I remember reading an article not too long ago, something about kindergarten being the new 1st grade (and 1st grade being the new 2nd grade, etc.). Basically, it was saying that, because students are doing so poorly in school, they've started pushing teachers to start teaching material earlier and earlier, thinking that that will improve things.
My nephew is starting 1st grade. I don't know about this year, but for kindergarten, he was expected to *start* kindergarten knowing 10 sight words and being able to read regular CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant that sound like they look, like pat, sam, sit, man, etc.) words. He knew 25 sight words and suchforth and so-on, so they ended up putting him in an advanced kindergarten class. Yes, they have advanced kindergarten now.
What I remember about kindergarten is doing things like puzzles and games and having "corners" for activities like blocks and dress-up. I'm sure we did stuff with letters and reading, but I have no idea what. I don't remember learning to read at all, I just remember being able to read. My dad says I taught myself when I was very young. I think that unlikely, my guess is that I learned to read in school and it just wasn't visible to Dad, so he doesn't remember. But I don't know for sure, and I have no idea when in school it was taught.
The curriculum I'm using is organized like this for reading levels:
Level K: learning the letters, their sounds, and how to write them. Beginning to read short books of CVC words and easy sight words starting on week 10, gradually getting into simple consonant cluster words like "quest" near the end.
Level 1: very early reader books, like the Cat in the Hat and A Fly Went By
Level 2: slightly more advanced early readers like Frog and Toad Are Friends
Level 3: books like "The Littles," with more advanced story lines but not too difficult to read
Level 4-5: Encyclopedia Brown, Beverly Cleary books, etc.
There is some development within each level, obviously. But that gives you a bit of an idea. And most homeschool curriculums I've looked at seem to be roughly on that level. Of course, you do the level when your child is ready for it, so my 4.5-year-old is halfway through Level K, knowing her letters and their sounds, now working on reading easy books.