Monday, May 27, 2013

kindergarten wrap-up

Isabel is officially a kindergarten graduate. As much as she loved school, she was definitely ready for summer to start!  I cannot believe that the year is really over.  9 months ago I was sure this would be my longest and most difficult year as a mommy.  I can still clearly remember the feeling of sadness and complete helplessness I felt on the first day of school when I left my baby girl crying in her room surrounded by strangers knowing I would not be with her for the next 7 hours.  I literally thought about her all day, wondering how she was doing and was beyond relieved when she jumped in my van that afternoon with a huge smile on her face.  Throughout the year I worried less about her during the day but still loved the moment when she would jump in the van ready to tell me all about her day!

First day of kindergarten and Last day of kindergarten


Others may not notice a huge change in Isabel but to me she has changed so much this year.  She has grown up and become so much more independent!  In fact, she now refuses to hold my hand when we are walking somewhere.  She informed me that she was just too big for that now.  Yes, there may have been some tears in my eyes. (and yes, I may still force her to hold my hand sometimes...just because)  Although it hurts my heart just a little, I am so proud of my little girl for facing and overcoming so many fears.  She can still be pretty shy in new situations but she is quicker to try new things and talk to new people.  My little girl is growing up.

Academically Isabel has done amazingly well this year.  It was no surprise to us that she absolutely loves learning!!  She was always so excited to come home and share a new skill she learned or a new fact or concept she had been taught.  Her teacher told us multiple times during the year how helpful Isabel has been with the other students.  When she finishes her work before many of the others, her teacher would have her help some students that needed more help.  There were also many times that she helped a Hispanic student who barely spoke English at the beginning of the year with flashcards and sight words.  She tells us often that she wants to be a teacher so she loved getting to help him and was so proud of what he was learning.  At the beginning of kindergarten, Isabel could read most words that she could easily sound out.  However somewhere during that first semester, reading just clicked with her and suddenly she could read anything she wanted.  We have always sayed she had an amazing memory and I think that memory helped her to remember a sight word after only seeing it once or twice.  In January her teacher had her tested and she scored a late 1st grade/early 2nd grade reading level. After that her teacher started her reading more difficult books and then taking reading comprehension tests on them.  Isabel loved it and we are so proud of her!

We have "enjoyed" a little 6 year old girl drama this year but have tried to turn those into learning opportunities about friendships and how to treat people.  Fortunately most of the girls in her class were very sweet and they had fun together.  Many of the boys, however, were pretty wild and not big on following the rules which drove my rule following daughter absolutely crazy!!

Overall it was a good year but I am very thankful for summer and choosing not to think about 1st grade just yet......

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