Kids and school. Both are driving me nuts. We attended the school's open house night and boy, was I in for a surprise. I think Bunny's teacher summed it up best, "Kindergarten used to be more about social integration, now? It's a lot more serious." I was not prepared for this.
I was particularly not prepared for the list of core requirements expected of my Kindergarteners in only the first trimester of school. (I was told these are pretty much the same for most states in the US, but no less mind-blowing for me personally) These requirements include things like "use drawing and writing to explain or provide explanation," Um, writing?! Like sentences? Isn't that more a 1st- 2nd grad thing? "Count to 100 by ones and tens." ONE HUNDRED, people. Five year olds don't even possess that kind of attention span, right? The teachers have asked that we have them count to 100 (by ones and tens!) with us daily. The girls absolutely loathe this. I am not a fan of it either.
One of the most defeating sentiments (echoed by both teachers) was that the curriculum would be challenging to the half-day crowd. They will be in first grade with the full day Kindergarteners who get 6 hrs of teaching a day vs. my kids who get only 2.5. This chasm of what I see as inequality between the Kindergartens makes me a little bit angry with the school district. I saw full day Kindergarten as a reasonably priced option for parents in need of all day childcare. I have not priced it out, but I thought the $3,000/yr price tag for full day Kindergarten was more competitive than a nanny or daycare for those who work full-time?
It is CONSIDERABLY more expensive than the (free) half-day Kindergarten, and whereas I stay at home and have never paid for full-day childcare, I almost had an aneurism at the thought of $6,000 (twin pricing!) for public school Kindergarten.
To allay your fears that I am not merely a cheapskate, I chose the half day Kindergarten because I was a little nervous about splitting the twins up for the first time and figured a gentle transition would be best; at least you can see your sister after class! For the better part of the day, in fact! It wasn't just a financial decision for me. (although the thousands of dollars were 80% of the "con" list)
I feel a bit defeated. Unknowingly, I seem to have put my kids at a disadvantage with half-day Kinder. I cannot help but feel mad at the district! If half day Kindergarten is not enough to get children through the curriculum, WHY IS IT EVEN OFFERED?! Seems like there should be a more level playing field, like the full-day kids should stop learning after 2.5 hours and just encouraged to play around? (Stop learning, Little-Susie-Full-Day!)
I am also full of nerves because one of the girls' teachers have brought up the stuttering issue. The twins stutter; Pretty regularly. At 3 years old, our pediatrician suggested it was normal and they would grow out of it. Well, the teacher has called in someone to evaluate the kids to see if they need "extra help." So between the half day and the stuttering? I am feeling the pressure to REALLY hammer these concepts home with the kids, and I have had no professional training in this stuff! I have an art degree! (useless!)
Some days it feels like I am trying to teach them quantum physics! The way they look back at me with blank stares! Just the other day for homework, Squirt was asked to draw a triangle. Inside of a box. I think Squirt's nerves and anxiety issues got the best of her because she drew a square inside the box and fell apart that all was lost! She accidentally drew a rectangle in the box, AND HOMEWORK WAS RUINED.
Shoot me now.
But seriously, it gets better, right? I am just being IRRATIONAL, RIGHT?!