Posts filed under ‘Kindergarten’

5 Days Down, 1945 to Go

We’re 5 days into CPS and so far so good.  In a totally out-of-character way, my son has said that he’s liked every day so far.  What goes on in the classroom remains a bit of a mystery, but it seems to be enjoyable.  He says its “fun,” – something he never said about his preschool.   I suspect the teacher is easing them into school and once the real learning-time starts he may be less enthusiastic, but the tranisition is going well.

Morning drop of is a totally-IN-character experience with him getting weepy and clingly (as am I but I’m better at hiding it than he is.)  There is something so heartbreaking about seeing these little kids crying as their parents leave (oh no, he wasn’t the only one.)  The fact that they have no self-consciousness yet about crying at school or wanting their mommy or daddy makes you realize how young and vulnerable they are inside, which makes it that much harder to walk out.

I like the CPS environment a lot, although its exponentially more chaotic than our private school was (car drop off run with military-like precision, each kid and car assigned a number) but I think this is the kind of chaos I like.  There’s a certain anonymity to chaos that I think will suit both my son and me better.  Part of what “sold” him on the school was the promise of Freedom.  The freedom to play on the playground after school because its a public school.  And that ANYONE can play on the playground.  And parents are ALLOWED in the classroom as volunteers.  I may as well have been waving the American flag as I described the personal freedoms that would be enjoyed at his new school.  Of course I didn’t mention the 8 million rules that will probably be enforced inside.  I will let that unfold in due time.

September 5, 2008 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Kindergarten Eve

So here it is… the night before Kindergarten starts.  It feels simultaneously less momentous and more distressing than I’d envisioned.  Suddenly I am not a huge fan of full-day Kindergarten.  What on earth will they be doing with my baby for almost 6 hours?!  Luckily my son doesn’t seem to realize that this is the “first day of the rest of his life” in terms of school, then work.  Hey wait – Kindergarten isn’t actually required.  I could home-school him for a year.  Hey wait again.  We’d drive each other nuts.  Onward….

September 1, 2008 at 10:23 pm 1 comment

Kindergarten Craziness

The Kindergarten decision.  In Chicago, the stress involved is as great as applying to college.  Or come to think of it, maybe more stressful.  At least for college the child in question will share in the decision-making, sparing the parent the burden of single-handedly choosing the “wrong” school and messing up their kid for life.  For now, it is up to us to make the call, wondering what the 8th grade version of our child will be like and what type of education/environment is best suited for this nebulous concept of a child.  (Of course most of us are envisioning studious, vibrant, and talkative 8th grade offspring who have developed a true love of learning rather than the type who will roll their eyes at us, slack on their homework, mumble answers to our questions, and cause various types of trouble at school.)

And Kindergarten Chicago style is more crazy than any friends in the suburbs or other states can even imagine:  Touring schools, sending out lottery applications, gifted/classical testing, application fees, play parties, reading message boards, shmoozing principals, talking to random strangers at the playground…. it is almost enough to drive one to the suburbs.  Yet we persist.  And pray to the Gods of the CPS lottery hoping we’ll hit the jackpot.

I have been preparing for and anticipating the Kindergarten decision for over 2 years.  Half my son’s life, in fact.  And now, with a brain full of knowledge and experience, I feel the need to continue charting my progress as we dive head first into CPS.  I’d also like a place to share information with other parents who are going through this strange and interesting journey.

At the aquarium the other day, my son and I threw pennies into the fountain and made a wish.  He wished for a machine that could transform him into a robot.  I wished for a good school experience for him.  Not to be selfish, but I hope mine comes true before his does (although I could put that robot to work around the house….)


June 10, 2008 at 7:15 pm 1 comment

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