Aug 31, 2015

Transitioning from Preschool to Kindergarten


Today is the first day of Kindergarten for my twins. Molly was a little nervous but once we got into the classroom she was fine. I knew she would be, I was on the Kindergarten team last year working directly with her teachers so she knows them. Mark was a pro since he's been going to his Elementary school for 2+ years in the preK program.

I never cry on the first day of school. I understand that it's difficult for some parents but it's not for me. Just don't ask me about the last day of school, I've cried buckets over saying goodbye to teachers.

I'm not sad that my twins are in Kindergarten. I am nervous about this transition for Mark. Yes my son went to school all day last year through the school district, but that was preK, with his special ed teacher. A woman who knows how to reach her students and deal with a variety of special needs. A woman who's taught Mark since he was 3 years old.

Now he's in a mainstream classroom and it makes me nervous. Not because I think it's the wrong placement for him, we've worked for years to get here. When Mark was 3 we were told that it was going to be impossible to have him mainstreamed by Kindergarten.

Nothing is impossible people!

I'm nervous because the jump from the special ed preK program to mainstreamed Kindergarten in huge. I was on the Kinder team last year, I know exactly what's expected from the kids. I know it would be easier if I didn't know just how often he will be tested and what the writing requirements were by mid year. Did you know that they expect Kindergartners to write 3 sentence stories by January?

Yes January. And last year most of the kids struggled but the special needs and ESL kids struggled so much to the point that they would shut down.  Yep being in the classroom definitely is making things worse for my anxiety but I least I know what's coming down the road.

Mark has a wonderful teacher hand picked by yours truly. I know that she will do everything in her power to make Mark succeed. And I know that I'll work just as hard at home since I truly believe a parent is the child's first teacher.

But still the worry lingers.

Will Mark notice that learning comes easier for his twin?
Will it frustrate him if he does notice it?
Will he shut down?
Will the other kids notice his language processing issues?
Will the other kids notice that he drools?

And on and on the worries go.

I was warned by some of the moms from the special ed program that the transition to Kindergarten is rough. Our babies are leaving their secluded environment and venturing into big school. It's a hard transition. One that we will make together.

I would love any advice or inspiration you have to offer from the moms who have made this transition. What helped you and your child?

Rainy first day of school

4 comments:

  1. I am glad that you did not listen to the nay sayers. I dont think they will notice anything and dont worry-our kids amaze us every day!

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    1. Thanks. You're right our kids do amaze me. At this age they don't really notice or care about differences like adults do.

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  2. First let me say that your twins are just adorable.
    I have a daughter who suffered a severe brain injury at the age of 4. It completely changed her. Long, long story...but what I want to get at is that I worried SO MUCH when I sent her to Kindergarten. She was five and a half, and it was just about a 18 months since her accident. And I worried. She had language limitations (so how would she make friends if she couldn't speak well?) She had a limp when she walked (so how would she keep up on the playground? would she trip and fall constantly?) She had one arm/hand that didn't work. (How would she carry her books and open up a door or a drawer? would she be dependent on other kids to help her?) She had focal point seizures where she would daze off into no where (would the kids notice her blank stares and how her mouth is slightly opened during one of them?) And yet...despite all these worries...I sent her to Kindergarten because she wanted to go SO BADLY. She didn't realize she was different. Well, I think she actually did, but she still saw herself as equal to other kids. I have no idea the workings of her thoughts at that time, since she was still getting her speech back, but I do know that I was WAY more worried about her going to school than she was. I prayed for a friend for her. Please, Lord, just one friend! Someone who will stick up for her, who will help her, who will never let her sit by herself, or be alone on the play ground. And exactly one week after school started, I saw her "chatting" to a girl in line during pick up. This was the first time I had ever seen her carry on a conversation with another child (except her siblings) since her accident. I wanted to run up and hug that child she was talking to. I stayed back and watch, with tears, as my daughter was smiling and laughing with this little girl. Her name was Ashley, and she was best friends with my daughter the entire year. And my daughter did great in Kindergarten. She was able to keep up with the class's learning schedule. She did great. Sorry this is so long, but I just wanted to share. Sometimes we moms worry more than we need to. It's just how we are designed, it's not our fault. LOL -- but the kids end up doing just fine. I hope the school year goes great for your sweet Mark. He's such a handsome little guy!

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    1. Thank you for your response. I really don't give kids enough credit for being kind. I love that your daughter found a friend and did great in school. So far Mark is loving school and his teachers tell me that he's doing fine in the classroom.

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