Friday, February 16, 2007

It's Coming...

The noisy boys are headed to Kindergarten this fall. I have to say, this has been the longest, shortest five years of my life. When I was navigating their heavy double stroller through Walmart to buy diapers, I thought this day would never come. I fantasized about it, though. Little did I know what I was in for.

Kindergarten Roundup was this morning. All of the neighborhood children going into Kindergarten this fall met at the elementary school for a special meeting. We brought birth certificates and immunization forms and proof that we live where we say we do. We sat in the Learning Resource Room (a.k.a. library) and discussed what it means to be the Parent of a Kindergartener. And I have to be honest, I’m afraid.

Oh, the kids will do great. They marched right into the Kindergarten room with the other neighborhood children, excited to check out their new space. They know their letters, can write their names, and know how to take turns. It’s me I’m worried about. The “Parent Notebook” is huge, and full of “vital information to make the year a Success.” It includes two pages of volunteer “opportunities,” lists of required supplies, and about a million “must-not-forget” dates for our calendar. I actually got teary eyed during the Traffic Safety talk—not because my babies are going to Kindergarten, but because I am seriously afraid I will not be able to figure out the carpool line. (“Go West on Wendell, but if you can’t pull in, circle around again so you don’t clog up the line. Oh, and you can only park on the East side of Canary street because there are 80 school employees and only 55 parking spaces.”) Thank goodness we’re only three blocks away and can walk most of the year.

One downside to living in an “older” neighborhood is that the Kindergarten classes are shrinking. People are moving in and not moving out, which is a good thing. Our houses may need work, but we all love our neighborhood too much to move. That means fewer young families are moving in, which translates to fewer Kindergarten classes. Five years ago, they offered two morning sessions and two afternoon sessions. Last year, one morning, two afternoon. Next year, it looks like only one morning and one afternoon. So, after several years of long, agonizing conversations with my “twin mom” friends, it looks like the noisy boys will be in the same class regardless of my desire to have them separated. I’m sure they’ll do fine together, they’ve proven that with two years of preschool. I’m just nervous about the big split in first grade. After six years of spending almost every waking moment together, with the occasional separate activity, suddenly they’ll be apart all day long.

But with this thick Parent Notebook to read, I suppose I have enough to worry about without adding that to the list. On the plus side, it looks like an awesome school, and with one of the best school districts in the country, I’m excited to see the noisy boys fly! (And secretly hoping at least one of them wants to join the school newspaper. I always wanted to do that, but never did. Even if they don’t join, maybe they’ll let me volunteer. ☺ )

10 comments:

L.L. Barkat said...

You got me at the end, about them be separated. I had my eldest daughter all signed up for Kindergarten, then couldn't bear to separate her from her sister. It seemed like such a lonely thing. Anyway, I did the unthinkable and homeschooled them. And here we are, five short years later. :)

Llama Momma said...

LL - The separation thing will be hard for us, and I really wanted to do it sooner rather than later. It just seemed easier to adjust to being apart for 2 1/2 hours a day than to go cold turkey in first grade! But, God is in control.

If Sara's artwork and poetry are an indicator of her education at home, than I'd say you're doing an amazing job at homeschooling. :-)

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, yes, on the cold turkey. Here, it is only full-day kindergarten.

As for whether I am an amazing homeschooler... well, probably not. I think that many children are capable of high levels of creativity and achievement, if they are given the free time in which to develop it.

In fact, I used to be a public school teacher and I see the difference. In that setting, I was Big Director and Keeper of the Quiet; here I am Co-Learner and Time Protector. It was so scary when I first made the shift. Everything told me I was crazy. But now the fruit is showing.

Hey, thanks for the Liquid Smoke tip. Now I just have to get myself to a regular grocery store!

Llama Momma said...

Ah yes. Creative learning. The noisy boys do that too. One day, they stuffed a half a roll of toilet paper in containers of water and scattered them around the house as an "experiment." Um. Right.

Thank God for good teachers! They came home from their first week of preschool saying things like, "Mrs. Emmy says it's not nice to hit people;" and "Mrs. Emmy says it's not good manners to eat until everyone has been served." Wait a second. Haven't I been saying that for FOUR YEARS? But when the Teacher says it, well, that's another thing entirely!

I could never homeschool. My children wouldn't learn a darn thing!!

L.L. Barkat said...

Reminds me of a story my sister told me... she has a friend who has twin boys... they "filled Daddy's gas tank" for him. Stones, water, mud. The like. Oops!

But, they made up for it later, with a can of paint they found in the garage... they painted the guests' cars for them. Creative learning and friendly manners at their height. :)

Chandra said...

Hi, thanks for visiting my high impact moms blog!

I am laughing at the kindergarden angst. It all seem so long ago...But I understand where you're both coming from. My youngest son will be officially in middle school next year, and it's another transition. My oldest is graduating from high school in May, so right now I'm pretty deep in angst myself.

Llama Momma said...

Chandra - thanks for stopping by! UGH! I'm sure I'll look back on these years and laugh at my own frustration compared to what's coming! :-)

LL - Reminds me of last spring when the noisy boys sprinkled PREEN up and down our driveway to "feed the birds." And this after our neighbors had spent thousands on landscaping. Oh yeah, we swept every kernal of that stuff up! And later, the boys actually felt contrite and cleaned the driveway themselves...with the wet swifter...

Oh what the neighbors must think of me!

Craver VII said...

So funny!!

For now... said...

Ok llama I just had someone tell me all about preparing to send their first to college and their second to high school! Holy Cow!! I want to be back in kindergarten, want to trade??

Llama Momma said...

for now -- I'd love to trade. (Oh, wouldn't the noisy boys be excited to live at YOUR house? They keep trying to talk me into opening a hair salon in my basement because that would be "so cool." Never mind that I can't cut hair...)