Continued from This Post...
So, I decided Sweetheart was ready to begin Kindergarten when she "should" have, according to our state law. That means that she was 4 YEARS OLD for the first 2 weeks of school. What was I thinking? She was so excited though and loved it.
By the way, I don't remember ever asking my husband what he thought about her starting or waiting a year. I thought it was all up to me. I was an independent working woman who made all the decisions about child-care...so. What could my husband say that would help? Sigh.
Anyway, she started Kindergarten. I quit work that year because we couldn't find care for 9 month old Little Bit and be able to shuttle Sweetheart to and from Kindergarten too. So I babysat for extra money and stayed home. So WHY didn't I keep Sweetheart home? I could have had a whole year at home with her! It's because I felt she needed to start. I felt she was ready. There was pressure, people!
And three weeks into Kindergarten, when my baby had been 5 for a whole week, the teachers called me in for a conference. They were concerned that Sweetheart didn't know all of her letter sounds.
Was there some memo that said I was supposed to teach her a certain number of things BEFORE she began school? I thought I sent her to school to LEARN. Well, as it turned out...she did know her sounds she was just nervous when they tested her. I asked them to try again and spend a few minutes chatting with her before they began. It worked. And the teachers explained to me that they had so far to go with the kids they had to know their letters and sounds at the very beginning of the year.
I won't even go into detail about all the things Sweetheart had to be able to do in Kindergarten, or what an effort it was for us to keep up. I should have waited. I had no idea Kindergarten would be like that. Thus, she repeated first grade later.
We still have pressure though. Thank goodness we are out of the public school pressure factory where, this year, she would have to pass the state's test in order to go on to 4th grade...even if all of her grades were passing. I can't even let myself think about the pressure those poor public schooled kids down the road are under. I know. I used to be the Applier of the Pressure.
But there is still pressure. Pressure to be involved in all sorts of activities. Scouts, sports, clubs, organizations, etc. etc. etc. There are so many things to do that are really good things for your kids to do...and we have to choose. This year, money is helping us choose to say no to a lot of things and I'm not so sure that's a bad thing.
Do you know that children used to get raised all the way up without ever participating in an extra-curricular activity? Unheard of, I know. I believe that what they can learn at home is wonderful. I believe in our family doing things together---not apart. I believe in a lot of things....but I still feel badly that we aren't doing __________. It's that pressure. I feel that I am letting my kids down, that they are not getting the good experiences that other kids are getting. I feel guilty.
Does anyone else have this pressure? Someone tell me it's OK that my kids are home.