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6 Things Your Kid Should Know Before Kindergarten

It seems like it was just yesterday when I gave birth to my daughter, Princess. Now she's gearing up to attend kindergarten in the fall.

There is so much preparation involved. Granted, I attended kindergarten in Jamaica so this experience is not only a first for her, it's also a first-time experience for me too. And I'm blown away at how much preparation is involved.

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A few weeks ago, I received a message from my daughter's school that she needed to attend a kindergarten screening. The faculty member stated that they would ask her simple questions to figure out where to place her. I couldn't imagine our little girl having any difficulties because we've been homeschooling, in addition to her attending preschool for the past few years.

According to Core Standards, kindergarteners are required to learn things like prepositions, verbs and nouns. So, they have to enter kindergarten already knowing the basics among other things as well.

This new standard is one of the main reasons why I decided to quit my full-time job.

That said, here are 6 things your child should know before attending kindergarten:

1. Home phone number

At 4 years old, Princess had no knowledge of our home phone number. For the record, neither do I. I know that's pretty sad, but we really don't use a landline these days. So for the past few weeks we've been teaching her our cell phone numbers.

2. Home address

Princess knew the name of our street and town we live, but she didn't know the zip code.

3. How to spell and write your name

All those days working on letters have paid off. She has no problems spelling and writing her name.

4. Colors and shapes

I remember hearing that you learn colors and shapes in kindergarten. Now it seems as though you should already know it by the first day of school.

5. Independence

Children should already know how to brush their teeth, use the bathroom, wash hands and dress themselves. The teacher emphasized that there is no hand holding and they encourage students to do things on their own.

6. Recognize simple words

We've actually been working with Princess on sight words for awhile now and she can read on her own.

Despite being ready academically, I was shocked to learn how ill-prepared we were in terms of knowing personal information and that they would get this in-depth. Parents aren't allowed to sit in on the screening process. However, Princess did fill me in on the types of questions she was asked.

I just assumed they'd ask her to identify colors and shapes, see if she knew the alphabet, and how to count from 1 to 10. Princess knows all those things like the back of her hand and she can count beyond 200 at this point.

With Common Core being an educational standard, my husband and I want to make sure we stay on top of everything. I've spoken to other parents who have expressed concern over the new educational guidelines. They believe that kids should focus more on play and less on eduction during the first few years. I certainly agree that kids should have fun, but education is extremely important and kids should begin early.

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This new standard is one of the main reasons why I decided to quit my full-time job. Our daughter's education is critical, and even though she'll be able to opt out of the Common Core exams when she gets older, I'd still like to be there to help her through these crucial years.

Should kids be doing so much in pre-k/kindergarten?

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