Today is the last day of Kindergarten for our first born. What a year it has been!
Negotiating the great educational experiment of full-day every day Kindergarten. (We did half days til Christmas). Getting to know the school culture as a parent, not just as a teacher. Plus, having the younger brothers without their eldest brother five days per week. Whew!
From the very first day of school, we have been very intentional about the importance of JC saying goodbye to his younger brothers with a hug and a kiss. I believe it helps everyone’s transition into the day. Plus who doesn’t want to start their day off with a hug and a kiss?
Here is our last day of Kindergarten:
HUG and a….
Now off to line-up for school.
Today I will leave you with one more photo: the two big boys after they went to watch their best friends’ ballet performances. We stopped for a break to look at one of the most beautiful lakes in North America.
My kindergartener came home yesterday and insisted that CC put on the same t-shirt as him, then started yelling out “1, 2, 3 BFF unite!”.
I asked him who he was playing with at lunch today and he responded, “Paige!” Yes, I guessed that.
When daddy arrived home two hours later, the boys were still chanting, “1, 2, 3, BFF unite!”
Sexy Neck worked with the boys to change it to “Best Brothers Forever!” and they were off.
This is our prayer and dream for our boys, that they will be three strands of leather, intertwined, flexible, but never to be broken. “BBF’s unite!”
Our middle guy walking by the outdoor hockey rink to preschool with his baby brother.
(3 years old and 18 months old)
Yesterday, I was teaching in the most beautiful Kindergarten class in a middle/upper class area in our town. These children were self-reflective, ready to learn and just a joy to be with. In the past, I have worked in rural/inner city schools that struggled with students experiencing poverty and children having many barriers to learning.
My son started Kindergarten this year, and in the past few years Kindergarten has drastically changed.
A few years ago, a five year old child used to go to school every morning or afternoon for about three hours. Then the children started going every other day for the full day. Now the children go every day from 8:30am til 2:30pm, five days per week.
When I got home from teaching these amazing Kindergarten students yesterday, I was pondering these wonderful children. It seemed that at about 12:30, they needed to go home for a rest or they needed to spread their wings in nature or they needed to just be alone. It is alot to be with the same people every day, ask anyone who works in an open office environment.
I know that people love full day Kindergarten, their daycare costs have decreased by half. But I feel very sad that school is compared to daycare. School is not daycare. We need to be spending that precious time educating our children with the best practice possible.
Children We can’t learn when we are tired!
Our government must agree with me because when we transitioned from half day to full day Kindergarten the curriculum didn’t change, but now five year olds spend six hours instead of three hours in a four walled classroom with twenty-one other students plus a teacher.
I do not like being sick! When I was a paid professional, I rarely took a sick day when I had the sniffles, a cough or even a fever. I felt that I had to troop on through for the sake of my job! Even now as a full time mom, I rarely take a day to rest when I am sick.
We are now onto day 3 of our biggest boy being sick with a raging fever and a few other symptoms (I won’t give you the gory details!) . According to the nurse at 811, children can go up to one week with a fever without any “affects”! Poor guy.
They said that kindergarten would bring on the sickness, but I didn’t think it would be this bad. JC has not been off our couch or out of the bed since Friday! For our normal tree climbing, monkey bar climbing, bed flipping little boy this is a strange occurrence!
What do I take from this? Well, if you are sick or your child is sick, do everyone in a school or at work at favour, take a sick day or two! Allow your body to heal and give yourself some space to be well. If we don’t have our health we don’t have anything.
Parenting is often very uncomfortable. You need to do things you never thought you would do, like wiping a snotty nose on the sleeve of your best shirt or wiping bums or my personal favourite cleaning up vomit!
Parenting has become very uncomfortable for me personally as my eldest son, JC, has started kindergarten. In the time I am living in right now, full day every day kindergarten is the norm. My child has never been in daycare, but he did do preschool 3 days per week. (Everyone asks me that so I had to throw that in there for some sort of validation!)
With support from a letter from his preschool teachers, we are “that family” (words directly from our principal), that is having our son go to kindergarten only until lunch time. I know that we are the only family doing that in the school, and probably the whole town.
So here is my rationale:
1. Full day (8:45 – 2:45) is too long for 5 year olds in one room with 21 other 5 year olds and one teacher. They need to be with different ages with different adults.
2. My son naps in the afternoon.
3. School isn’t everything (quote me on that!) and I think he needs to be doing other things in the community.
4. School is not daycare (don’t get me going on that!)
5. When the school day for kindergarteners went from half day to full day a few years ago, the curriculum didn’t change, so why does he need to go?
6. I don’t want to deal with the screaming and crying and behavior issues that other kindergarten parents are dealing with in the evenings! I want to enjoy family time.