Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kindergarten blues

Remember how I occasionally lament hard choices that we continue to face (probably not since, really, who keeps up with my muddle?)?  It's never ending, even when one choice has been decided.  Even though that option hit the skids a few weeks ago, we're no nearer to really decided permanence than we ever have been.  It's coming up on about 3 years of where-should-we-be-what-should-we-be-doing, and here we are.  Still here.  Still right where I feel more and more led to believe is not where we should be soon. 

And here's another complicating twist that I don't think I've yet mentioned.  We have a kid on the cusp of kindergarten next school year.  In fact, I just had my very first parent-teacher conference as the parent.  It involved tiny chairs, a kidney-bean shaped table, and musings over cutting exercises and how my kid doesn't draw arms out of the sides of a head when she represents people.  I took that to be a good thing, though (and seriously, who's with me here?) I keep stopping myself from using phrases like "Good job!  You stayed in the lines!"  I guess cutting along the lines is different than actually coloring within them, but still, I feel a bit confuddled about how/what to praise at times between my by-the-book upbringing and modern-day parenting perspective engorged on many, many different perspectives and writings.  Regardless, the first thing our pre-school teacher said as she pulled a veritable portfolio of my kid's childhood memorabilia toward her was "Yeah, she's definitely ready for kindergarten."  I mean, we know that already and haven't been stressing about it any more than we are concerned about her ability to draw/color/cut/run like a cheetah.  These things will just work themselves out, and I could pretty much care less if she's at the top of her class in her cutting skills so long as she's drawing on the walls/coloring her sister's face/cutting her carpet/running with the cheetahs.  (By the way, I'm including this last one--running like a cheetah--not to be funny, per say, but because she uses this phrase all of the time.  She's wearing her "running like a cheetah" pants--navy leggings with big aqua circles on them.  They must make her feel fast.)  Each parent stresses about different things, I'm sure, and I know that she's capable of normal kid things.  Neither her dad nor I genius artists; why would we stress about whether or not she is?  That doesn't make sense to me.  Lest I lead you to believe that I'm super relaxed about parenting...oh, not so. 

I watch my kids very carefully about their word abilities: what words do they know? how well do they read? can they spell? can they recognize words when they see them written down?  To me/us, the ability to master language is the foundation for all education, for all learning throughout their lives.  And knowing my kid who is quickly approaching what will likely be her first experience with "traditional" schooling, I feel completely inept.  I have spent more time worrying/figuring/worrying some more/burying my head like an ostrich about all of this than I ever, ever spent in regards to my own education.  This smacks of folly, I know. 

1.  We don't know where we will be in 6 months.  I don't really want to start throwing around non-refundable enrollment fees that will go to waste.
2.  We are 100% in favor of half-day kindergarten.  But no one offers that option anymore. 

What's the best choice here?  There isn't one.  There is absolutely, without a doubt, no right choice right now when enrollments is starting to open.  I'm feeling the kindergarten blues big time right now.  If only I had some magic-cape-that-makes-all-hard-decisions-for-me equivalent of navy blue with big aqua circles leggings.  Better yet, if only I  had an invisibility cloak so I could truly hide from life for a little bit...maybe until the girls are each in college.  Darn darn darn...I just opened up a whole 'nother anxiety-inducing topic to worry about some more.  But that's another post for another day.  I need a paper bag to go hyperventilate into right now.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

Ah, the blues. I'm sorry, dear friend. Are all kindergarten programs full day now? Maybe Cuccinelli (?) could comfort you.