1. Reading fluently and with comprehension.
A child should be able to read fluently, meaning they can read aloud at a natural pace without stumbling or pausing, and with comprehension, meaning they understand what they are reading. Some common strategies to improve reading fluency include reading out loud, reading fast passages aloud, and breaking down words into individual sounds. To improve comprehension, a child should be familiar with the main idea of the text as well as the supporting details. They can do this by reading the text multiple times, making predictions about what will happen next, and answering questions about the text.
2. Writing legibly and with correct grammar.
A child should be able to write legibly, meaning their writing is easy to read, and with correct grammar, meaning their sentences are properly constructed. To improve writing legibility, a child can practice printing neatly and using good handwriting habits. To improve grammar, a child can learn the different parts of speech and how to use them correctly in sentences.
3. Mathematics, including basic operations, fractions, decimals, and percentages.
A child should be able to perform basic mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They should also be able to understand fractions, decimals, and percentages. In order to understand fractions, a child should know that a fraction is simply a division of two whole numbers (e.g., 1/2 = 1 ÷ 2). To understand decimals, they should know that a decimal is just another way of writing a fraction where the numerator (top number) is 10 or greater (e.g., 0.5 = 5 ÷ 10). And finally, in order to understand percentages, a child should know that a percentage is just another way of writing a fraction where the numerator is 100 (e.g., 50% = 50 ÷ 100).
4. Scientific method and reasoning.
A child should be able to think scientifically and reason logically. This includes understanding that scientific knowledge is always provisional (that it may change as new evidence is discovered) and using evidence to support or refute hypotheses. A child can develop scientific thinking skills by asking questions about things they observe in the world around them, testing hypotheses through experiments, and analyzing data collected from experiments.
5. Social studies, including geography, civics/government, economics, and history.
A child should be familiar with basic social studies concepts such as geography, civics/government, economics, and history. Geographic literacy includes understanding basic map skills such as reading a map key/legend and using latitude and longitude. Civics/government literacy includes understanding the concept of citizenship and the different levels of government in the United States (local, state, and federal). Economics literacy includes understanding basic economic concepts such as goods and services, supply and demand, and wants versus needs. History literacy includes understanding the concept of change over time as well as important historical events and figures.
6. Language arts skills, including understanding literature and writing essays.
A child should be able to understand different types of literature such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. They should also be able to write essays, which are a type of nonfiction writing that tells a story or argues a point. In order to understand literature, a child can read different types of books and discuss them with others. To improve essay writing skills, a child can practice brainstorming ideas, organizing thoughts into paragraphs, and using transitions between paragraphs.
7. Fine arts education in music, theater, dance, or visual arts.
A child should be able to think critically, which means they can analyze information and make judgments based on evidence. Critical thinking skills can be developed by teaching children how to ask questions, identify assumptions, and evaluate arguments. Additionally, children can learn how to think critically by participating in activities that require them to solve problems or make decisions.
8. Physical education and health.
A child should be able to manage their time and money effectively. Time management skills include planning ahead, setting goals, and prioritizing tasks. Money management skills include budgeting, saving, and spending wisely. Children can develop life skills by participating in activities that require them to plan and execute a task within a certain timeframe or with a limited amount of resources. Additionally, children can learn life skills by observing adults who model good time management and money management habits.
9. Technology skills, including using computers and the Internet safely and efficiently.
A child should be familiar with basic office suite software such as word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation software. They should also know how to conduct online searches using a search engine such as Google. Technology skills can be developed by practicing using different types of software and conducting online searches for information. Additionally, children can learn about technology by observing adults who use technology in their everyday lives.
10. Foreign language skills, if applicable.
A child should be able to work effectively in a team and communicate clearly with others. Teamwork skills include cooperating with others, compromise, and conflict resolution. Communication skills include listening, speaking, and writing. Interpersonal skills can be developed by participating in activities that require children to work together towards a common goal. Additionally, children can learn interpersonal skills by observing adults who model good teamwork and communication habits.