I think he last year she has grown up so much. She can read so well compared to just 9 months ago when she had to sound out almost every word. Now she breezes through level 1 and level 2 books. She had no problem making friends (that's what kids do best!). And she has become independent and more responsible.
We will definitely do things a little different next time around. The lists on Pinterest were way off from what we experienced. Kindergarten is way more intense these days. I remember learning my letters, numbers, days of the week, ect. Kids are expected to already know these things.
Here is my list of things you child should know before kindergarten.
1. Know all the letters and their sounds. Be able to sound out unfamiliar short words.
2. Know how to spell and write at least their first name, first and last is even better.
3. Start learning sight words (like is, am, but, it, etc). Tori had to recognize and spell 50 sight words by the end of the year. They had a SPELLING TEST each trimester on the words they had been practicing. This was definitely the hardest part for her.
4. Be well on their way to counting to 100 (and be able to do it counting by ones, twos, fives and tens).
5. Be able to dress themselves (tuck in shirts, do belts, put on their own shoes and coats).
6. Be able to open common prepackaged foods (milk container, apple sauce, gogurt, ect). There is only one or two adults supervising lunch so the little ones can't rely on help.
7. Understand how they will be going home each day. We did a mixture of after school care and car rider so it was very important we told her each day how she was coming home.
8. Know how to sharpen a pencil!
9. Understand time limits. Tori struggles with this still, she likes to take her time with everything. Introduce timing devices before kinder so you child understands what they mean.
10. Know how to use scissors. The kids are expected to already know this when they start school and they use them almost every day.
11. Learn to love books and reading. Don't get rid of your "baby books" just yet. They are great material for new readers. Rereading familiar books is great for confidence and word recognition. Have your child read to you EVERY night! Just do it! They have to practice reading every day to stay on track.
12. Start having your child write stories. Tori refused to write words she didn't know how to spell at the beginning so she was writing very little in class. Once she understood that it was ok to spell things wrong she started writing wonderful stories. Writing a story and illustrating it starts almost immediately in kindergarten. This was one of the biggest surprises to me!
13. Your child should be confident in themselves. They should know that they are going to be learning a lot and that they can do it. They need to know you are proud of them and that they are doing a good job. Positive reinforcement of learning should start way before school starts.
Once they start school a whole new world openes up for them. Prepare to be amazed at how quickly your baby will learn! I am so proud of this little girl and everything she has accomplished this year!