Monday, September 6, 2010

Twas the Night Before Kindergarten

Tomorrow Gabe starts kindergarten. I'm worried that we're not ready. The school supplies have been delivered (along with checks for his weekly Scholastics magazine and daily milk). His backpack, jacket, hat, and lunch bag have been labeled and are ready to go. He's very excited to show everyone his very cool Buzz Lightyear backpack.

So it's not the physical readiness that I question. It's the emotional readiness. I can't believe he's already starting school. I worry that he's too young. He's such a very young five. He also has ADHD, which is not going to make it any easier. I worry that he hasn't spent enough time interacting with his peers and having to listen to someone who is not family.

At the recommendation of his therapist, we have also enrolled him in an afternoon program at the local rec center. The teacher knows the curriculum of Gabe's teacher, and her program is designed to build on what he learns in his A.M. kindergarten class. He'll have to learn to eat lunch on a schedule, and will have no choice beyond whether or not to eat what is packed for him. Gabe doesn't do well on a schedule, and he's used to eating whatever he wants all day. Life with Grandma watching him has been an easy one.

Grandma, for her part, is concerned with how little he will be getting to eat. Only his milk in the morning and his lunch midday. She's also worried about the fact that recess is considered a privilege and not a right, and that bad behavior will result in a loss of recess. The first two weeks will be a little more lenient as the children get used to school, but after that they will all be expected to know and understand the rules of the classroom.

What I'm most amazed with is how much school has changed since I was a little girl. There are no holiday parties. No Halloween party or Christmas party. Kids will not be allowed to wear costumes on Halloween. There also is a no food rule, kids can't even bring cupcakes in on their birthdays, although I think that is particular to our county, rather than public schools in general. We're also not allowed to walk our kids to their classrooms. A teacher will meet the kids outside to ensure they know where to go, but parents are only allowed in for special events and parent teacher conferences.

I really want this to be a good experience for Gabe. I want school to be something he enjoys and looks forward to. So far, he is really excited, but he hasn't started yet. It's going to be a huge change for him, and I'm not sure how it will go. I guess only time will tell. I'm just hoping that it won't be my child that visits the Principal the first week of school.

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