Friday, January 22, 2016

The Kindergarten Jitters

The year I have been dreading is finally here.  2016.  My oldest girl is going to be turning 5 this spring.  You know what that means?  This fall she is going to go to school.  :'(  For the past few years we've done our own little version of homeschooling and I've half had it in me that once kindergarten came we would continue our homeschool journey.  However as the time draws nearer it has become more apparent that homeschooling just isn't a good fit for us.

Days are stressful around here.  With three kids 4 and under things get hectic fast and it's hard to give your undivided attention to just one child at a time, especially with something so important as their education.  We try to keep some sort of schedule but more often than not, we just go with the flow and get things done when we can.  Last year for Christmas, my Aunt gifted the kids a subscription to ABC Mouse.  This website has been great and the kids love playing on it.  I aim to get them each on it for 20 minutes a day but that's a stretch because Samantha thinks the iPad is just for youtube videos!!  I'm also a huge fan of workbooks and have acquired quite the collection.  Each day I choose 2-3 worksheets each for Samantha and Zach to complete but sitting quietly one at a time is nearly impossible.  Someone else is bound to be crying or demanding of my attention.  Each evening before bed Samantha and I do a reading lesson from our favorite book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  I won't get into the book too much because that isn't the point of this post but it has been a great tool for teaching Samantha how to read.  We are only 12 lessons in so far because the first two times we tried, I felt she wasn't ready yet.  However, I think the 3rd time is the charm because she has been doing great!  Between these three things and other various apps and videos I think they have a good foundation, however, I know I could still be doing better.  I would absolutely love to be the one in charge of my children's education but it would be doing them a disservice to keep them home when I can't give them 100%.

Back to school though, I can't get over how quickly the past 5 years have flown by.  The thing that pulls my heartstrings the most is how much time our children spend in school.  I know it's what is required and needed but they're gone for over 7 hours a day!!  Starting this fall, Samantha will be spending more time with her teacher than she will with her own mother.  This is it, 13 years of school at home and then she's off to college.  In 7 months, my days of spending all my time with her is over for the rest of her life.  How heartbreaking is that?  For the past 4 years and 9 months I have spent every day with her.  The only times we've really been apart is when I've been in the hospital giving birth to her younger siblings and even then I saw her every day.  She's done a one week long Vacation Bible School camp for the past 2 summers where she is in the care of others for 3 hours a day, but besides that, she's never been in a school setting before (where I am not there with her as is the case with our weekly church class).  I pray we get a teacher we love which I know will help us both feel much more comfortable.  Last week I took an unofficial tour of the school she will be attending which did help me to feel better, but once we learn who her teacher will be and get to meet her/him I think (or rather HOPE!) that I will feel more confident in our decision to send her to public school.  For now though, I will just enjoy every moment we have together, plan lots of fun things for us to do, and try not to think too much about the tears that will no doubt be falling on that first day of school.

Has your oldest child gone off to kindergarten yet?  Send me some of your favorite tips for making this most difficult transition!!

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

Aww, this made me cry. You know I'm here for you and I think she's going to THRIVE in school! I think you are doing fabulous with her and she's going to be more then ready for Kindergarten! She's a smart kid!