Thursday, August 21, 2008

Getting ready for that first day of school

This is harder then expected. I thought that it would be easy to just pack my kid of to kindergarten for half a day. It is not like he has not been going to daycare for years. What is different about sending him to school? Why is it emotionally difficult?

First there is getting him ready for the transition of no longer going to pre-school with his friends all day but going to kindergarten for half the day and spending half the day at home. He is having a hard time understanding that he is not going to be going back to pre-school. He does not handle change very well, he comes by it honestly, I don’t like changing either. He needs routines and I am not very good with them. It is going to be a challenge for both of us to adjust. The next few weeks will be all about getting all of us ready for him to go to real school.

It is important that he has time to adjust to the change before it happens. We walk by his new school everyday and I let him know that he will be going to that school in a few weeks. Next week the daycare will be getting him used to the idea that he will not be coming back to them, but going to real school. Everyone is working toward making this as easy on him as possible.

However I was not expecting me to have problems with it. It is a big step for him, a sign that he is growing up. I am happy for him but at the same time uncomfortable with there being less control over what happens in his day. I worry about him fitting in, though he does ok at daycare and I think some of the kids will be in the same school as him. I worry about bullies and strange people coming into the school. I want to be able to protect him still from all of that and still give him his freedom to become himself.

How does one balance the need to protect and the need to let go? This is just one small step for us, but it is also a big first step to letting him grow up and be part of the real world. My husband wanted us to home school but I want him to learn how to deal with how things really are right away, personality conflicts and all. And yet I am the one who is starting to get anxious about him being in a less controlled environment, being vulnerable.

I also have to deal with our three year old being upset because he is going to a different school then her, and that she cannot go with him. I think that it is going to be a hard month for all of us as we adjust our schedules and get used to him going to school. In one way I think it is going to be harder for me having him home more, mainly because I work from home and already have a hard time getting my work done, now I will have even less time. On the other hand I think it will be very good for us to have some quality time together without his little sister. He needs the one on one time and she always has to be doing what he is doing or is trying to get me to do something else with her.

I think he is going to have an easer time adjusting then I am, but it is going to be a hard few weeks until things become routine again.

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