A mama’s thoughts on sending her daughter to kindergarten

Last Wednesday, my little girl grew up a little bit more. She went from attending a small home-based Waldorf preschool to attending kindergarten in a classroom of more than 20 children (I think there are 27) in a school of more than 400.

As I said previously, I’ve been filled with a mix of emotions with Ava starting kindergarten in “the big school.” There are some things about it I’m not fond of: like that they use hand sanitizer before lunch and snack instead of washing hands, that Ava – who is normally a social butterfly – said she was an “only lonely” at recess on Friday, the not-so-healthy snacks, that the hot lunch program is pretty much all fried, unhealthy foods, and that after two full days of school her teacher doesn’t appear to know her name yet.

I could be overreacting. I mean, I want my girl to be happy and safe and healthy, but it was only the first week of school. Perhaps once they get into their routine, hand washing will happen more regularly instead of hand sanitizing (the teacher did tell me that washing was her preference – if there’s time). And I’m sure her teacher will learn her name soon. This week they are focusing on “making and keeping friends” and maybe that will help Ava fit in a little better.

Yet, regardless of all of this, there was something about taking Ava to school that first day that just didn’t feel “right” to me. I’ve made a lot of parenting decisions in the past five years and I have to say I’ve felt peaceful about pretty much every one of them. Sure, I made some wrong choices here and there, but as for the big decisions, I’ve felt good about them. However, there was something about dropping Ava off that didn’t feel peaceful to me.

Last week I reread a post I wrote almost a year ago called Is Home Schooling Right For Us? At the time, I was leaning toward home schooling, but wanted to keep my options open. Jody and I ended up visiting a few public schools including a charter school, a regular public school and an International Baccalaureate World school (also public). We made our decision and hoped for the best. Somewhere in there the idea of home schooling got lost in the shuffle. Also, I was dealing with some heavy duty anxiety as I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder this winter and didn’t feel like I could add another thing (home schooling) to my plate.

Now here we are, a week into the school year and I’m reconsidering home schooling. There’s a great, very active home schooling community in my area and I feel like, if I wanted to pursue this, I’m in a good head space to do it now. However, I am not going to make any rash decisions. We are going to see how it goes for now. I’m going to do more research. There were a slew of helpful comments with links in my Is Home Schooling Right For Us? post and I need to read up on them. What I’d like to do is supplement a bit at home while Ava is in kindergarten and see how she responds to that and how I do with it too. If the supplemental home schooling goes well and I feel like she could learn from me and if I don’t fall in love with her school over the next several months, then we might give home schooling a try for first grade. We’ll see.

For now I’m going to try to stay positive (especially around Ava) and go to a volunteer orientation this week so I can start volunteering in the classroom and do some reconnaissance help out and see how it all works. I’ve already been emailing with the principal about the possibility of donating a Clean Well wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispenser for the classroom (by the way, I’ll be giving away some Clean Well products soon!) and to obtain the Material Safety Data Sheets (boy, are those a fun read :P) so I could take a look at what kinds of cleaning products are used in the school. I hope I’m not coming off as a pain in the ass, but rather a parent who’s concerned about the health and well-being of her child and all children in the school. The principal did encourage me to stay in touch, thanked me for my interest and said “parents like you are what make “X” the great school it is!” That last part struck me as a bit form letter-esque, but I’d like to think that she means it.

I like that I have choices and the option of changing my mind. I like that I can get involved and maybe make a positive difference. And I will keep asking my questions because knowledge is power.

I’ll be posting the rest of Ava’s first day of kindergarten pics soon. (Yes, I finally picked up my SLR again after a several month hiatus and it felt good.) :)

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47 thoughts on “A mama’s thoughts on sending her daughter to kindergarten

  1. My son’s first week of Kindergarten was rough too. He had one good friend in his class & another good friend in the classroom next door which helped a lot.

    In our case, home schooling isn’t an option but we moved to a school district that we loved 2 weeks before Kindergarten started.

    I’ve definitely found that volunteering & being around go a long way for your child’s education. We haven’t officially “supplemented” but we read all the time, constantly, so his reading level is now almost 2 years above where he’s supposed to be.

    This summer we’re making a game out of the multiplication table. Other than that I don’t push it too much.

    Whatever you decide will be the right choice and it’s still really early, anyone can recover from Kindergarten. :-)

    Lisa

  2. Hi there,

    This is a great post- one that I completely relate to. I am a teacher who has worked in several private and public elementary schools in my area.

    I always say-’when I have a child, I’m going to homeschool.’ There is something fundamentally ‘off’ about schooling it seems, as it works often in contradiction to the child’s natural developmental stages- I wish I could reconcile my own knowledge about the system, and just try to be comfortable with it. But I just can’t.

    Your discomfort is very natural. I also like that you are willing to give it time, and do your research.

    Thanks for your honest and open communication!

  3. It is smart that you realize that Ava might not learn from you. While my daughter enjoys some extra academic work with us (playing math games, for example), our son refuses. He actually gets angry and defiant and refuses to participate. He has some learning disabilities, and for him, he needs me to be his mom…and for someone else to coax him to work on the academics. We read at home, of course, and do lots of other things that are educational (without him realizing it), but he downright rejects the obvious stuff. Super frustrating. Ava will grow and change – and you will gradually learn what is best for her. Good luck with the experience!

  4. I have a bit of time to decide on kindergarten or home-school as mine isn’t even in pre-school yet. It is helpful to be getting different viewpoints now in preparation. I hope there will be more options available when the time comes in the way of tax breaks or vouchers for those who decide not to send their kids to public schools. Giving parents choices in choosing what’s best for our kids should be priority one.

  5. I just found your blog this weekend and am excited to go read your homeschooling post.

    I wanted to say that, like Rebecca, I am a teacher (currently SAHM) who is very seriously considering homeschooling. We’ll likely be moving before kdg, and may have some good alternative options, but it hurts my heart to imagine sending my boy into the standards/performance/testing mess that our public schools have become.

    Also, as a teacher, I find it nearly impossible to believe that Ava’s teacher wouldn’t yet know her name. I know it took me muuuuch longer to match which parents went with which kids, and that led to some awkward interactions on my part, but I always knew every kid by lunchtime at the latest. If she really doesn’t know, that would just be sad.

  6. Amy, this gut feeling you mention is exactly why I ended up homeschooling. I always planned to HS but at the last minute I had contemplated putting Kolby in K. I even filled out the papers and bought him a backpack with his name on it. Then it was like I just got hit in the stomach. I have always followed my gut with every parenting decision I have made. One very similar decision that I made (without research, mind you), was that not to vaccinate. I didn’t know it was an option. I did his 2 month shots and then just couldn’t do it again. I read up and realized I wasn’t alone. This was no different for me. I just knew I couldn’t send him, for a variety of reasons. We went through homeschool K with some struggles but he has changed so much from 5 to 6 years of age and we are two months into 1st grade now and he is ahead of where he should be, far from where we were in K. I almost gave up a few times but just kept following my gut. I am so happy I did, just as I am happy I didn’t go back for more vaxes. I would just encourage you to follow your gut based on your situation. Whether it be public school or homeschool, you strike me as the type of mom who will do what is in her heart that is best for her children. That is up to each individual family to decide. Good luck!

  7. I think you are on the right track. being involved in the school is the best…you can keep an eye on things, you are doing fine :) what a great mommy!

  8. This is such a tough quandary, and one I have myself sometimes. I feel really fortunate that we’re in a district that has policies that feel right to me (OMG, I’ll save the lunch menu for you! Not that my kid will eat school lunch, but….), is well-funded, “crunchy,” has small class size, etc. We’ve had really good experiences with teachers so far. I kind of go through each step testing and weighing both sides and so far the schools have confirmed to me again and again that this is where my kid should be.

    But if I had a different kid? If I were in a different district? If he’d had different teachers? I don’t know what I’d do. It’s too hard to say since I’m not there. So it’s hard for me to advise one way or another. Your heart has been and will continue to be the best guide for you!

    I do agree that being involved in the school is a powerful tool either way. Our old school had a School Improvement Team and attending those meetings gave me insight into how they teach the kids and the approaches to alternative learning styles. I also got to meet teachers who were coming out of their skin with excitement for teaching. And being in Simon’s classroom gave me great insight into into what the dynamics were.

    The social stuff is hard. S is having the same issue. I think it’s really normal for a new situation. We’re giving it until Friday then plan to talk w. the teacher to see what’s going on, just to make sure it’s normal beginning of school stuff and not something more sinister.

  9. As you likely I know I went public school until 4th grade then homeschooled for the rest. So if you ever want to ask a former homeschooled kid questions let me know! I will say I’m VERY pro-homeschooling.

  10. what a thoughtful post, Amy. we have friends who homeschool, friends who use private schools, friends who use public schools. currently we are using our neighborhood school for Josh – he went there for pre K last year and is going to have the same teacher this year in K. that is really what sealed the deal for us.

    i tried doing hs’ing for the fall/early winter before he started pre K in January – it was a dismal failure. i realized that he really needed to be around peers as part of his learning process, and so far he’s proven me right.

    i think that, no matter where people fall in terms of what they do for their child’s schooling, the most important part is that they think it through and make a wise decision, and not be afraid to change if it seems their child would thrive in a different environment.

    For us, the only change this year is no more school lunches – i had hoped it would introduce Josh to a good variety of foods but they give the kids far too much choice for their ages and he wasn’t making good choices. so he’s getting a lunch box this year!

  11. We are homeschooling and have just started Kindergarten. I will say I had all the same doubts you have, but after talking to many homeschoolers I realized that it is normal. We’re still getting into our grrove, but thigns are going well so far. We’re in the same area, so I know there are a lot of different options for homeschoolers here. Lots of great support, some excellent supplemental programs etc. Talk to me sometime about it all.

  12. We are homeschooling and have just started Kindergarten. I will say I had all the same doubts you have, but after talking to many homeschoolers I realized that it is normal. We’re still getting into our grrove, but thigns are going well so far. We’re in the same area, so I know there are a lot of different options for homeschoolers here. Lots of great support, some excellent supplemental programs etc. Talk to me sometime about it all.

  13. I was terrified of homeschooling but am now a dedicated advocate for it! I have seen one of my children graduate from public High School (he’s now in college) and have a daughter who was in public school until 7th grade. We decided to HS after we moved to a bigger city (with more school violence and more negative influences than we were comfy with) We are now homeschooing our 15 year old and our 6 year old. I will never go back!

    I look back at all of the conflicts we had with schools over the years (things like treating our children respectfully, struggling to provide healthy food choices, uhg) and I am ashamed to admit that my fear and ignorance about HS allowed me to justify sending my children off everyday to deal with people and situations that were not positive learning experiences for them, but often humiliating or dis-empowering.

    I can’t tell you how well this fits into our attachment parenting lifestyle! For us, HS is really just a natural extension of being an aware, sensitive, and tuned-in family. We use every moment of every day to teach, to grow, to learn from each other. The only “new” thing is documenting our progress, which has helped us to stay focused and concentrate on what our children need to be working on to be well-rounded and well-educated people.

    Having a strong HSing community is important, too. We are all planning on hitting the “kid-hot-spots” (children’s museum, the fancy playground, the science center) the first week that school begins here so we can enjoy having the places all to ourselves!!!

    Good luck to you…and I love all of Ava’s first day photos!!!

  14. Being a mom and parent is hard at times. I think if it doesn’t feel right to you, then you know what does feel right. I think with a great support group anyone who really wants to homeschool can. You know what will work best for you and your family.

    Have you ever looked in Unschooling? I think you would fall in love with unschooling. We started in April of this year and I love it! I see so many positive changes in our entire family.

  15. I’m reading along with some interest, since my little one will be heading to kindergarten next year. I hope that you’re able to find a solution that works well for your whole family, whatever it is. I’m sure that you will, if you give yourself the time and space to get there.

  16. I’ll second what Darcel said: have you looked into unschooling? I’m an 18 year old longtime unschooler, and I truly feel that unschooling is the best option out there!

    Actually, the only school I’ve ever done was half a year of kindergarten! My mother wanted to homeschool me from the start, but my father had some doubts, so they decided to try kindergarten… I neither liked nor disliked it, so when we started having problems with explicit phone calls (from a grade 2 student who went to my elementary school) and my parents pulled me out, I was quite happy to be back home! We haven’t really looked back since. :-) Unschooling allows so much freedom, and lets the child grow and learn at their own pace, without pressure or pushing or tests. It also allows parents to stay parents, instead of becoming teachers, which it seems many parents are reluctant to do (and I don’t blame them!). Anyway, I’ll stop ranting. My point being, I highly suggest that you look into the unschooling philosophy! :-)

    Peace,
    Idzie
    http://yes-i-can-write.blogspot.com/

  17. You’ve got to go with your gut.
    Homeschooling is not for everybody, but for those of us who enjoy it, it is a wonderful thing. I felt so much control over my own life again as soon as we made the decision to homeschool. It’s nice to not have to base my schedule around getting up in time for school or picking kids up. It’s great to be able to focus learning on my kids’ passions and for them to be able to get involved in their own education decisions (math today, write poems tomorrow, or spontaneous project on squirrels because they liked watching them through the window etc.)

  18. maybe the fact that you’re uncomfortable sending her to school is a signal that you feel led to homeschool.
    i know a lot of people who have regretted starting their kids in public school because it either makes it harder for them to get used to the idea of learning from mom or because they form attachments at school and don’t want to be homeschooled.

    as someone who has homeschooled from the beginning, i can tell you that you will not regret it. it’s easier to put a child into public school than pull them out.

    after saying all that, the half day and 2 day schedule your daughter has right now is great. i may have even sent my daughter if our school had offered half day kindergarten and then started homeschooling in first grade.

  19. No great insights to add here, Amy. I just wanted to say our 4 year old started public school Pre-K this year, and though I really don’t think homeschooling would be the best choices for either of us, having her gone during the day has left a void that is causing me to rethink a lot of this. I can empathize completely with your struggles.

  20. We do not start until next week and I have many mixed emotions about it.

    The hand sanitizer would bug me, however with swine flu it is better than nothing. The food would drive me crazy and so would the loneliness.

    Hang in there mama and go with your gut in the end!

  21. I completely sympathize with your concerns and mixed feelings. But tomorrow is the first day of school in our district and I am elated to know that my 5-year-old son will continue learning at home with his daddy. We tried to keep an open mind about school, but when we attended a magnet school fair last year, we realized that the current climate in the schools that were available to us was completely incompatible with our values. We are passionate about healthy cleaning products, healthy food, free play as the foundation of learning, lots of read-aloud time, lots of open-ended space and time for our child to pursue his interests, and a non-commercialized childhood. We felt that these values were best sustained in homeschool.

    I encourage you to connect with local and internet homeschool/unschool communities to explore how this option might work for your family. And I’d be happy to email with you if you have any specific questions I could shed light on. Good luck!

  22. >>It is smart that you realize that Ava might not learn from you.<<

    Are you kidding me? Do you suppose Ava would mount an 18+-year boycott against learning, solely because her mother was her teacher? That is outright poppycock and a fine example of how cookie-cutter education has influenced how we see our children.

  23. It’s a tough decision to make, but I’m always thrilled when I see parents even consider it. It seems like too opften parents just default to school because that’s just the way it is, without thinking it through. :) What ever you choose I’m sure will be the best because you’re one of those parents who puts thought and research into what she does.

  24. You should follow your instincts on this one. I had never even considered homeschooling until I had my own children. Even if I wanted them to go to school, they would absolutely refuse. They love spending their day with me and I with them.
    We learn from each other. I learn as much (if not more) from them than as they learn from me. And learning happens all day long–no matter what we are doing together.
    Have you checked out unschooling yet? :)
    Good luck making decisions!

  25. I think it is very wise of you to just stay conscious of this whole process. You will be led to finding the right situation for Ava (and you) if you stay open and aware of all these things.

    I do want to mention that kids (especially at this young age) really learn by playing, so even if you were to homeschool her it does not have to be so “schooly”. We are are having a wonderful experience letting life be our entire family’s educational curriculum. The lessons are abundant and infinite! It’s the awareness that is needed to acknowledge that learning is happening all the time all around you and you seem to already be very tuned in.

    I look forward to hear about what you decide!

    ~Hillary

  26. I know you will make the right decision and I hate to be so negative but your description of the school gave me the shivers. From the hand sanitiser to the food not to mention the number of kids. I’d be out of there in a flash, there must be an alternative solution. I imagine being the woman you are you have already been home schooling your kids ie: teaching them along the way, I mean they haven’t just been propped in front of the telly have they. In my opinion there is no way she can get the attention she deserves at that school. I guess volunteer and see what you see, take it all in and decide after that. I volunteer a lot at school and I see a lot I don’t like and I speak up to have things changed. all the best.

  27. The only other suggestion I can offer that I didn’t see mentioned, was looking into another school, if things don’t improve, and HS seems like to much to do for now.

    I am sorry this doesn’t feel right to you, but I know you will figure it out and do what you feel is right for Ava.

    Hugs!

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  29. oh, crunchy! my heart goes out to you as you struggle with this decision. good luck and take your time. hang in there!

  30. I tried to leave a comment yesterday but my computer was uncooperative…

    First, 27 is WAY TOO BIG for a kindergarten class, in my opinion. Around here, they range from 16-24 kids. I have classes of 28, but you could argue high school kids don’t need as much supervision as K. I would disagree, but you could argue that.

    Also, I’m appalled that Ava’s teacher doesn’t know her name yet. I’m embarrassed if I forget one of my 125 students’ names after the second day I see them. That’s just crazy.

    I would encourage you to spend time in Ava’s classroom so you can see how she does throughout the day. Full-day K is a big step for kids, and around here it’s mostly half-day 5 days a week for the first year. I was a camp counselor when I was in college, and we had 6-year-olds who were there from 7am to 5pm, and they’d be so exhausted by the end of the day. Maybe that’s part of what’s going on with Ava.

    Also, I’d encourage you to give it time. This is a big adjustment for your whole family, and you can’t expect it to be perfect from the beginning.

    When I was growing up, my mom was very involved in my school. She started as the room parent and chaperoning field trips, then graduated to running for the Board of Education, which she was on for 14 years. You of course don’t have to go that far, but it just shows you can have a positive impact on Ava’s school. The beauty of public school is that you are able to get involved and influence what happens there. Of course it takes a lot of time, but it can be done and I’ve seen it done.

    You’re fortunate that you’re a stay-at-home mom so you’ll be able to spend time in Ava’s school.

    I wish you luck!

  31. Wow – what a lovely post! So true in every word written – I completely empathize with your anxiety questioning the monumental decision on schooling for our children. My Ava is 3 and a half now, and it’s something I haven’t figured out myself yet – for the exact same fears and questions.

    We placed her in a Mother’s Day out program that parents in our neighborhood raved and reviewed over last year and ended up pulling her out after 2 months. The hussle and bussle of forcing her to wake up, get dressed and out the door on the school’s watch stressed her out and us as well. Skittles were given to reward children for cleaning up, and forcing her to nap on the floor was an impossible task – I don’t blame her! Learning wasn’t “fun” for her there – and she preferred the art projects and outdoor nature walks we’d have at home as a family. She also said that she was pushed on the playground – and never was able to tell me the names of any “friends” in her class. I was communicating with the principal every time we dropped her off – and each time, I was told, to give it time.

    I felt like the oddball parent – and wondered if I was too picky, paranoid, impatient or had high expectations.

    And then it dawned on me – that that is my right as a parent – and there’s nothing wrong with wanting a secure loving atmosphere for her to grow and be her best self.

    With the new school year rolling around again, we’re torn with sending her to a preschool program. Is she missing out on “friends?” Socialization? Opportunities to learn from others? I beat myself over and over about it – but ultimately, it’s got to be a right fit for not just Ava – but the entire family. I even thought private schools would/may be better – but I would have needed to be on the waiting list 3 years ago!

    I look forward to hearing/reading about your decision and if homeschooling is the way you will go. I’ve always believed that it’s our responsibility to educate our children – and that schooling should be the ‘supplement’ experience – most especially during their early years – where we are their trusted guides.

    :)

  32. Re: being the pesky mom. After some major world incident a couple of years ago, I emailed Lauren’s principal to find out where they send the kids if there is a disaster at the school.

    Turns out they did not have a designated spot in their emergency plan. It was an oversight, but my asking the question made them pick a place, and then communicate the plan to all parents.

    Being pesky is important. You may not be able to get the school to change its menu (I pack lunches because once I ate @ her school and the food was beyond crap) or use green products, but you can make your voice heard. And somethings, you can get changed.

  33. Where I live in Seattle, half-day kindergarten is paid for but not available in all schools. My neighborhood school has 3 full-day classes, 1 half-day class. If you don’t get into the half-day, your only options are to pay the MANDATORY $220 per month (yes, two hundred and twenty!) OR pick your child up after lunch everyday (so he misses out on all the art stuff the kids do in the afternoon). It felt like too big of a change for us, and I didn’t like how inflexible they were, and a multitude of other reasons ( I can’t volunteer with a toddler at home and no babysitters) … we researched and flip-flopped and finally came to the decision to homeschool. This year for sure, we’ll see how it goes for next year. It feels good but I am still a bit nervous – although not as nervous as I was about the local schools.

  34. Hi Amy,

    Your comment about it not feeling right about it really resonated with me. I felt that way throughout my youngest public school career and whenever I would bring it up people would tell me I was nuts, homeschooling would be such a bad thing for his needs, blah, blah. But when I finally was pushed over the edge and made the homeschooling leap I gained a peace and happiness that I have never had. It has been a long journey for me to come from public school teacher to an unschooler but one that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

    My experience with parents considering it is that they often get wrapped up in details that really are not important in the big picture. I would absolutely suggest that you talk with other parents and express your concerns so that they can help you make a decision that is right for you now. And remember that the wonderful thing about having options is that what is right this year, may change next. :) I am here if you need to talk!
    Barb

  35. Jumping in to third or fourth the recommendation to look into unschooling. It’s really been amazing these past few weeks to watch how much Z absorbs just through her own inquiry. It really doesn’t have to be “school at home” – there’s a lot to learn in just living life. That realization really freed me up to think about learning and teaching in an entirely different (and less stressful) way. Good luck with whatever you decide. :)

  36. I love your post,you have described exactly how I feel at the moment.My older 4 children went to our local school,but now my son has just turned 5 and will attend kinder next year I am really considering homeschooling.I just have this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that our local school is just not right for him.I understand completely where you are coming from.I’m going to check out your other post and my options too.Good luck with your decision.

  37. Starting Kindergarten is such an emotional time! I felt really teary and weird the first several weeks of school. It didn’t seem possible that my daughter was starting big school and I was so worried about so many things.

    I say give her some time to settle in and feel comfortable. And let you get more comfortable. I also volunteer a lot. I enjoy it for many reasons. I get to know the teachers better, the principal, the other parents. And I also show that I am involved and interested in my daughter’s education.

    I also supplement and do science activities and other activities to make sure she is getting a well rounded education. I don’t feel like I could step in and be a teacher for her (I leave that to the professionals) but I am involved and try to fill in the gaps that public school leaves.

    My daughter’s school also uses hand sanitizer instead of hand washing before lunch. I understand hand washing takes a long time for 20 kids and the squirt is faster. But I would much much prefer hand washing too.

    Good luck and I know whatever you decide, it will be the best for you, Ava and your family.

  38. You know what you can try for a supplemental resource during Kindergarten. It is called Phonics Pathways and it is a great great way for kids to learn how to read. I used it with my son for reading – he is homeschooled – but it says it can be used as a supplementary resource too.

    It is simple to follow and whether she goes to regular school or homeschool, she will have a leg up on reading.

    It is just one book and we got ours out of the library.

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  40. I think you know that we homeschool… my son just turned six and was eligible to start kindergarten LAST year. I had always thought we would homeschool, but both years we took the time to visit schools (public and private and public “magnet” schools, etc.)… we found only one school that I could feel comfortable about. It wasn’t so much an intellectual experience as a gut one… I could just feel that my son would do okay there (it was a two-room schoolhouse with only 35 kids K-5 and three full-time teachers).

    However, it was a private school which we could not afford and they had no scholarships this year… but even before we found out they had no money to offer, we decided to homeschool. There was just too much benefit (I feel) to the open, free time he has at home… to the relationships we’ve established with other homeschooling families… to being able to follow his own interests and passions at his own pace.

    Right now he plays baseball every day, asks me dozens of math questions, wants to learn to read. Once a week we walk in the woods by our house and play in the creek, discover what’s changed, watch the seasons go by. We loosely follow a Waldorf-inspired curriculum (Oak Meadow) with storytelling and art as a basis of learning. He is enrolled in a drama class (a community center here offers homeschooling classes on Thursdays so that the kids have a chance to be with kids they already know) and will be in a play (on stage!) at the end.

    All this to say, there can be much, much more in a homeschooling day than learning the traditional stuff (reading and numbers)… If you wanted to learn more there are, of course, tons of blogs out there from people who are homeschooling in all kinds of different ways…

    I really admire and appreciate your honesty and willingness to remain open and connected to your daughter, and that is the most important thing, whether or not she is homeschooled or in school.

    Blessings,
    Stacy

  41. My son is in preschool, but his teacher said they do snack first thing because of the handwashing issue. To have all the kids (and last year, there were 13 in his class) line up and then wash hands would end up taking 15 minutes, and when they are only there for 2 hours, it’s too much of a chunk of time. So that’s why when the kids arrive to school, they use the bathroom and wash hands as they get there and immediately have their snack.

    My son;s birthday party was yesterday and the place provided hand sanitizer too, for the same reason. We only had 30 minites in the party room, and to get 15 kids handwashed would have taken up so much time. So I understand why they do it, even if I think it’s gross.

    I can empathize with a lot you’ve written here. My kid just turned 5 and was one day past the cut off for K. Rather than push for “early” admission, we decided to give him another year and start him at 6. I was completely surprised at the amount of grief people are willing to give us, even though they have never met my child! You have to go with your gut and do what feels right for you.

  42. Pingback: Letting go of the mommy guilt and focusing on myself | Crunchy Domestic Goddess

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