My first baby starts kindergarten in the morning. His backpack is stuffed with school supplies and his first day outfit is picked, so all we’ll have to worry about in the morning is getting him to wear a pair of socks with his new shoes since his feet have been free most of the summer.
This mama heart of mine is excited for him, but, more than anything else, it’s anxious.
It’s been awhile since I was in kindergarten, so I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m picturing a whole lot of worksheets and a lot less of hands on activities. I hope I’m wrong.
Exploring, experimenting and creating are how my boy learns best (how all 5-year-olds learn best?) and we were spoiled with a preschool that allowed him to do just that. To him, learning means sitting and listening even though those things he loves doing are where the real learning happens.
Never had we ever considered putting our kids in a private school until we fell in love with his preschool. I swear we’d put him there through to 12th grade if we could. Since that can’t happen, we’ve decided to stick with our public school that we can walk to, where we can be a part of our community, and where we believe he will do just fine.
But I don’t want him to do just fine, I want him to thrive.
To me this means play, explore, touch and do. Academics sounds too harsh for this age. Five-year-olds should be moving their bodies more often than sitting at desks. Maybe in kindergarten they still do. I hope so.
I feel worried that school is going to crush his spirit. I’m afraid an academic focus is going to ruin his desire to really learn. I’m worried I won’t see the same light in his eyes anymore that I saw while he was in preschool.
My heart is anxious about these first few years of schooling because I fear they’ll either make or break him. I realize this sounds dramatic and I keep telling myself I’ll get over all this once school actually starts.
I’m looking forward to this new phase of his life in so many ways and am excited for all that he’ll learn and the new friends that he’ll make. On our walk to kindergarten, I’ll focus on of this. And try to hold back the tears.
How are you handling your babies starting school?