9.15.2012

Counting to 100, by Crazy

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?!

7 comments:

  1. Ugh, I think this half-day/full-day option is such a bad one. Schools should have one or the other, not both.

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  2. HANG IN THERE MAMA!! You've got this- promise it's not as daunting as it seems- no need to worry the girsl are fine:)

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  3. I was terrified last year when they told me Samarrah would have to write a paragraph to pass standards in Kindergarten, but it is really suprising what they learn in such a short time. It seems slow going in the beginning, but hey will pick it up. It took Samarrah until the beginning of May to pass off all 100 of her sight words,and she was one of the 1st in her class to do it. but in the first 3 weeks of 1st grade she has already passed off her 200 and 300 words. Kindergarten teachers are amazing!

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    1. Was Samarrah in half day? PLEASE SAY YES.

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  4. Kinder was A big adjustment for jake as both socially and academically. But he transitioned into 1st grade s great. I am with Kelly they pick it up so fast you will be amazed by the end of the year. Try not to stress to much. It can be hard. I still do homework with jake where it seems like nothing is getting though, then amazed at how the knowledge comes out in other avenues. The girls will do great. Call if you want to talk.

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  5. Everything will be fine! The only thing that full day has more than half days is specials, lunch and an extra recess. It is amazing what they learn in the year.

    PS.Norah stuttered until she went into kinder. The ped said not to worry or make a big deal and sure enough it stopped. We tried real hard not to say anything until the story started getting real loooong and then we reminded her to focus on what she was saying and it was like something reset in her brain.

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