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Sunday, August 30, 2015

the ABCs of sending your child to Kindergarten

Lots and lots of kiddos are heading to Kindergarten soon!

Here are the ABCs of this big and fun transition we're going through currently!

Anticipation, anxiety, ABCs and learning letters
We've been working in workbooks all summer practicing tracing and writing letters. There is so much to look forward to, and yet a little bit of anxiety as I wonder how this change will go for my boy.

Bus and backpacks
Every time I see a yellow bus I think, oh my word, he'll be sitting on that! My son won't even be really riding the bus for a while with early drop off before our work schedule, but yellow busses symbolize school, and that's exciting. Backpacks - what on earth will go in my son's bag? What will he come home with from school? And how adorable will he look with a big old backpack on his back? That's the quintessential picture of a First Day of School Kindergartener, right?

Curiosity
My son has tons of questions about the Big Kindergarten- who his teacher is, which friends will be there, etc. It's awesome to see him so excited.

Development
This is a new change, a new part of my son's life. He's developing into a little man, not a baby, not a toddler or preschooler any longer. He's growing up. How cool to watch this phase?

Elementary
I have a Kindergartener, but more importantly: I have an Elementary School Age Child! Wow. That's crazy! To me, that means Christmas concerts and Halloween parties and birthdays and celebrations and report cards and parent-teacher conferences. It means letters in the mail addressed to "The Parents of Owen A". So intriguing. I can't wait!

Friendships
I am so excited to see how many new friends my son makes! How many birthday parties we're invited to, how many play dates we might spend afternoons attending, and how many soccer buddies my son learns names of! It's fun to think of saying someday at high school graduation, "They've been buds since Kindergarten!"

Grand
I keep thinking of Kindergarten as a grand adventure, like something Winnie the Pooh would say. I love Winnie the Pooh, it's childlike and innocent and fun, yet totally right on and smart. I'm going to think of Kindergarten in this way: GRAND. It's going to be so cool.

Hugs
Oh, the hugs I will give this boy when I see him after that first day of school. I can't wait!

Ice cream
I see us eating lots of ice cream for treats after long, busy school days where we worked so hard at learning something new and he's super proud of himself for it. Ice cream is the best thing for every type of success, I'm a firm believer in this. :)

Jumping for joy
My baby is going to Kindergarten! This is a good thing and it's so exciting! I know he'll be jumping for joy at all the new things he's learning, and that makes me so happy.



Kind, just be kind
I'm reminding my child how to be a good friend, sharing, taking turns, being nice. I just hope he's the good guy at school.

Letters, learning, lunches, what on earth will I pack?
Oh my, what on earth do I pack for lunch? How much will he need to eat? They do snack time, so what are good snack ideas? I've been Pinterest-ing ideas! And learning, I cannot wait to see the learning, particularly with letters. How fun! And library books! I can't way to see what he pick out.

Mommy sappiness
I'm his Mama. I'm sad and happy for him at the same time. It's a great time for my boy, and yet it's super hard to let go as the Mama.

No more naps
Oh boy, this is a hard one for me... having had a wonderfully cooperative and sleepy boy who napped until 5 1/2 years old and even sometimes now he'll fall asleep if we encourage it or are in the car after a long day. Giving up the sacred two hours of nap time in the afternoon is hard on me and my tired boy, but he's growing up. It's making me realize this... he's growing up, and it's great. There are parts of me that are wondering about how this no nap thing will work through the fall?! We'll just wait and see.

Opportunity
I cannot wait to see all the new things my son learns - computers, tracing, sight words, games and songs, how to climb more things on the playground. It's awesome to see!

Playground, will someone be there to help him on the swing if it's too high?
I'm worried about the old playground, as it's large and there are places on it that I always have to offer assistance to my busy boy. But at the same time, HOW COOL that my son will get to play on this playground twice a day. It's always been a treat to visit it, I'm sure he's going to think he won the Kid Lottery playing on it every day!

Quitting, questions
Yup, there are parts of me that want to just quit my job, somehow with enough money, and homeschool my child, even though I don't have any interest in homeschooling my child. I know public schools are fantastic and such great experiences for kids. But part of me is nervous about this transition so when we get nervous sometimes we just want to quit instead of try it out. That feeling passes though, as I know it's a good thing. SO many questions about how this will go!

Rules
There is so much to teach our children in the five years before they head to Kindergarten! It's an immense responsibility. I find myself reminding my son about putting the toilet seat down and about washing his hands after pottying. I am reminding him to say excuse me after burping and pushing his chair in at lunch time. These are things we've worked on for years, and now as he's about to go out into the world and use what he's learned I'm reminding him and I'm excited to see how this works out.


Scissors, we've practiced cutting and shapes and symbols for months!
We've been practicing this for a while now, and my son LOVES it! Cutting with scissors is the coolest thing to a 5 year old. Symbols and signs and letters and sights and words, it's all part of the crafty fun that is learning for Kindergarteners. I can't wait to see what he cuts up and creates for me in art class!

Trust
I'm learning to trust in my own abilities to be a patient, cheerleader parent as my son enters this big change. I'm learning to trust the school system and the wonderfully hard working teachers. I know it's all a big game of trust. Parenting is all about trusting that we know what we're doing, and letting go of fears.

Umbrella
I couldn't think of another U word so here's a good one: how about when it rains? I hope they have umbrellas to play outside in mud puddles! Or that would be fun for me to do with my boy after school. It's good to be prepared!

Victory
I'm so proud that we've made it this far. That we led this boy to this day where he's ready to learn more. It's exciting!

Worry
So may questions and worries and wonders from my busy mom mind. I want to know it all, even control some of it... and that's not reality. I wonder if he can wear certain things and bring certain snacks. I wonder if he'll miss me. I wonder if he'll be shy or energetic. I wonder if he'll get along with other kids well, and walk when he's supposed to. It's going to be wonderful, too, that's a W word!

X marks the spot
I'm going to consider my son heading off to Kindergarten as a treasure hunt that pirates set forth on, where they find the treasure is of course X marks the spot. This is where he's meant to be, where he's supposed to go at this time. It's a good time, a grand adventure. We're all going to learn a lot this year.

Yo-yos, yodeling, yoga
Maybe he's going to learn all kinds of new things like playing with a yo-yo or yodeling in music class. He has music class! Or yoga in physical education class! He gets a class on running around -his favorite thing ever! How awesome!

Zzzzz
Will he get enough sleep not napping during the day? Will I lose sleep over this transition? Will I recover from my incessant worrying and not stay up all night worrying? YES. We'll be fine. It'll be AWESOME.

So much to think about, so much to learn and exciting things to look forward to in Kindergarten!

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