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Archive for the ‘kindergarten’ tag

August 30th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Boo Hoo or Woo Hoo ~ The Tale of a Mom’s First Day of Kindergarten

This week my youngest son started Kindergarten. I didn’t know how it would go.

With my first born I cried and was sad, but being a stay at home mom I had spent day after day with him. It was weird being home with only one for a whole day. I didn’t know what he would encounter at school and worried that he might be hungry or scared.

After the first day, he came out of school and said “This was the best day ever!” Each day got easier for me as I saw how much he enjoyed school and was so proud of the things he brought home.

This week, when my youngest started school, I thought it would be easy. He is more confident and adventurous than my first born. The night before Kindergarten I read the story The Night Before Kindergarten to him and I started to get teary-eyed. My role as a stay at home mom was changing. From 8-3 it would only be me at home and my boys would be learning about the world from their teachers. I worried that my youngest might make wrong choices in his actions, whether he would interrupt the teacher or have a crying fit. (He has a personality all his own)

The next morning we took pictures, got all dressed with our new backpacks, and we were off. The school held a Boo-Hoo Breakfast where the moms and dad would get to say good-bye to their kids before they would go to their class. It involved the story The Kissing Hand and some information about their day. There were hugs and kisses and they marched upstairs. I got a quick hug and a see you later!, just like I thought. Even though my husband was home, it was quiet – eerily quiet – something that I am still getting used to several days later. At the end of the day I saw his smiling face exiting the school and his first comment was “I Love Kindergarten!”

I have to admit I think about the boys when they are gone at school, wondering if schoolmates are being nice to them, if they are having a good day, and what neat things they are doing. It’s hard growing up, isn’t it? Even for parent!

If you want to use the same fun First Day signs from my picture above you can find them here.

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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May 21st, 2012 at 5:00 am

Making Hard Decisions About Your Children’s Future

Having kids isn’t easy….not that anyone tell you it is, but sometimes it can be really hard.

Earlier this year our school held Kindergarten Roundup. This is  where the kids that are planning on going to Kindergarten next year meet the Kindergarten teacher and she looks at what they may or may not need to work on over the summer. My youngest, Connor, turns five in June and will be age-appropriate for Kindergarten.

A week or so after he attended the Roundup I received a note from his preschool teacher (at the same school). She asked for a meeting with me and the Kindergarten teacher and the school principal. I knew…. this can’t be good.

Connor is a June birthday and my husband and I have always known that he is on the cusp of either going to Kindergarten at age five or being held back a year. I knew this is what they wanted to talk to me about. He was so excited for Kindergarten and so was I. When we held the meeting the decision was entirely in our hands, as parents, but they had some concerns about his maturity not being quite there. Deep down I agreed, but it was so hard sitting in the room with three educators, sharing that my son might tend to fall towards the bottom of expectations.

This killed me – did I do something wrong as a parent? I definitely had tears during the meeting…..

After we left the meeting I spent the next couple weeks investigating information to make the right decision. Of course, since I LOVE the Internet, I tried that as my first resource. I was disappointed that there were only negative articles that referred to holding a child back as “redshirting.” They made it sound as if everyone who held their child back was doing it to gain advantages by having an older child. It was very disheartening. My gut told me he did need to held back but I felt like society was against that.

I had to do my investigating elsewhere – mostly by talking to other parents. What I found out is the following:

  • Not one parent who held their child back ever regretted it, but some who didn’t did
  • All of them had confidence, maturity, and academic reasons for doing so
  • Several people told me to “follow my gut” because truly that is what tells what Connor needs

Since, then we have made the decision to have Connor start Kindergarten in another year. I will definitely have to “coach” him a little when his friends move up this year end I am not expecting an easy run at first. As parent’s we truly think our “gut” is to have him wait so he isn’t behind from the start. As parents we need to be our child’s cheerleaders and by sending him to Kindergarten just because his “age” is right, doesn’t mean he is ready. Don’t get me wrong, it tugs at my heart when I have to tell him he has another year before Kindergarten, but I have learned to not be afraid to make the hard decision and take my time making it. Sometimes you just have to do what is right for your child, whether they will like it or not.

It’s not fun to make the hard decisions, but it is the right thing to do!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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August 8th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Making Kindergarten a Good Experience

Last week I talked about how to prepare yourself for Kindergarten, but more importantly, how do you prepare the child that is off to start the big adventure called school? One of the first things I did was start talking about Kindergarten daily from the time my son completed Kindergarten registration in Spring. I talked about things he would do, especially the things that were extra special – field trips, his own cubby, music , gym, art classes, and recess. All of these things were exciting to him and got him excited.

My son didn’t have any anxiety until a week or two before school started. When I noticed that he was starting to worry or made comments that meant he was thinking about things related to Kindergarten, we talked about them. For example, he was concerned about lunchtime. Taking his lunch and having to eat with people he may not know was terrifying to him. We talked a lot about what kind of things he would need to do for lunch and made a special trip to the grocery store to pick out a bunch of special things for him to take for lunch.

On the first day of school I used Star Wars sandwich cutters and colored them with food coloring markers. I also put a note that said “I Love You” in his lunch because I knew he was able to read those words. It was just a little reminder that he made it part way and could finish out the day! I will still write notes this year and I am so glad I found this collection.

The first day went great! What I wasn’t prepared for was the Monday following the first week of school. He had the weekend to think about it and did not want to go back. That Sunday I spent a lot of time reminding him of the things he liked about school and dispelling the things he was concerned about. We talked about all those things in detail. One of his biggest problems was that he didn’t know the schedule. He is very schedule orientated and likes to know what is happening, so I made sure that I knew when gym class was or what day they went to the library and each day we would talk about what was happening that day.

He also was tired and hungry after school and the ride home every day meant tears. To help this, I made sure there was a little snack bag in the car when we picked him up and he got to have some TV down time on the couch every day. This also meant he didn’t want to talk about his day until he decompressed a little and I respected that.

This is a BIG change for your child and you have to just figure out what works for them! If you are noticing major anxiety be sure to talk to the teacher or school counselor. Involving people at the school will help everyone to help curb the issue and work on it all day through. Also, don’t be alarmed if it takes through Christmas Break for your child to adjust. This is perfectly normal.

Good luck to all the new Kindergarten Moms out there and ENJOY! First Grade will be here before you know it!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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August 1st, 2011 at 5:00 am

How to get Ready for Kindergarten

Summer is starting to come to a close and you may have a little one approaching the start of Kindergarten.

It’s scary – for them and YOU.

I know all about it – a year ago I was in the same spot. Sometimes I think I was MORE anxious than my son. There were several things that led to my anxiety – my first born growing up to school age, his anxiety, new routines, new friends, and dealing with another person that would be watching my child for seven hours a day.

As nervous as I was I NEVER let my son know it. I knew that would make him even more anxious. Kindergarten is an exciting year – your child will make HUGE strides in learning and behavior. I found that the MORE I knew about what he was doing all day made me less anxious.

I got to know the teacher, principal and other key people in school well. I volunteered as much as I could without hovering. I asked my son about his day and tried to show as much enthusiasm as he did.

What do you need to know? It’s going to be hard for at least the first month and for some all the way through Christmas break. Going to school and learning for a full day is TOUGH work and you child will most likely come home hungry, tired, and need some down time. Take a while to figure out what kind of routine works the best for you and your Kindergartener. Know what is going on at school and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You are still the primary “Teacher” in your child’s life and need to make sure you are on the same page with what is expected and how your child is doing.

And – It’s OKAY to cry the first day. I remember sitting in my house around lunch time wondering who my son was eating with, if he ate enough lunch, and how his day was going. Then I cried. I think it was mostly the release of all my nerves. I was so proud of my son but still grieving the memory of the little boy who needed me all the time.

Next week I am going to share how to prepare your child for school so be sure to stop back!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

 

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