be great guidelines to help you figure out where your kindergarteners might need a bit of your support, or where they might be gifted!


Kindergarten Benchmarks At A Glance

  • Kids should begin to learn how to read social cues.
  • They should start to understand and recognize complex emotions.
  • Kids should learn to empathize with both the new peers and adults.
  • Kindergarteners should get a head start on counting and basic addition and subtraction!
  • They should learn about quantitative things like height, distance, and weight.
  • They should begin to take an interest in reading short simple stories.
  • Kindergarteners should be able to retell familiar stories!


Kindergarten is often kids’ first introduction to formal schooling. It’s often their first time interacting with new and diverse groups of peers and adults. It can be a little scary at first!

Social and Emotional Growth Chart

It’s hard for children this age to express themselves effectively or say exactly the right things. But, kindergarten is where the building blocks for self-awareness and emotional management are laid.


Emotional Management

As kids find themselves surrounded by new friends and mentors, it’s important that they learn to differentiate their emotions and to express them in socially acceptable ways.

Meeting so many new and different people can be overwhelming. As kids navigate their way through these new emotions it’s important that they learn to recognize more complex emotions like embarrassment, disappointment, frustration etc. Of course, they’ll need you to help steer the boat!

Something they should begin to understand: nobody benefits from a tantrum!



kids empathy
Your kindergarteners should also start learning to empathize! They may not understand how to apply empathy to all their conversations yet, but they should begin to learn how to read social cues and respond accordingly.

These skills will help your little tots learn to forge meaningful friendships with their peers and learn respect for their elders!

The Academic Growth Chart

While your little ones expand their social world, they’re also laying the foundations to their academic success. They’re learning to read and do math in a much more formal way than they might have done before!


Counting down Little boy counting with fingers

  • Kindergarteners should be able to count to 100 by ones and by tens, and be able to read, say-out-loud, and write these numbers – in both numeral and word form!
  • They should be able to translate these counting skills to counting objects in groups as well.
  • By the end of kindergarten, they should be able to add and subtract numbers at least up to 20.
  • It is especially important that kids understand the concepts of addition and subtraction as “combining with” and “taking away.” That logic will help them lay the foundation to understand the most complex ideas of multiplication and division.
  • One thing kindergarteners will learn to understand from watching you, and other mentors is to add using their hands!
  • Some other concepts that your kindergarteners should begin to grasp: weight, length, height, and distance!
  • By the end of kindergarten, your little learners should also know their basic shapes: squares, triangles, circles, etc.!

Reading and Writing Benchmarkscontent

While they are building some impressive math skills, other kindergarten benchmarks include working on their understanding of the English language along with their reading and writing skills!

  • Kindergarteners should know their alphabet and learn to associate different letters with sounds – sounding out some simple three letter words (bigger ones if they’re ready!).
  • They should also begin to take an interest in hearing stories, and reading stories on their own – with your help if needed of course.
  • With this newfound understanding of simple books and stories – your kindergarteners should learn to capitalize and use lowercase where and when needed (don’t worry if it takes some time!).
  • The most fun skill they will learn during this formative time in their life will be retelling stories – telling you how their day went, or a funny thing that happened in their math class!

Kindergarten is one of the most formative years of your kids’ lives. This is where they lay the foundation to building academic, and social and emotional success. As they begin to broaden their world to include more types of people from more and more walks of life – they will need you more than ever.

It’s important to see how kids perform with these kindergarten benchmarks, but the most important thing is to be supportive. If your kindergartener needs a bit of math help, or a little extra time sounding out a particularly difficult word – the most wonderful thing you can do is to be there for them!