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Monday, August 12, 2013

First Day of Kindergarten

Five years, two months, and a day should be enough time to prepare to send a child off to Kindergarten, right? To "big kid" school. Well, it's not. A few months ago I wondered how he (never mind, I) would be ready. A teacher would have to physically hold his hand to get him to not run out the door after me. Even after finding a better preschool, that separation anxiety never fully faded; at least not until this summer. I'm not sure if it was the break from "school," being with friends again, or spending the summer playing, swimming, and just having fun, but he was a different, happier kid.

I started the search for the right school fit about a year prior. Public or private? Big school or little school? Scores, performance, class size, qualifications, teacher tenure, budget...so many factors to consider. I needed to do what was best for Evan, especially after feeling like I had dropped the ball and missed that things were not going well at his first preschool. Between having relatives and friends who work in education and reading up on the subject, I knew the most important factor in how well a child does is how involved the parent is. I dug in my heels.

Two public schools, one charter school, and two private school evaluations later, we made a decision. I've said from the beginning the school decision will likely be one we have to evaluate every year. Yes, I know, it is *just* Kindergarten. But to me that's foundational. Wait until the teen years to get involved and it may be too late. I did really well in school, had plenty of parental support, but I know without a doubt had I had better school options pre-college, I'd have been FAR more challenged and gotten even more scholarship opportunities. Where you go to school can matter. I live this every day.

I know my involvement might drive Evan a bit batty the closer we edge to the tween/teen years, but I hope he will appreciate it one day. If you ask him what he wants to do or be when he grows up, the answer can change daily. Firefighter, policeman, doctor, helper, Target employee (that one might be a sign that I need to go there a little less), and most recently, Lego designer.

Kindergarten is a good start.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, man. I am also not really "prepared", but glad that you found a good school for Evan. I'll be here next week, stay tuned...