Tag Archives: kindergarten

Renegade Folder

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Today was Lily’s first day of kindergarten, and it went well enough. We are lucky enough to be in a district that is still half-day. Many of the districts around us have switched to all-day every-other-day and it’s sort of a disaster in daycare/child exhaustion/consistency. I prefer half-day every day over that. I think full-day kindergarten can be rough for kids who are so little.

There were a couple of mishaps today, though. The bus Lily came home on arrived at our house more than 30 minutes late. I figured the bus would be 15 minutes late because of the new routine, but 30 minutes induced some panic, especially because Lily was the ONLY student from our neighborhood coming home at lunch time. I had no other parents there to keep me calm, panicked or entertained. I was stuck outside in the scorching heat without our school’s phone number (my cell phone is not of the smart variety). I’d left Violet napping in the house and I was terrified she’d wake up. I had the baby monitor, but what if she woke up? What if I missed the bus by going inside to get Violet? They don’t let kindergartners off the bus without a parent present to pick them up. What if this bus never came! What if Lily never got on the bus?

Rose was getting very antsy, especially because we went out to the bus stop 10 minutes early. All told we were outside waiting for at least 40 minutes. I sent Rose back to our house to play with chalk in the driveway, but she kept disappearing into the garage. What if my distraction over this bus meant I missed seeing Rose get abducted from across the street? I felt like I was out of control of all three of my children! None of them were even on the same side of the street as me!

But Lily eventually did come home. And the bus ride should theoretically be much shorter tomorrow.

Poor Lily did not escape kindergarten unscathed though. I got my first incident report! Apparently while loading her bookbag to come home, Lily poked herself in the eye with a folder! She got herself really good too. Her eyeball looks ok, but all the skin around her eye is swollen and red. She might have a shiner tomorrow!

She handled her day great until at bedtime when I almost poked her in the OTHER eye with a book. I laughed and said, “Oh my gosh! I almost got your other eye! That would have been a disaster! What would you do with two poked eyes?!” and she burst into tears. Oops.

Aside from the probable poked eye tears at school, those were are only tears of the first day of kindergarten. After three years of every day half-day preschool, having Lily go to kindergarten isn’t really all that different. I didn’t get emotional about it at all. Maybe I’m missing some parenting chip, but we knew it was coming and it was time. Everything will be ok as long as we keep her away from all those dangerous folders out there.

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Red Tape

Lily starts kindergarten in about a week. This has been a long time coming, especially since we decided to “redshirt” her and wait to send her to kindergarten until she was almost 6 years old. Her birthday is 25 days before the cut-off in our school district, but at least 35 days AFTER the cut-off in every surrounding school district. It was a tough decision, but I’m fairly confident it was the right one. I guess I won’t know until… well, possibly never. Any problem we have with school this year we could have easily had last year.

I’ve been filling out kindergarten forms like crazy. The forms range from logical to upsetting. The most upsetting form was one where I had to guaranty someone would be here at the house if they let school out early because of an emergency. If there was an emergency, they wouldn’t have time to call and warn the parents. If I can’t guaranty I’ll be home during that emergency, I’m supposed to send my child to another friend or relative who can confirm that they will be home.

Who the hell can guaranty they will be home during the 15 hours a week their child is in kindergarten? It’s ludicrous! I signed that paperwork, but seriously, how the hell can I guaranty I won’t be running an errand if this rare emergency send-home happens? Am I supposed to sit home 15 hours a week while two out of three of my children basically have childcare JUST IN CASE they randomly send one of them home? No. That’s not going to happen.

So here’s hoping in the rare event that they send my child home during an emergency, I’m actually here. Because I’m psychic and will totally know that they’re doing it, apparently. I’ll give Lily further instruction on what to do if that doesn’t work out (neighbors), but yeesh.

Then there were the medical forms. Since Lily has a food allergy (We think? She’s being retested TOMORROW!!!!), we had double the insane amount of medical forms because doctors need to sign off on both Benadryl and Epi-Pens.

When I printed out the medical paperwork this morning, I was admittedly late. I’ll bet 99% of the other kindergarten parents also printed out said paperwork this very week. All hail the mighty busy pediatricians this week. They deserve a break! But I was shocked looking at the paperwork that it said it was “to be completed at your child’s physical”.

Was I to take that literally? Because I have no physical lined up. We only get one well-child visit per year and it has to be more than one year after the previous well-child visit. We aren’t due for another physical until late September (more paperwork!).

I panicked. Then I called the administration building, where I was informed that “obviously” the doctor will fill out the paperwork based on my child’s LAST physical.

Oh. Obviously. That’s why it said “to be completed AT your child’s physical”. Obviously. Get an editor, school system.

And then I discovered that we had to have paperwork filled out by her dentist. Because teeth are SO important to her learning, I guess.

I mean, seriously, why? WHY? I understand the medical forms. The school needs to know our kid’s health history in case something goes wrong. They also need to make sure kids are vaccinated, which I think is important. But dental forms? How many teeth emergencies are kids going to have at school? I mean, sure, a kid could knock a tooth out and then it would be a tooth emergency (been there), but otherwise, WHAT? Why does the dentist need to pre-authorize my child to come to school?!

I guess it’s probably to make sure we’ve all taken our kids to dentists by now, but still. I find the dental form ridiculous and just another excuse to make parents run ALL over the place before school starts.

Dental forms? REALLY?

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Preschool Graduate

Due to a fall birthday and my being overzealous about getting her out of the house when she stopped napping, Lily just spent as much time in preschool as she will in middle school. Nearly 3 years ago, I sent Lily to preschool and on Thursday she finally “graduated”.
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It’s crazy to think that in this amount of time I went from elementary school to high school, yet my child only transitioned from preschool to kindergarten! She spent all three years in the same program, but never seemed to get bored with it and came out knowing MUCH more than when she started.

On Lily’s first day of preschool, I spent the whole three hours feeling lost without her. She’d almost never been away from me. I was also terrified she’d have an accident. She was barely potty trained in time and probably not well potty trained enough to be there, but her teacher was understanding and she somehow made it through that first semester. It wasn’t until that first semester was almost over that her teacher told me that Lily never talked to any of the teachers there! She didn’t really speak at school until the second semester.

Times have changed. Now Lily never shuts up at school, especially when she’s talking to a teacher. She’s a totally different person than the shy, scared not-quite 3 year old I dropped off almost 3 years ago. She can read, write and add. She has a sense of history and understands the community. She has friends. The potty is no longer an issue (though I’m still always on edge about it. Will that ever change?)

This year was particularly special because for the only time in their lives Lily and Rose were in the same classroom. Lily taught Rose how to be a good preschooler and they loved attending class together.

In August, a new chapter begins. Lily will start her formal education at our local public school while Rose continues on at the same preschool without her. Lily’s classes will be less about playing and more about learning.

When did I get an elementary school aged child in my house? Even though Lily was qualified for kindergarten last year and I delayed it, it’s still impossible to believe my little girl is old enough to go to kindergarten. I have vague memories of preschool, but I remember kindergarten well. How did we get here?

And if these three years of preschool flew by this quickly, how soon will elementary school be over? Am I going to wake up tomorrow and have a college graduate?

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High Praise

We’ve been endlessly debating “redshirting” Lily for kindergarten with her early September birthday. The cut-off for our school district is 9/30, which means we will not be having this debate with Rose’s October birthday. Lily is academically advanced for her age, but I worry most about the social issues of being the youngest. In my experience of being bright and the youngest, being smart only gets you so far in life. Social skills play so much into happiness and success that I’m leaning heavily toward “holding her back”– though I don’t consider it holding her back really when all the school systems that surround us actually have cut-offs BEFORE her birthday. We could very well move to another school district with a 7/30 or 8/30 cut off someday. If that happened, she would be the youngest by A LOT.

FYI Lily’s opinion is that she wants to go to kindergarten when she’s 6 because that’s when three of her preschool friends are going. When I mention she might go next year, she gets upset about it… not that the 4 year old should get to decide, but that means something to me.

Here is the conversation that went down in our playroom shortly before I wrote this:

Me: Rose’s birthday is only one month later than Lily’s and we would have no doubts about waiting to send her! In fact, we wouldn’t be allowed to send her and she’s just as smart as Lily is!

Lily: Rose is smarter than me! She’s a lot smarter than me!

Me: Oh yeah? Why do you think that?

Lily: Because she’s a good, good girl and a smart girl! She knows lots of things!

Dr. Toy Warden: You do realize you are about to be quoted for your mom’s blog…

I think it’s hilarious that Lily thinks her sister is smarter than her, especially when since she’s older there are a lot of things that Lily KNOWS Rose doesn’t know yet and gets frustrated by this. The other day we were in Lily’s classroom and Lily got really upset with her sister for not putting the correct number beads next to written numbers. I had to explain to her that Rose couldn’t read numbers yet because she was only 2 years old, not 4 years old like her.

Lily: You need to learn to read numbers, Rose! You need to learn how to do this RIGHT! This is a four and you need to put FOUR beads here, not SIX!!!!

This was said in a very exasperated tone like Rose was some sort of idiot.

So after that, and many other encounters involving Rose not knowing as much reading and math as her big sister, I’m impressed that Lily thinks her sister is smarter than her.

Is Rose smarter than Lily for real? I don’t know. Lily knew her states(!) and could do 100 piece puzzles by herself at this age. Rose doesn’t care much about that stuff, but can sing along to almost every song she’s ever heard and quote tons of books and movies to me. I think they are probably about equal but in different ways. I guess we’ll see!

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