Past Posts

September 01, 2011

Kindergarten, mother guilt and growing up too much.

Oh, Kindergarten. You are such a shock to the system. I don't know what I was expecting. More Waldorf inspired casual play and wholesome snacks of walnuts and currants? I just wasn't ready for Art to be in an institutional, brick and mortar school no matter how "good" it is. Clearly I wasn't ready. I brought him to Meet the Teacher day yesterday and it was actually the FIRST day of school! And so the boy thought he would be there for an hour with me and agreed to stay for two hours with his class of 27 kids. And he did it like a champ. Even said he had fun and seemed to wear a springier step with his new found independence. Then today he went all day, starting the day with the public school daycare program before his three hour kindergarten class. Here he is getting off the bus, his first school bus ride. He was sure to mention that he was the only "little kid" on the bus. No other kids from his kindergarten rode with him.

I have a tremendous amount of guilt about sending Art to the daycare program, which I imagine is just a holding tank, to the rushed madness that is modern half-day kindergarten and about letting him grow. I said to Ben tonight "I don't want him to grow up so much. He can stop now." Our boys are so beautiful and filled with wonder. I don't want school and tests and curriculum standards to squash even a bit of it!

I thought I wouldn't mind half day kindergarten because I didn't think a five year old needed or even would benefit from being in school for seven hours. That is a long time! But what I have learned is that it is a frenetic three hours of squeezing in a quick morning meeting before going to the Specialist Class (Art, Gym, etc) and returning for the "main lesson". They will also spend time with a literacy tutor and eat a snack, but we were asked not to send them with a large snack since there isn't time for them to finish it. She says they will be read to through their calendar board, colors chart and other activities but may not have time for stories each day. Though there is a treasure trove of middle school kids upstairs that used to come down to read to them there's no time for that with the half-day program. It's everything I can do not to rip him out of there and homeschool. I'm trying to keep a level head. As Ben posted yesterday, emotions are running high. But one person whose emotions seem quite even is Arthur. He seems to be relishing this new experience. He said he was really tired today because he had such a long day and got up so early, but he didn't whine about it. Just stated it. He said he made a friend but he hasn't learned his name yet. Tonight we went to Parent Night and saw a pricture he had drawn to illustrate his "hopes and dreams" for the year. He said he wanted to learn about "flight". Art asked me tonight if we saw his picture. I told him yes and he said that "the dark thing, with all those scribbles and a squiggle on the bottom? That was a feather". And the brown thing on the side? "That was a balloon." I think I should relax now. My mom would be saying, "Well, there you go, Jessie! I think he is telling you that he is fine. Don't go crazy!" And she might also add that guilt is a wasted emotion.

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