Saturday, April 22, 2017

Thoughts on Kindergarten - Round Two

Tis the season of end of year madness with all things school and preschool.

But I cannot hope but reflect on how we were in a similar boat two years ago and how different things feel. 

Two years I was a pregnant, emotional, tear-filled, wreck over sending E off to Kindergarten. The decision felt so big and so heavy and so permanent. We waffled between homeschooling and Catholic school to the point that there wasn't anything else to say about it. It always ended with weighing the pros and cons of both and never really feeling at peace. 

When we did finally comes to terms with Catholic school (it more like me coming to terms with it and Lee being like - OKAY WE ARE DONE TALKING ABOUT THIS, RIGHT) I felt much better about the decision knowing:

We were taking it year-to-year; we weren't committing our lives to this decision and if after a year we didn't think it was a good fit or the right choice we would take a step back and reevaluate our schooling decision 

The decision felt like it was a forever decision but really we weren't getting married to our option. We were always in the driver seat and could get out anytime if we didn't think it were right. I think that is my best advice for anyone struggling over schooling options. It is not a lifelong decision. Yes it feels massive. Of course you want the best for your kid so that's why it feels so MASSIVE. But really if you find out the school - homeschool, public school, parochial school - isn't the best place for your family then guess what, you can change. I would say at least give your choice a year, a fair shake, time - then reassess as needed. 

I would argue that no school is perfect. Between the kids, parents, teachers, administrators, rules, policies everything - there's bound to be a small handful of things that you wish you could change (and you probably cannot so you either learn to live with them or you reassess your school choice)

Evidence #1 - E was written up for wearing non-black PE shoes the first week of school. Like the blue, yellow and pink ones she has just picked out. Let me tell you, not the thing I want to see come home during a super stressful and emotional rollercoaster of a week BUT the uniform policy is the uniform policy and that's what WE signed up for when we enrolled her so black PE shoes it was. And you know what, the policy has since been relaxed so the kids CAN wear colorful shoes on PE days only. 

Evidence #2 - Homework. Now this would come up in public or parochial school so I get that. Do I think that my 5 or 6 yr old should have to come home and do a page of homework each night? Do I like having to sit there and facilitate and make sure it is being done with some level of effort. Heck to the NO. I think it is absolutely insane. I think kids need to be able to play outside or with friends or do Legos or whatever (except be in front of a freakin' screen) when they get home from school. BUT would I EVER tell my kids that. NEVER. NEVER EVER. I may not agree with homework but I know I'm not going to change the policy (and I'm okay with that). I may not agree with homework but it is given at the school that WE chose so therefore it is dutifully done each day. 

All this being said R starts K in four short months and I can tell you everything feels much different. I am pregnant again but the emotional ball of nerves that would send me to tears isn't here - at least over the Kindergarten decision. Having been in the school for almost 2 years there aren't nearly the unknowns and the angst and the 'is this the right place for our family?' That question has been answered time and time again, yes. We are exactly where we need to be. R will be fine and she will do great because there is an awesome core of teachers and parents who love the school and it's students. 

Sure there will be bumps in the road and things that are conference worthy and stuff but having tried out what we believed our best option was two years ago, we are confidently heading into year three. 

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