School/daycare check-in post

Everyone's been in session now for at least a week, so it's time to check in and talk about how it's going. How's your child's teacher? How's your child adjusting? How are the other parents? Did you accidentally get yourself roped into chairing any fundraisers? Are you able to get your kids into bed early enough that they can wake up rested in the morning? (We'll do the annual "sharing morning routines" and "sharing evening routines" posts next week.)

Are things you thought might be problems actually problems? Has anything come up that you did't anticipate?

I'll start:

Older son loves his teacher and seems pretty happy about things this year. I think he's finally relaxing and feeling safe at school, after three years. The academics have ramped up, though, and it's going to cut into his pleasure reading time. We'll see how he adjusts.

Younger son's Kindergarten teacher is very kind. I'm sure she has other wonderful qualities, but that's pretty much all I care about. If he learns anything in her class that will just be a bonus, because she's kind and caring the way a Kindergarten teacher should be and he's happy to go every morning. He was not excited about going to bed early the first two days, but by the third day of school he was ready to go to sleep then so he's only protesting in theory.

Now that we're sharing custody and the kids are at the same school, the routine is geometrically easier than it was last year, so I'm doing things like making deep-dish pizza for supper and staying awake until 10 pm.

How's it going for you? Share successes or troubleshoot quandaries in the comments.

87 thoughts on “School/daycare check-in post”

  1. UGH. School has not been going swimmingly for my daughter this year…and advice needed from any of you (especially teachers!). My son is in his second year of his toddler program and happy as a clam — the only downside is the teacher I adore is back in the preschool room (she taught toddlers last year), but it was great to have her there while he adjusted to the first year in school.Now, my daughter: She is young for her grade — started kindergarten at 4 and three-quarters and now is 5 and three-quarters at the beginning of first grade. Last year was overall really positive, and I am impressed with her teacher this year for the most part. She seems to have really thought about how to run her classroom and she’s smart and dedicated. However, she might not be the best fit with my daughter. Two days in a row now (Friday and yesterday) she immediately started complaining about my daughter’s behavior to whoever picked her up (my mom one day, my husband the other). It comes down to not listening and not being able to control her body. Also, she has small amounts of homework this year and it is a NIGHTMARE getting her to do it ..she cries, she fixates on the wrong things (like how to draw a line on her spelling paper versus just writing the words) and it’s generally horrible. She also keeps forgetting her homework folder, which we are addressing with consequences(she loses computer time).
    My main problems are: trying to find a way to get her teacher to communicate with us in a way other than bitching up a storm at pickup time to whoever gets her (I reallllyyyy don’t want my mother involved here) in a respectful manner (I don’t have issues with the content, if she is having difficultly I want to know and work on a plan to address it, just the delivery), emphasizing the importance of paying attention in school, and making homework less of a struggle.
    Other facts surrounding this that may be having an effect: She’s playing soccer and has TWO practices a week, which gets her home about 7:30-8:00 (we like to get her in bed by 8 at the latest, which isn’t possible on soccer nights, even though we have dinner and homework done before she goes). Thus, she’s really tired those days. We’re bumping bedtime up to 7:30 on non-soccer days. Also, both her father and I have ADD and I notice her behavior in school is much like mine. I am NOT medicating a five-year-old, so what else to do? She is doing well academically, from what I can tell from the work she brings home.

  2. Well, my son is only two and just started a church preschool program two mornings a week (Thursday and Friday, 9 – 12). We’re not church-goers, but if you want to send your kid to preschool without paying an arm and a leg, that’s what you do. Anyway, I love the school and I love his teachers. There is a lead teacher and an assistant, and they are both very nice. Unfortunately, we’re having some issues with getting him adjusted. Not that I didn’t expect that, but I thought it would be more of the “cries for 5 minutes after drop-off” variety instead of “cries off and on throughout the morning.” It hasn’t gotten bad enough that they call me or my Dad (who is my baby-sitter and also the person who drops him off. I pick him up on my lunch break.) to come get him, which happened to my friend whose daughter is in the same class. Apparently he is fine when they go outside, and will usually participate in whatever art activity they do and eat his snack, but he just cries off and on – sometimes more on than off. Granted, he has only been going for two weeks, which amounts to four days, but it is stressing me out. When we talk about school he gets excited and says he likes it and likes his teachers, so that’s encouraging. On Friday I got a call from my Dad and I hear Cash screaming in the background and my Dad says “I told him it was time to go to school and he said ‘No’ and started to cry. Do you still want me to take him?” Um…yes! He will never get used to it if we just don’t make him go whenever he cries. So…yeah. A little harder than I expected, but I really want to stick it out and see if it gets better. His teachers assure me this is normal and especially for the kids who only come two days a week, it can take a long time for it to feel normal to them. I’ve asked about getting him into the 3-day or 5-day a week classes, but they are full. He has stayed with my Dad since I went back to work when he was 12 weeks old, so he’s never been in a setting like this before, so I’m trying to give him time. I don’t want to push him into something he’s not ready for, but I don’t think it will get any easier if we wait another year. Anyway, advice and/or stories about how your kid finally adjusted to preschool are welcome. 🙂

  3. “…he’s only protesting in theory.” Love that. I’ll remember that for the future.@Callie – my son is 28 months and is not in a school setting, but we’re doing more classes and story time things this year. FWIW, he has a very hard time with any parts of the classes that do not involve large muscle movement. Once we do an activity that involves being up and moving he completely lights up and gets into it. I weeded out one class from last spring because the teacher didn’t seem to appreciate the needs of two year old boys (by the end of the session he was the only boy left in the class). Now we only do activities run by people that get it. The sit-still activities are stretching him, I hope, and the active parts of the activities are what makes him love going back.

  4. @Moxie-So glad this year is starting off better. Any ideas on getting the pleasure readers to SLEEP? Now that my big girl is reading well, she can be up for hours reading in bed, and if you shut the book and the light, she just complains that she can’t sleep, also for a long long time.@AmyinMotown..My daughter also had a hard time in first grade transitioning to homework, and it was a challenge, for sure. I would say two things that helped. I spoke to the teacher as far as a time limit, meaning we didn’t spend more than x amount of time on homework, even if that meant not finishing it. For a kid who isn’t struggling with the academics, having the practice of the format of h.w. is more important than the content. Between that, and just adjusting to the routine, a couple of months in it became much less of a struggle, and we almost never modified. I think knowing that I could modify things as needed for her took the pressure off of BOTH of us (because I KNOW part of her stress level was feeding off of mine).
    Also, I wonder if the h.w. folder thing could be addressed at school(i am assuming that is where she is forgetting it, as opposed to at home?). Honestly, even second graders I think need to be reminded every day to pack up their bags with the appropriate stuff, especially in the beginning of the year, let alone first graders. Maybe the teacher could give her a sticker on a chart when she shows her her bag with the folder, or even she can have a little chart on her desk to check off when she puts her homework folder in every day. You and I both know that she probably wants to bring it home, just needs help with the organization. I feel guilty punishing my kids for stuff I would totally still do.. I feel like TEACHING it right is more important.
    As to the ADD thing specifically, given my and my husband’s personality, and my oldest’s complete inability to actually, physically, stay still, I have worried about this from the beginning of her academic career. My philosophy has been as long as she is succeeding in the environment that she is in, I don’t know that the little things I see in her need to be blown up by my concerns. However, my deal with myself has been, that the minute ADD type things start to be a real struggle for her, I will go straight to a professional (school psychologist probably), and work on behavioral tricks and techniques for supporting her. Even the most medicated kids with ADD need the modification and support to succeed, so I think starting young with that, as soon as there are signs, can’t hurt, only help, as opposed to medication, which has major downsides as well as benefits.
    As to the teacher, I would maybe just be (sort of) direct, and send a little note thanking her for bringing xyz to her attention, and saying that the best ways for her to reach you are xyz (email?), and what’s the best way to reach HER?
    OK, now that I wrote a novel to @amyinmotown, my version will attempt to be concise.
    2.5 yo–loves loves to go to school, (3.5 hrs5 days) teachers seem warm and loving. Yay!
    4.5 yo-happy happy to go to school. Academics are fine, honestly I don’t care TOO much about that at this age, as long as they are stimulated and learning sthing. Socially, I worry bc he is new, and in the smaller of 2 prek classes, so I wonder if it is hard for him to break in on the playground with the boys in the other class. But he hasn’t complained, so I am just watching it.
    7.5 yo-Seems overall happy. Math facts=the bane of my existence right now, and h.w. in general. Not sure I love the teacher, or her methodology, (kind of wish her style was little more creativeenergetic) but being that this is a new school, as long as my daughter is happy and learning, I am not getting worked up yet.
    BTW- My two biggest h.w. pet peeves, that are related. H.W. that the kids CAN NOT do independently (like here, study this stuff for a TEST…in 2nd grade, or worksheets that are too hard, and leave me TEACHING stuff), other than reading practice, which I get. Which brings me to my second frustration- I have little kids around. 4:00, when my daughter gets home is their neediest, crankiest time. I really don’t like the idea of leaving h.w. till after foodbaths, etc., but it makes things infinitely more complicated for both of us to have the littles climbing onpulling at talking to or near us while doing h.w. And I can’t put the h.w. doer in a nearby room and keep the littles away, bc see pet peeve 1!!! We limit movietv a lot, so it would be super unfair to the big one to put the littles in front of it while she does her h.w., and by the time she finishes her work, she wouldn’t have time to watch too.
    Also my husband picked her up from school one and took her out to do h.w. one on one. That worked nicely, but he can’t do that every day, we are aiming for once a week. I could get a mother’s helper for that time, but knowing my kids they would still bug me if I was home.
    Also, re: math facts..i’ve been looking online for theory. To what extent is it supposed to be rote memorization, vs. some sort of theorystrategies?

  5. with my son (2) he started full time childcare this year after part time last year. One of the teachers it the same and he likes the other new one but he isn’t much on going every day. Frankly, neither am I. I miss his cuddling at home. He is refusing to sleep at all until everyone is down. i think its a sleep regression (he is 25.5 months)–last night I went to bed at 9 with both kids b/c I was exhausted and at 10, when my husband came in to move our daughter to her room, the boy was still awake. Happy to be next to me (I was asleep) but awake.My daughter is harder. She is in Kindergarten. Loves her teacher, who seems very nice, but doesn’t know anyone in her class and has become very very shy. In the morning its a struggle to get her to leave me–this from the girl who in preschool has always just walked away from me and started playing. And she HATES afterschool. Which I cannot do much about b/c there is no way for me to get to the school before 3:15, even on good days. (K here starts at 7:50am, which is another difficulty in itself).
    After talking with other parents whose children were in pre-k with my daughter, I think the K transition is just hard, even for kids who have been in full time child care for years. making it worse for my girl is that her best best best friend moved away this summer. They would have been at the same school. They were unusually close and its been very hard on her (and by extension, on us).

  6. We’ve been in school since August 9, so the new normal has settled. Dillo (4, public PreK) seems to have picked up some rowdier habits from the boys in his class, and is, for him, now a bit of a handful (he had been a remarkably meek & easygoing boy). He is happy to go to school, and spontaneously starting conversations about letters and their shapes and sounds. Bedtime is a disaster, however, and I am not happy with the new behavioral stuff. His class has 13 boys and 7 girls and there is definitely a wild element. The teacher is pretty old-school and limit-setting, but also (being old school) I think has some “boys will be boys” attitudes which I do not want to foster in my house.Casper (7, 2nd grade) has a laid-back male teacher and much less homework than in 1st grade (yay)! We’ve had her tested again for Gifted (she just missed the cutoffs in K) and she really wants to do the pull-out class that many of her friends attend so I hope she gets in. She told me last week that a stick of butter is a rectangular prism and she watches NOVA documentaries on australopithecines with rapt attention, but I am still fretting about her (reluctant and not yet independent) reading (her teacher is not worried; she’s at grade level, so this is basically my issue.) A little worried about self esteem issues (“I wish I was someone else” seems like a red flag, eh?) and considering talking to the school counselor.
    And I have gotten roped into being the Girl Scout leader. Very frustrated by the lack of support from most parents, who want their girls to do Girl Scouts but can’t commit to actually doing anything. If I hadn’t done it, it wouldn’t have happened, so I am doing it. In my copious free time.

  7. @flea What is with 7 yo girls having self esteem issues that seem like they belong in 7th grade??!!! I also have heard stuff like that from my daughter, and she is embarassed of pretty much ANYTHING (one of her most commonly used words is AWKWARD, and she is using it correctly…). I’m not worried enough yet to talk to a professinal, curious what you find out, and if other 7 yo girls are like this.

  8. Well, last night I was in the top bunk with Eldest and DH was in the bottom bunk with Younger and we were all asleep by 8:00! That’s pretty much been the deal since school started… It’s going well, very well, but we’re all tired.

  9. The transition to preschool has been way harder than I thought it would be. My 3-y-o son started a T/Th program at the park district. The first day I get the report that he refused to sit down and do his work. Work?! What happened to the “play-based philosophy” they talked about in the brochure?Well, we talked and talked and talked, and there were some bribes, and now he understands that stuff at school is not optional.
    What I’m struggling with, and this is only tangentially school-related, is the issue of how to keep us both busy all day without being crazy over-scheduled. He gave up his nap and is exhausted from preschool, but somehow we have to fill the hours. We have only been in school two weeks now, and I feel like I don’t have a fall routine down.

  10. Mine are too little to be in school. But my son is almost 2.5 and my biggest frustration is that he’s not in pre-K, but in a home daycare. He likes the daycare (he’s always looked forward to leaving home in the morning and is never bothered when we leave him) and seems to have fun. We like the care provider. But I wish he was in a slightly more structured environment. It’s not that I think he needs to be “learning” anything, I’m just a big believer in Montessori ideas about little kids doing “work” (intelligently constructed play). I think he would benefit enormously from this, rather than just random play with random plastic toys. But we don’t have anything like that where I’m currently living. I know this isn’t a big problem, but that’s my school-related frustration. What does one do with under-6s in a small town? On the upside, it provides him some stimulation, companionship, and time OOH.

  11. Callie, your comment reminded me of a Catherine Newman post from way back when:
    (I hope that will make you feel empathized with, and not sad all over for someone else’s kid.)
    Things here are so, so good. He of the introversion has an amazing teacher this year, and when I got to observe the class last week, I witnesses my child holding.up.his.hand because he wanted to participate in a math exercise.
    I want to send a huge thank-you to Flea and the other parents who step up for the big jobs. We are more of filler-inners here, and for what it’s worth, I feel guilty about it, but my peerless spouse travels a lot for work and the logistics haven’t worked out yet.

  12. My boys are enjoying school for the most part. The older on (6.5, in 1st grade) has suddenly ramped up the teenage behavior (I HATE YOU! and door slamming), which makes for really fun weekends. Not sure if this is a passing developmental phase (god I hope so), or related to school, which at this point seems ridiculously easy for him. And I’m missing back to school night tonight b/c both boys are sick.

  13. @flea – Starting my 2nd year as a GS leader. Some parents are more intrinsically helpful than others. Sometimes asking for something specific is the key. (e.g. having a mom hanging out at the back of the meeting in case someone has to go to the ladies room vs. being the cookie chair) My husband still says that I’m not using the parents as well as I could be. Which, I’m probably not. I don’t like to ask for help.@AmyinMotown – my 2nd grader is having trouble bringing home the homework folder at least once a week too. I don’t think that the teacher reminds them anymore. Also, perhaps the teacher can write a note in a planner or send email vs. venting to the picker upper. This might take a conference and perhaps more formal investigating into the ADD business so you can set up an IEP other plan/coping strategies. I tend to agree that there are plenty of things to try before trying medicine. Especially if the problem ends up being that she’s just a little young.
    2nd grade here seems to be doing OK. It’s kind of an adjustment – more reading logs, more homework pages, etc. but I think it’ll be OK.
    11th grade is having rocky moments – but I think it will turn out OK also. Finding a balance between social stuff (GIRLS! FRIENDS!) and academics (AP Art History is an ELECTIVE – shouldn’t have a D!) and extracurriculars (in a PLAY!) Lots of coaching has been put back into place (study hall, tutoring, counseling, me being nosy.)
    The 2 1/2 year old has been spending lots of time in the 3s room. While this is good academically – I think she’s ready. She’s also kind of petite for her age and the scale of the room is for preschoolers, so goofy things happen like falling in the toilet. So, I kind of have mixed feelings about this.
    As far as extracurriculars go, I think we’re figuring out that our load was too heavy and we’re dropping guitar lessons. We can pick it back up in the summer if we want to when GS, soccer, and homework is on hiatus.

  14. My oldest just started grade 1 and this year is so much better than last. He was diagnosed with ADHD last year and medicated and that wasn’t going well so we kept him off meds this summer and he made *huge* improvements in his impulse control and anger management and overall maturity leading us to believe that last year he was simply too young (birthday in Aug so he was just barely 5yrs when he started kindergarten). If this year continues to go well we’ll celebrate, if not we’ll hold him back and have him repeat grade 1 (despite him being academically ahead of gr 1 *now*, let alone next year repeating it). He’s got an IEP and a personal aide this year (same as last) and that helps. He was afraid of 1st grade (he told his aide who told us) but that’s been addressed and now he’s just bummed with all the homework (despite or perhaps because it’s so easy for him). He’s still unmedicated and we’re crazily hoping it can stay that way from now on *knock on wood*. His teacher is very organized and I tend to be so I’m hoping he responds well to her (so far so good).Youngest is 4 this December and he’s having trouble adjusting to his best friend/brother being away all day (plus he’s 3 and driving me nuts). The biggest problem for him is that he’s also showing signs of being extra smart and he’ll have another 2yrs to wait before he can start kindergarten. With his rate of learning now (and I’m hardly going to stop encouraging him) he’s going to be the biggest (he’s huge), most bored boy in kindergarten. This worries me.
    One of our biggest problems is that bedtime is 7pm here and wake-up is 6:30 and I don’t think my oldest is getting enough sleep but he’s still wound from the day when he goes to bed and can’t *get* to sleep until 8ish most nights.

  15. @Chaya, I did talk to my neighbor, who is a school psychologist but not at our school, and she says for 6-8 year old girls perfectionism and self-esteem issues are very common. She suggested our school psych should be able, in only a few meetings, to help Casper develop some coping mechanisms/routines – sounded a little like the principle of cognitive behavioral therapy, if you’ve heard of that – to derail the negative spirals.

  16. @ Callie–My oldest son cried every single day of PreK 3. We looked at new schools and ultimately changed him to the only other preschool he thought he might like more than the one where he was (his cousin was there too). He cried every drop off at the new school until November, and then was generally fine after that.When his little brother started going to the same school, and loved it, big brother started saying how he remembered really liking it too. I asked him if he remembered crying before school every day and whether he remembered why. “Sure I do,” he said. “It was because you weren’t there.”
    Kill me now, I thought.
    I’m over it, mostly. But know that he really did like school and just hated the transition. And it takes some doing to figure out how to do transitions well. One child needs a countdown like oxygen. The other needs to just leave the house without time to process. (The countdowns stress him out far more than the actual leaving.) That’s fun, managing both styles effectively, but on the occasions I can pull it off, it goes way better.
    @ Claire–same older child–same thing, same age, with the I hate yous and door slams. Is settling down as he approaches 7 but it was a breathtaking view of a might-have-been (or really could-still-be) in adolescence. I’m hoping we both learn better coping skills between now and then.
    @ Kelly–I had lots of the same fears about my oldest that you have about your to-be-4 y.o. but so many kids in our district repeated K (four that I know of in my son’s 18-child class alone) that my hulking, smart boy was never bored. They found stuff he needed work on (fine motor skills) and gave him lots, and encouraged him to help the other kids read the things they couldn’t. May your child find the same kind of skillful teacher.
    Oldest child just started first grade. Anxiety was unbearable leading up to it but two weeks in, he feels oh-so-grown-up, ADORES his teacher, loves the bus, and is generally happier than I’ve seen him in a while. Homework is still an issue. He is fried when he gets home, so immediately is not an option, but his ability to focus just gets worse as the night goes on, so I’m feeling a little stumped. We’ll figure it out. The homework so far is interesting and manageable and appropriate–and I like it because he is not forthcoming with what happens in school during the day but this gives me clues what to ask about to get some answers!
    Younger starts in October. I am sorry we didn’t sent him to K in some ways (he was born on the cutoff day) but in others I’m glad…I think the pressure to NOT repeat K would have been huge and I do think in my heart of hearts he’ll be better off starting next year, and we’re in a position to make it happen. He is on the one hand loving being home, loving having mom to himself for the day (for the first time ever, really), loving reading or playing or blowing bubbles (wow, that was heaven, forty-five minutes with one child, blowing bubbles on a sunny perfect fall day with no squabbles about which bubble wand we were using, or who popped whose bubbles, or who pushed over the bubble solution). And on the other hand, his behavior is regressing in a big way–lots of fake crying, temper tantrums, etc. I guess he saw an opening for “the temperamental one” now that his brother is settled and stepped in! (I’m kidding about that, kind of, but I do think he’s experimenting with the role, not unlike “protesting in theory” above.)
    Anyway. Thanks Moxie and thanks all for a place to vent among non-judgmental souls, and best to all!

  17. I’m on week #3 with Boo (who is now 3.5). He on the standard French program – 4x week, 8:30am-4:30pm. But since I work he’s in after-school care until approx. 5.45pm. And this just isn’t working. It’s just too long a day (we leave at 8.05) and he HATES the crazy,unruly playground. He doesn’t cry though or make a fuss. He just shuts down until I arrive, kind of fussing over a lovey, slowly shredding it. He’s NEVER had a lovey or little animal. So. I’ve decided to find another solution but have no clue what that will be.

  18. My 5 year old has ALWAYS been okay with going to daycare (same, small, in-home place for both kids over 7 years!), but protests that she “hates” K, it’s “too much sitting, not enough playing”. She’s grumpy/tired (expected, just like her older brother was), but these tears, protesting, clinging to me of drop off was a complete surprise. I did email her teacher with what’s going on – and she replied that she was surprised to hear about this, and that she is adjusting very well in class (making friends, good behavior, etc.) We’re trying to take it day by day and I’m spending one-on-one time with her as much as I can. This too shall pass, right?

  19. @Amyinmotown…I am a teacher myself, and I would suggest an informal conference asap to address some of your concerns and make sure the teacher is on the same page. It’s not appropriate for the teacher to talk about your daughter’s behavior in such a public manner. If she’s *really* misbehaving in class, then SHE should be asking for a conference with you rather than venting to the person doing pick-up at the end of the day. Most likely your daughter is hearing at least some of her concerns, and that’s also not a message you want your daughter to be getting – that she “misbehaves” in class, when in reality it’s probably more of an impulse control thing – she’s FIVE. Especially critical since your daughter will absorb this information and suddenly it will become part of how she thinks about HERSELF as a learner. You don’t want her thinking she’s the kind of kid who misbehaves. Teacher needs to filter her comments, and it’s not inappropriate for you to ask her to do so. As for the homework folder stuff….I would try to get all of the people on pick up duty to make that their first question as they are getting ready to head back to the car. “What do you need to do tonight for homework? Do you have all of the materials you need? Is your homework folder in your backpack?” she will most likely need these reminders, and again, she’s FIVE and it’s totally appropriate to get her in the habit of mind of asking herself what she needs to do her homework that night and double checking before leaving campus (and again in the morning before leaving for school). I teach fourth grade, and I find many students still need these reminders, which is appropriate. They are only NINE. You can’t blame them for having their heads in the clouds every now and then.Good luck.

  20. So interesting to read other people’s experiences!DS is 3.5 and started preschool – 5 days @ 2 hrs – with before and after school care. He seems very happy, and settled now, and I thank our stars that we could start him in the daycare there at the beginning of August so he could get used to it before the tumult of preschool started. We’re way happier with his care now, compared to the daycare he was in since he was 6 mths old. All his teachers & aides seem to genuinely enjoy the kids, and are enthusiastic & energetic.
    Concerns? Flea mentioned one of mine – DS has become best friends with a boy who is perhaps not the best influence. We’ve already had the teachers talk to us @ how DS gets rowdy, and doesn’t pay attention when he’s playing with this boy. We were shocked to discover our ‘angel’ was misbehaving! Working with the teachers though, we came up with a plan to encourage him to play with other children as well, and this seems to be working (btw the friend is also a lovely little boy, just a little more attention-seeking than our son).
    2nd concern is bedtime – being 3.5, and all that that entails, we’ve gone through hell over the past few months at bedtime. I think he should be in bed & asleep (Ha!) at 7.30pm, but DH thinks the problem is that he’s not tired and bedtime should be 8 at the earliest. As we take turns putting him to bed we have the tendency to nudge the timing according to our philosophy….but never the twain shall meet!

  21. Mouse started August 16 (what IS it with that? school is supposed to start after labor day) and seems to have scored again on teacher fit. it’s her first year of homework too and it’s a pain in the ass to fit it in along with dinner-bath-bed once we get home at 6:30 or so but it seems to be going fine. I know it’s supposed to be an exercise in discipline but Mouse tends to knock the whole packet out in a night and be done with it, which I can’t really blame her for, I would have done the same. her teacher gives the kids a single jellybean, totally against school policy (ha!) when they turn in their homework for the week, and this seems to be highly motivating. I love her by doing stuff like that while running a super-tight ship that gets the core curriculum done in 4 days and leaves Friday for science and art. still love our school, feel incredibly lucky!

  22. um, “for” – I love her FOR doing stuff like that. also for buttonholing me on the playground the first week and just letting me know briefly that she noticed Mouse is ahead on reading and math and “I’m excited to challenge her, I just want you to know that the first couple weeks are going to be a lot of review and focus on the kids who have to have that – but I’m on it”. fab.the fact that art and science are not part of hte district’s core first grade curriculum is a whole nother topic.

  23. My daughter is 2 and just started full time daycare. We chose a play based over a fancy pants daycare and things seem to be going okay. She loves her teacher, the ratio is fairly small, and she actually takes naps.My concern is when her particular teacher isn’t there. I don’t like the way the other teachers interact with the 3 to 4 year-old kiddos. It seems kind of harsh, giving them time outs, etc. Not that you don’t need structure in a school, but the tone rubs me the wrong way.
    When my daughter is mixed in with the older kids and with these teachers, as she is sometimes at the beginning and ending of the day, I’m not comfortable. This morning it took me forever to leave because I was waiting for *her* teacher to get there.
    Any suggestions, wise Moxie readers? I’m not thrilled with the idea of another transition for her, especially since she seems to like school. She *asks* to go in the morning. And especially since there aren’t many other options where I live. It’s those unorganized multi-age grumpy teacher times that I have a problem with . . .

  24. Day care = first cold of the fall season. Rip roaring sore throat this morning, yeah.And WHY did I get a preshool fund raising email from a friend of a friend. Preschool. Fund raising. What is this for?
    My parents wouldn’t let me sell crap door-to-door growing up, they’d just send a check to the teacher. Why raise money, only to give a chunk of it to a middle man, and sell family and neighbors crap they don’t want???

  25. My daughter (3) started at a new Montessori school two weeks ago. We moved across the the country this summer, but she was in Montessori before, so a lot of the structure and routine are familiar to her. We love her lead teacher, and the assistant seems great, too. They have been really helpful at drop-off, which was tearful for the first two weeks but has been fine this week. My mom picks her up two days a week, which is completely thrilling for her.The only negative is that it is so hard to get her in bed before 9 (which means she isn’t asleep until almost 10). We are not good at the night routine. She’s pretty easy-going and happy in the mornings, so I don’t think sleep deprivation is a big deal, but I do think she needs more sleep than she is getting. I look forward to reading about bedtime routines to see if there anything I can pick up.
    Also, I am eager for her to make some real friends. She had some very loving friendships at her old school, and I can see that she is missing that kind of connection with her peers. I am, too, actually, since we just moved to this city and we don’t have any friends yet. It’s hard to be patient, and I am SO BAD at playing the get-to-know-you game with other parents.

  26. My boys go to a home based daycare 3 days per week (they are one and nearly four years old).The one year old has only been going for a couple of months, and drop in is getting better. He still cries when we leave, but we are told he stops quickly now. He also plays with the kids now, instead of just sitting on the side watching. Naps well there, is happy when I pick him up.
    Our oldest has been going to this daycare for 2 years now, and has always loved it. Recently he’s begun crying again at drop off though – which I’m finding very puzzling. Could this have something to do with his brother now going to the same place? Or could it have something to do with the fact that two of the older boys he used to play with there are now in school full time, so not going to the daycare anymore? He is one of the oldest boys there now, maybe that’s what’s happening?
    We do bring him to a pre-school drop in program twice per week, go to groups / lessons at our community centre, and take part in reading programs at our library as well.

  27. I’m feeling fortunate that my boys (6&9) are so independent this year. I have, at week 3 of school, decided they can walk home without having me come meet them at the school. Alone. Scary but I’m settling into it. They’re doing homework pretty independently while I stay in the room to keep them focused and answer any questions. I’m trying to get them fed well enough, cleaned well enough and to bed early enough– doing ok-ish at all that.Our stumbling block is that they have more 1st graders than they expected and a few from each class are going to be put with a new teacher. We can volunteer or they’ll pick some. I’m anxious about this, but I suppose he’ll adjust if he gets chosen to move. I know I need to look at the big picture and how much better he’ll learn in a smaller class.

  28. Kindergarten is OK. It’s been over a month. There is a lot of homework but it usually gets done in the afternoon with the nanny. I have no idea how the kids in all-day kindergarten get their homework done.We quit soccer because practice went until 8 pm and conflicted with bed time. Who schedules this stuff? Weeknight practice just wasn’t going to happen for us. I guess I need to volunteer to be the coach and then set the practice on Sundays.
    I am the Box Tops for Education co-ordinator for the 4 kindergarten classes. I report to the overall Box Tops for Education coordinator. I’m also doing Art and Music in Motion for our kindergarten class. Plus I’m running a paper drive at work to raise money for the PTO. Our PTO provides $ and volunteers to keep class sizes small in the lower grades and art, gym, music, etc in the schools. The PTO subsidizes all the staff positions so the regular funding can cover teacher. It’s neat. Exhausting but neat.

  29. Oh, other parents of kids-too-little-for-real-school yet, do you too get depressed reading about real school? Homework for 6 year olds?!? At the end of a busy, frazzling day? WHY oh WHY?!?Please someone tell me this will change in the three years I have before my 2yo goes to school. He’s in a Reggio daycare now that I could hardly love more, and the thought of the transition to The Machine that real, normal, public school seems to be now just kills me.
    That’s all I have to say, other than – as always – I found reading everyone else’s experiences thought-provoking and useful. And that I wish all you other parents out there an ever-easier transition to the new things that come with autumn. Thanks for the topic, Moxie.
    (I wish you other Moxie-reading parents lived in MY neighborhood – like @Iris, I don’t feel that good at the ‘get-to-know-you game with other parents’ in our own (relatively new) town. Perhaps we should create a social-network of Moxie-readers that links us in real time – any other Vermonters out there, for example?!? (: )

  30. DH (3) started a 3-hour, 5 morning a week Motessori pre-school. While he seems to love the school, is always happy (according to my nanny and the teacher) at pick-up and drop-off, we’ve been having problems in other areas of life – and I wonder if they are related. Every morning he asks me if it’s a school/working day and when I say yes he cries, and clings to me, and begs me to stay with him. This has really thrown me for a loop because I’ve been a WOHM for two years and we’ve never had a seperation issue. On top of this, his sleep has gone sideways and he’s begun waking a lot at night complaining of bad dreams and tummy aches. My gut is that this is related to the transition to preschool but am not really sure what to do aside from lots of extra cuddles and trying to be understanding. It may also be that I am two months away from baby #2 and perhaps he is feeling stressed about that.I wouldn’t pull him out of school because I think its great and all reports are that he’s happy there. The only times he has cried have been at the end of the day because he doesn’t want to leave.

  31. My 5 1/2 yr old boys started their second year of preK (we held them back for specific language/speech development issues) a couple weeks ago. I was really worried that the boys would push back once they realized most of their preK friends from last year would either not be in their class or not even be at the school (since they went on to K) and they’d have new teachers. We had three weeks of summer school at the school this summer and the boys really didn’t want to go when they didn’t have their friends in class and they didn’t have their same teachers.Luckily, they have fully embraced their new teachers (who are soo nice) and the new kids in their class. I am really relieved. I’m also relieved that school has started so that there is a final decision and no turning back at this point on the whole preK or K question. They seem happy and I’m happy to have the extra year before “real” school kicks in.

  32. @AmeliaV — My son goes to a corporate daycare/preschool (that we generally love) and we experienced the same thing about the chaotic pick-up and drop-off periods when the regular teacher is not present and there is a mixture of kids. It seemed to be the worst when my son was in the 3-yr-old room. (He’s in the 5’s now.) Some days I felt like I was dropping him off in an abyss. There seemed to be too many kids (all very active and not under control) and not enough teachers, or the teacher did not seem to be in control of the class. I brought up my concern with the director and she jumped on it and it made a big difference. She even followed up with me a few weeks later to see if I still had concerns. So, I say trust your gut and if you are in any way uncomfortable, bring it up with the director.

  33. My daughter is loving kindergarten for the most part, and her teacher also seems very kind, and I like what they are doing so far.However, most of what my daughter wants to talk about when I pick her up from school is drama with the other girls. Apparently one little girl who she wants to be friends with keeps telling her she doesn’t want to be friends, and she played alone at recess yesterday. 🙁 She doesn’t seem to be connecting with the other kids in the class.
    This isn’t surprising, given that she has always seemed a little bit socially “behind” – but it worries me a lot. Academically she will be fine, as she reads at a 3rd- or 4th-grade level and is at or above grade level on everything else. She likes the activities they do and likes her teacher. But she doesn’t seem to “get” the rules of socializing with other kids and I don’t know how to help her. Any advice or btdt welcome, moxites.

  34. @berivan, I’m not a Vermonter but I’m not too far from you. I was you four years ago, wondering how my tiny little toddler would someday transition into this big System of public school life…. and I’m here to tell you that it really isn’t that bad. Kindergarten was not always smooth, but, like Moxie says, it’s all about the kindness of the teacher. DD had great experiences in her Kindergarten year, but I do think the concept of being “on” all of the time, even when positive, is a stress for little ones. Some of you may remember my comments about the regressive sock and underwear tantrums we had last year in the mornings… So far, first grade is much, much smoother. We’ve only had ONE bad morning, and that was due to a late bedtime the night before.There was very little homework in Kindergarten, but this year there is some reading each night for practice. But guess what? She loves it and sometimes asks for more! The hardest part of school for my sensitive girl is (and always has been) the peer stuff. So and so was mean today, she said she wasn’t my friend, he made fun of my shirt. Drives me batty, but I’m sure it’s just the beginning so we talk about it and try to take it all in stride.
    Good thoughts to all of those who are struggling in these first weeks.

  35. My son LOVES his kindergarten teacher and my husband and I do too! She’s so sweet, has taught K for 15 years and has a 4 and a 6 year old, so she KNOWS this age. My son is excited for school everyday. He also really enjoys his before and after school program.My 2 y/o daughter is adjusting to day care(2 days a week). She takes a shorter nap there and only eats snacks, no lunch, so it’s not ideal. It’s been 4 weeks so I’m hoping she’ll get more with the program soon. She’s a picky eater so I’m not surprised about the lunch but they report that she does not take one bite(without me there to coax her, she’s just not doing it). She’s a great sleeper though so I’m surprised she’s not sleeping more, but it’s pretty different sleeping on a cot in a room with 10 other kids versus alone in a crib in a quiet, dark room. She seems pretty happy with it though so I’m feeling pretty good about it. The first two weeks were hard on both of us.

  36. We’re on the second day of day care after the big talk with Pumpkin (3.5 year old) about how she is going to be busted down to the previous room if she doesn’t get with the potty routine. I have not yet figured out what her deal is with pottying, but she clearly has control and just choose not to exercise it sometimes. She recently moved to a new day care room that she LOVES but it requires the kids to be potty trained. And she was (at day care- home is another story). But then she wasn’t. Anyway, no accidents yesterday, we’ll see what today brings. I keep trying to focus on the fact that at least these are pee accidents. She goes poop in the potty no problem, and is horrified if she thinks she’s had a poop accident.Meanwhile, I’m home with Petunia (the almost 1 yo) and our umpteenth fever of the season. My mother is our usual backup daycare, but she is on vacation (the nerve!) so we’ve chewed through 3 days off each in the past 2.5 weeks. Yikes. I’m trying to look on the bright side- I had time for a long phone call with a friend this morning. I was going to go for a long walk with her for her nap, but the stroller had a flat and it appears to be a hole in the inner tube. So I’m sitting in bed doing computer-y things while she sleeps instead. Bah. Maybe I’ll just snuggle in an nap with her instead.

  37. My 3-yr-old started preschool 2 days a week about 2 months ago. Last week was the FIRST week he (a) admitted he liked it and (b) we had a non-catastrophic drop-off.When it works, it’s bliss.

  38. I have a quandry!My son is in his final year at a great Montessori. He’s just turned 5. Almost all his peers can read reasonably fluently and he can’t yet. He has had all the tools in his kit for some time – he has a sight vocab around 80-100 words, he can sound things out although he reverses letters fairly often, mostly d b p. He just hasn’t made that leap yet and I do think he at least has a tracking issue (we do play some tracking games).
    He’s pretty bright in other ways.
    We are having his eyes tested and we may do some LD testing via private professionals although I sort of feel that he’s still well enough within normal. We read tons at home and he likes it, but he’s less willing to read to us.
    Up until now we’ve been mostly waiting and seeing. But now – he’s frustrated and for the first time he’s coming home with this: “I don’t like language. I don’t like the language works. I hate school. I only like numbers.” And I’m kind of at a loss. So far I’ve just reflected his feelings. Any ideas for handling the emotional aspects while we investigate the educational ones?

  39. @Shandra – That’s tough, and it sounds like he’s within the bell curve for normal (though there certainly could be something else going on).Chuckles doesn’t like to read to us because he is afraid he’s going to make a mistake. He’s 5.25 years old, a level 1 type reader, and a perfectionist. He would sit and listen to me read to him all day long if I would allow that. But getting him to read to me is worse than pulling teeth. It’s like setting a broken bone. It’s awful.
    I might just ignore the emotions and focus on making language fun again without reading. Maybe sight word Bingo or a rhyming game or games involving the same first letter of every word. Bring the fun back. Lower the stakes. I’ve taught Chuckles to try and find rhyming words by going through every letter of the alphabet and seeing whether it makes a word. We had fun with “quark” the other day trying to rhyme things with park. (And since we like “This Old House” so much, we had a side discussion of Boston accents and how different words would rhyme if we didn’t say the R.)

  40. @berivan – I hate to say it, but it’s worse than just homework. There are papers coming home every day. Reminders. Permission slips, envelopes that must be returned, book order forms, school spirit day, wear red day, snack day, show-n-share, library books, pajamas day. Homework to sign, practice reading to listen to, shoe tying to practice, Personality of the Week, Spread the Love PB drive, etc. Volunteering, a folder, newsletters from the teacher, the PTO, the principal, the district, the grade.It’s a lot. More than I ever dreamed. And it doesn’t fall onto the kindergartener. It falls on the mom/parents to keep it all straight.

  41. @Shandra, my daughter had I Hate Reading phases from about 3 1/2 when she first started picking up words until, oh, this past month of first grade when she’s finally pretty close to the level she wants to be at. Meaning, reading chapter books fluently with just asking us an occasional word. She really hated being a beginner (NO idea where that comes from, ahem), and one of the things we discovered was that she’s much more of a whole-word reader by inclination, and found sounding out and all the phonics stuff slow and annoying. Still does actually. So until her sight and chunk vocab got to a certain point, it was just not interesting or empowering for her. “I can read, but not fast, not like you! I can’t read ANY book I want”…stomp stomp stomp. And very often during these stages, especially if tired, she would mix up the letters you mention.So, um, any chance he’s a bit of a perfectionist, a kid who can see ahead to the final expression of a skill and gets frustrated with putting in the time at the intervening levels? If so I can just offer you hope that it will get better – it really helped Mouse to be reminded of other things where she had been a beginner and then improved. It also helped to mention the whole-word thing to the teacher – most young reading programs are phonics-based these days I believe, and I believe it’s effective for a greater percentage of kids so fine, but teachers know other strategies as well.

  42. @Shandra, my boy was so much like that the summer before he started kindergarten. He could read, but his comprehension of concepts so far outstripped his abilities that he was simply frustrated, and bored by what he was capable of reading.I picked the brains of the excellent children’s librarian at our local library, and checked out a pile of ability-appropriate books (heavy on the Piggy and Elephant books by Mo Willems, but also some cheesy easy readers based loosely on Pixar movies. not going for high quality stuff here, but stuff I thought he’d be interested in reading).
    Then I put them, and a small container of skittles on the table and let him ask about it. Every time he read a book, or even a page or two of a book at the beginning, he got a skittle. He just needed motivation to get over that hump, and get a little more confident in his abilities. So yes, I did bribe my kid with candy to help him learn to read. Now, as a brand-new first grader, he is easily reading books two or three grade levels ahead (which is almost as difficult, because his abilities and maturity are out of sync). Sorry for the novel, wow.

  43. @AmeliaV and @Stacy, Sharing your pain regarding the regular teacher thing.DS LOVES his teacher. So much that for a long period (and still occasionally) he’ll cry when she leaves the room or gets upset when she gives attention to other kids. Often, when she’s not there, drop offs and pick ups are chaotic. The worst part of our situation is that this is part of a bigger problem.
    The daycare centre (one of 5 owned by the same company) has been declining in quality for the past 6 months or so since the director has been on sick leave (I’m starting to think it’s burnout. But of course, they tell us nothing). And, I just learned that the president has been working remotely from Cuba the past few months. Well, things are starting to make sense now. We want to get DS out as there has been a mass exodus of good educators and kids alike. DS’ teacher is the only one left we really like. And she’s apparently looking at leaving too. Argh. We’re looking for other options, but it’s really hard to get daycare here so, not a lot of choice. Luckily DS seems to be doing well and has good days, so as long as his teacher is there, we’ll probably stick it out (unless things get truly awful with the administration). So frustrated.
    @AmeliaV, Recently, DS had a new teacher at daycare that made the comment one day on his book that he didn’t listen to instructions. I asked her about it (out of curiosity, not accusingly) and she kind of bitched to me that he cried when his favorite teacher left the room, he cried and made a fuss during diaper changes, he wouldn’t listen to her instructions. I responded that he often made a big fuss at home too for diaper changes. And he’s TWO! WTF? I mean, he’s going to have temper tantrums sometimes. But she seemed so intent on drilling in to me that there was something wrong with my kid, and so pissed that DS preferred another educator over her. (In general he is usually quite cooperative and easygoing).
    I mentioned it (more as a casual thing and to let me know if DS was having a hard time) to the manager on the way out who was talking to another educator in the office. The other educator (also new) piped up and said that DS was never that way with her. Hmmmmm…
    A few days later, the manager came to see me and asked me to write a letter to the president’s office about our experience with the educator who had an issue with my son’s behaviour. Apparently a lot of parents had complained, they had told head office, but nothing was being done. So, I wrote said letter, made it clear that I thought she had misaligned expectations for a 2 year old, and sent it in. A few days later she was gone.
    Anyhow, a long way of saying to speak up. If you’re having the issue, probably a lot of other parents are too.

  44. My 5-y.o. is in first grade and loving it. It’s a public Montessori option, multi-age classrooms, no homework at all so far. She comes home and I ask, “What did you do in math today?” And she says, “We didn’t do math. But we played this really fun game! With beads for tens and thousands and hundreds! And I went to the library, there’s a library in my school, Mommy!” She is also doing gymnastics once a week and Chinese school on Saturdays. So far, so good.My almost-3-y.o. is loving his warm, wonderful, nurturing day care. This morning, he ran into the arms of his caregiver, shouting her name. It makes me so happy that he loves and is loved there. It makes it possible to do my job without ever worrying. Thank heavens.
    @AmyinMotown — I’m pretty sure I had ADD when I was a kid (undiagnosed, of course.) I ALWAYS forgot things. I had to develop coping skills on my own, like always putting my keys in the same place, or I’d STILL be forgetting them. Try a “launchpad” strategy, where she always has what she needs in the same place. It’ll come.

  45. @Shandra, I just want to say that your son’s 5 year old classmates who are reading fluently are NOT the norm. My 7 year old struggles with reading (and perfectionism) and is not by any means fluent yet and is on grade level for SECOND GRADE. I repeat, the average 5 year old cannot read. The average just-5 year old doesn’t have 80-100 sight words. Your son is already well above average. (I totally get it, because I was reading well before 5 and reading long chapter books before 7 – it’s all there in my baby book – and my mother thinks it is MY fault Casper is not a good reader yet!)Is it possible he is picking up on your stress about this issue and internalizing it as a dislike of language & the work around it? I totally stressed my kid out about reading and ultimately had to back off and let her father handle all reading-related homework. In the end, it helped me to remember that if the professionals (her teachers) were not concerned about her reading abilities, that my job was to remind her of the JOY in reading, so that when her abilities click in, she will WANT to read.

  46. We are transitioning. That’s how we are doing.The 3.5 yo just started at her Montessori school, and they say she’s doing great. At least in the classroom in the mornings. From conversations with the teacher in the nap room who also does the after school care, I’m pretty sure my non-napping daughter is bored and unhappy on her mat during nap time, even though I pack her books. There is really nothing else for her to do.
    At back to school night, I talked with this teacher about the fact that my daughter doesn’t nap, and she said, “As long as she stays on her mat quietly, that’s okay.” I said I’d pack books, but then I was kind of like WTF? So I said, “But if she doesn’t stay on her mat quietly? What then?” She didn’t really have an answer for me. She still doesnt’ seem to know how to address it. And I must admit, I (and my hubby) don’t really get a warm fuzzy feeling from that teacher. I’m just looking forward to her turning 4 and not having to go to the nap room anymore.
    Other than that, her Montessori teachers say she’s doing great and has transitioned well. I like them both alot and am very happy with the pre-school.
    The issue? My daughter’s troubles with tranistions are apparent at home with us. I know, I know. She can be herself with us and let loose her emotions. But dang it, it’s HARD to deal with!
    The 1 yo is still happy in his daycare with his teachers. But the two dropoffs and pickups are tough. We plan to move him to the Montessori school in January, after he turns 18 months.
    Oh, lastly… We had some issues with the preschool where my daughter started last year. I can’t remember if I told you all about it (probably), but it’s similar to what some of you are saying. If the teacher she liked was out of the room, she acted up. Some of the teachers/assistants had unrealistic expectations for 2-3 year olds. I say “some” because there was a bunch of turn over. We gave it some time (until spring), but a couple things happened that made me say forget it! We are moving her, and not waiting until the Montessori school started in the fall.
    So we moved her in June to the place where my 1 yo started and called it Summer School. I was really worried about the transitions for summer and again for fall.
    It was one of the best decisions we ever made for her. It was a small class and wonderfully warm teacher. It helped my girl get comfortable with school, and even helped her get ready for the Montessori school, in so many ways.
    Many people (some of you, I think) told me to trust my instincts when I was debating the move, and they were so right. I’m so glad we moved her!
    So to everyone out there, wait and see how it goes, but then TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS! You know your child best!

  47. Have you guys missed me and the novels I write? Sorry that last one was so long!I also meant to add that I love reading about everyone else’s experiences, of all ages. This is a neat post!

  48. @milliner and @stacy, thank you thank you thank you. I’m going to take a deep breath and speak up.One thing I’ve noticed from these posts is the machine of school (pre school/daycare/kinder/whatever) pushing our kids in ways that don’t seem age appropriate. Yes, two year olds often whine at diaper changes! Yes, it’s hard for a kindergartner to stay sitting and working all day!
    For everyone who suggests to trust your instincts: one of the hard things about trusting my instincts, for me, is that I’m a WOHM and at some level I kind of wish I didn’t have to put my two year old in daycare at all. So I have trouble separating my instinct to just hang out with my daughter all day (not realistic, bc I have to work) with my feelings about the institution that cares for her. Does that make sense?
    Also loving reading everyone’s experiences.

  49. @AmeliaV, regarding the WOHM issue, did you read yesterday’s Moxie post? Q&A: Guilt guilt guilt Not that you need more to make your head spin! :)@caramama, speaking of novels :), what ever happened to Hedra? I haven’t seen a comment from her in a long time.

  50. @caramama, oh the tyranny of nap culture!! sorry you have to deal with that, would they consider letting her get up and do something quiet? we got Mouse’s preschool to let her color during naptime if she hadn’t fallen asleep after 15 mins…

  51. @AmeliaV: “One thing I’ve noticed from these posts is the machine of school (pre school/daycare/kinder/whatever) pushing our kids in ways that don’t seem age appropriate. Yes, two year olds often whine at diaper changes! Yes, it’s hard for a kindergartner to stay sitting and working all day!”ITA!!! Does anyone else think it might be in part due to teachers who don’t have kids of their own and therefore haven’t lived the minute by minute progression through the development/regression cycles of their own children?
    @Stacy – Last I checked in on her and her hubby, they were just really busy with work and the kids. I think they had a pretty crazy busy summer. I’ll shoot her an email and see if I can get an update.

  52. @SarcastiCarrie – It’s freaking tough! Really adds to the daily commute time, which means time away from the kids outside the car. :-(@Charisse – That’s what I was trying to get to with the nap room teacher, but she didn’t bite. I figure I’ll let them see it might be best for everyone else in the room if they let her do some quiet activities, cause she doesn’t really read yet and those books hold her interest for about a nanosecond when no one is with her.

  53. @caramama – Can they just send a non-napping 3-year old to the 4-year old room during naptime? We kind of had the opposite problem. Chuckles still needed the naps at age 3, but there were enough kids in that room not napping that he couldn’t fall asleep, so they sent him to the (quieter, darker) toddler room during nap time. He was the last to fall asleep and the first to wake up, but it worked.

  54. My son is another one who still needs naps :)He has just moved from three days a week in home daycare, two days in a “preschool” to five days full time in preschool. He is 3.5 and he is having troubles adapting. There are some things that he has trouble doing on his own and one of his teachers is really holding that against him. We are working with him at home, and I agree, they are too busy to help everyone pull up their pants. But the negative reports every day are driving me a little crazy. Again, I have no problem helping him and teaching him to take care of himself, but like all kids, he is ahead in some areas and behind in others (did I mention that he refused to potty train until two weeks ago 🙂 )
    Help, how do I help him, the teachers, and myself without going crazy?

  55. Three kids = three schools = three chances for sick.DS1 is in 1st grade and likes his teacher, but none of the kids in his kinder class are in his class. Okay, but he isn’t so great socially. I’m hoping that he can make some friends this year. I’ve volunteered for arranging book orders, room parent (I felt sorry after the 3 week of school no one had signed up) and student store.
    DS2 in 3-day afternoon pre-K preschool co-op. Sadly, pickup time does not mesh with elementary school (2:45 preschool vs. 2:30 elementary). Loves class, loves teacher. I work in class one day/week, so have a friend meet DS1. Transport 3 kids, exchange one kid for another, then take 3 kids to elementary school to meet DS1 (and exchange kids again), so I end up with my 3 to go home.
    DD in 2-day preschool co-op at same time as DS2 (and second workday), so another day that DS1 hangs out after school with friend. Transport 3 kids to elementary school for after school kid exchange.
    We have a delicate balance of working/volunteering in school, childcare exchanges, and friends to help out. We’re already getting over the first round of colds (so many come home from 3 schools!!), and DS1 has cold-induced asthma. Bedtime is crazy, and trying to convince DS1 that he needs to do homework right after school (study spelling words and play math game during snack) is a trial. At least he enjoys reading and being read to — a nightly ritual — so that will go in the weekly reading log.
    We’ve decided against after school activities. DS1 is not interested, and would rather run around the backyard with DS2 (his Best Friend) and DD.

  56. @SarcastiCarrie, @Charisse and @Clare, thanks for sharing your experiences. It’s good to hear the frustration is normal – it’s the frustration that worries me more than the actual not reading and hearing that is great. Some great ideas too, especially in finding the right books.And yes, he’s a little perfectionist in some ways. And I think the whole-language thing is a really good point.
    @flea – thanks for the thoughts; they’re really important to hear.
    I learned to read spontaneously & early (never was frustrated that I remember) but I did work in a reading centre so I know it’s not the general norm. I’d say my son’s frustration is what tipped my concern and not the not-reading itself. The peers is more because he isn’t inaccurate in feeling that he’s ‘behind,’ it’s just that his school’s got a group that’s a bit ahead.
    I totally agree it’s important to keep it low-key & fun. Since I needed glasses at 5 we’ve just framed it that way to him.
    For the reversals, etc., I think my concern is that having worked in a learning centre I’ve seen the impact of undiagnosed LDs on kids. But I also know that most kids have those issues up to a point. It’s just finding the point. Eek. 🙂

  57. @ an early commenter (sorry too lazy to look up the name) – having issues with older kid and a younger one in the afternoon. We are in the exact same boat! So hard to help with homework or just have some one on one time with the older when there’s a preschooler banshee running around.I would love to hire a sitter just for an hour to play with the younger but our budget is maxed out.
    Does anyone have any creative solutions for the older/younger dynamic after school, especially since afternoons/early evenings are so hard anyway for most of us.
    To answer the original question, 2nd grade is much, much better than K and 1st so far. We’ve got a male, energetic teacher and that is making a big difference for my son.

  58. Further status update: First grade was just the year of homework drama, and we started off with a little of that, but last night? Last night my kid did his homework at the agreed-on time, remained calm when I said I saw a mistake, and found it and fixed it himself. And it only took a year to get to this point! Yay!Also, my youngest helps me out with chores while his brother does homework. That, I read to him (something older brother doesn’t like) during homework time.

  59. @Queen of Anon- how to you feel about a nice high quality educational DVD to distract the preschooler? That is my tool of choice, although my problem is more time to focus on the baby when the preschooler is wanting all of my attention. And time to cook dinner when both kids just want me to plaaaaay.

  60. @cloud-the problem for me (the poster that Queen of Anon was referring to), is that if the younger kids are watching a DVD, the older one feels very deprived. They get to watch a movie, and she has to do h.w. instead. Not a very fair deal, you know?@Queen of Anon-nice to know I am not the only one with a banshee (or two) disrupting time. A couple of things that have worked:
    -outdoors, so the banshees run a little farther from where we are working, but still in eyesight
    -doing h.w.hanging out with the older while the youngers are in the bathtub. In earshot, practically line of vision, but contained for a few minutes
    -setting up a coloringbeadingcutting with a scissor type of thing at the table with us…that works for about 3 seconds usually.
    What we really need are homeschoolers, who deal with this all day, to tell us how THEY do it….

  61. @Chaya- can you make it a DVD that would not be interesting to the older one? I.e., not a movie. Right now, my three year old is absolutely in love with a set of Leap Frog DVDs. I can’t imagine any kid over the age of 5 wanting to watch those more than once!Of course, I freely admit that I don’t know what I’m talking about, since my oldest is 3.5.

  62. I’m scared to jinx it by saying it out loud, but it’s a great year. We just switched schools (which was the stress of the summer until it was settled) and could not be more pleased. It’s hard to believe we ever put up with what the old school dished out, but more importantly this new one is where our girl is going to thrive. It’s a semi-rural school with heavy emphasis on responsibility and character development. They’re smaller and poorer than the big districts, but their ratings are higher and I’ve yet to hear a complaint about them. The staff just really seems to care; this is no state-worker hell. I’m looking forward to DD making strong friendships but for now I’m just basking in not having the problems we had last year.

  63. Oldest is in K this year. We started August 23. I also started back to school in the evenings starting on the 23rd as well… it’s been rough for me.She loves her school, loves the teacher (who has taught KG for 22 years), loves it all. The earlier sleep time is helping with mornings being less grouchy.
    2nd daughter is not in daycare yet, and if I get into the nursing program we’ll have to put her in fulltime daycare, and I’m here again wondering how hard it will be for me to let someone else that’s not family watch her. I didn’t go to nursing school 5 years ago because I didn’t think I could justify it (with my older child).
    (Again this is for me, that I couldn’t handle the daycare thing. I am not making an opinion on anyone else. I promise!)
    The sucky thing (well it’s hard for me) is that I have the complete and total luxury to choose whether or not to work/school.
    But I really want to be there for my girls.
    It’s very very hard to decide.
    Oh and is it bad if my 5 year old cannot read yet? She knows some small words, but cannot read a book word for word. We read to her every day and we have a TON of books, we have worked on word families and phonics. I’m not sure what else to do.

  64. @anonny: “This isn’t surprising, given that she has always seemed a little bit socially “behind” – but it worries me a lot. Academically she will be fine, as she reads at a 3rd- or 4th-grade level and is at or above grade level on everything else. She likes the activities they do and likes her teacher. But she doesn’t seem to “get” the rules of socializing with other kids and I don’t know how to help her.”Reading this was like reading about my 5 year old daughter! It’s a relief to know I’m not alone with my worries. Like your daughter, my DD has always been socially immature and, like you said, doesn’t “get” the rules of socializing with other kids. Her preschool teacher was very worried because, in her words, my daughter “still tended to do play side-by-side rather than WITH the other kids.” This is something I have discussed in detail with the psychologist we’ve taken her to for testing (she specializes in gifted kids). I was assured that asynchronous development is very common in gifted kids and that the higher their IQ, the more the discrepancy is. It doesn’t make things easier for my daughter but it has taken (most) of the anxiety out of me.
    I am so thankful that my daughter met this other 5 year old girl this summer and she TOTALLY gets my daughter and her kind of play (lots of imagination, pretend play). They get along SO well and they can play for hours together. We have continued the weekly playdates even after school started (they go to different schools) and they both live for the day they get to see each other again. LOL. What I’m trying to say here is, I know it’s hard not to worry (I still do- every. single. day) but your daughter will be fine. Her social skills will catch up, (according to our psychologist, usually at around second grade) and, when she finally finds that one child who understands her, you’ll be amazed at the difference this makes in your child.
    Good luck and please send me a message if you’d like to “chat” more about our special girls. It does get lonely and it will be great to be able to be in touch with someone who understands.

  65. It’s been a month of kindergarten for my 5 year old, and I think it’s beginning to strain her a little bit. It’s feels like she has so many new rules to follow in class that she falls apart a bit when she gets home. We’re dealing with a whole different type of bad behavior and boundary pushing. And more anxiety around sleep and regression. She’s always talked about wanting to be baby, but now she’s doing it a lot more.I was a little worried about her transition from her play-based, “hippie” preschool to this more conventional, academically rigorous kindergarten, but…it was a lottery system and here we are.
    I’ll be watching the rest of this year with interest, because if it continues to seem like a bad fit, I’m going to take my chances again with the lottery and try to get into my previous first choices for first grade.

  66. @chaya and @cloudWe are so in the same boat. Older only gets to watch 1 day a week but younger – well, Elmo rules for her and saves my sanity. And yeah, unfortunately Older will watch *anything* just because It’s On The Screen!
    But great suggestions for distraction… the youngest is getting into coloring that could work.

  67. For the Mom’s having trouble with the older homework vs younger banshee issue, mine’re 6yo (grade 1) and 3.5yo banshee and our solution is that I banish the younger to the upstairs playroom or his bedroom while dude and I do h.w. Yes it means that every 3 minutes I hear “Mommy, are you done yet?!” but he stays away because he knows that as soon as h.w. is done they get to watch the new special shows – 1 ep. each of Ducktales and Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers (wow they love those and they were super cheap!) – which works well since after h.w. is done I need time to work on dinner without them in my hair.

  68. First day of preschool yesterday. Waved goodbye to me without a care. Cried when I picked him up because he didn’t want to leave. I think it’s a successful start.

  69. My almost 5 year old daughter started SK (senior kindergarten here in Toronto) after two years at a hippy dippy, play-based nursery/JK school. There’s more structure than she is used to but she is coping fine so far.Being the youngest in her class, I am keeping an eye on the social side of things. I know that so many parents worry about the academics (i.e. are they reading yet, etc.) but I put more emphasis on the social skills. Barring serious learning challenges, they’ll all read by 6 or 7. It’s the emotional intelligence that I want her to be grounded in – the other stuff will sort itself out.
    If I had my druthers, I’d have her in a play-based program for another year or so. I recall reading recently that Finland starts structured school at age 7 – and their educational outcomes are exceptional. At least she doesn’t have homework yet!

  70. @cloud, re: fixing dinner when your kids just want to plaaaaaaaaay ;): I cycle in and out of this with DS depending on the day/week. DH and I accidentally stumbled upon a few techniques recently when DS wanted us to play, but we needed to be in the kitchen (which is so small DH and I try not to be in it at the same time). So, just in case you haven’t tried these things yet:1) I give DS a pot with lid and a wooden spoon and he ‘cooks’ on the stairs close by the kitchen while I am cooking. I usually prompt him to get some of his wooden eggs or something else to put in his soup, and often that distracts him enough to let me get things done. Or he’ll bring me back the wooden spoon, and I’ll give him a spatula, whisk, etc. We can do this 10x or more, but it passes the time, I get things done, and, well, we have a lot of safe kitchen tools. 🙂
    2) We have some of his art taped on the wall adjacent to the kitchen. DH noticed that DS started colouring on the lowest piece, while DH was cooking. This AM when we were late (and therefore DS more squirrely than usual) & I needed to make my lunch, I taped a piece of blank paper and he totally went to town colouring. Every once in a while he asked me to draw something, but it was totally more manageable than him whining and wanting me to go in the living room to do a puzzle or something, and/or having a meltdown. I am so taping a big pad of newsprint to that wall!!!
    In both cases, I think the trick was being close to us while doing an activity and having us participate a tiny bit off and on. I know your youngest is younger than my DS (2 1/4), but maybe there’s some combination of this that can work for you.
    On occasion I’ll also have DS help me make dinner (he loves putting a pinch of salt in something, or taking thyme leaves off the stem to put in an omlette, etc.) This can extend things time wise (and probably a bit hard to do with 2), but sometimes it works and has the added bonus of getting him more interested in whatever he’s eating for dinner.

  71. Gosh I hope I haven’t missed everyone by waiting so long to post. I’ve read some but not all of the comments and now I have to leave so I’ll read the rest later. I love you guys!My daughter, 7 in 2 weeks and 1st grade, is having a rough adjustment. I hope it’s just adjustment.
    She was apprehensive all summer about 1st grade (“It’s going to be so hard!”), and on the first day when I picked her up she was deflated (“It’s just the same as Kindergarten”). She can do the work fine, and her teacher says she’s doing well on assignments, though she is not yet reading independently.
    The social/emotional piece is really hard though. She says she hates school and frequently complains about the other kids. The teacher reports that she is frequently hurtful to other kids, bosses them around in a ‘teacher’s voice’, and says things that hurt feelings. I’ve seen her do these things plenty outside of school as well, and I don’t know how to help her with it.
    She has a friend who she plays with almost exclusively and with whom she excludes other kids. The school encourages them to ‘mix it up’ and play with different kids, and P complains about that too. There are some other kids she sometimes talks positively about, but mostly she’s complaining about or denigrating the other kids, especially the boys.
    The other piece is the homework. I don’t believe in homework for the early grades; there has been research showing that it does more harm than good (don’t have specifics on studies at my fingertips), and my feeling is that after a day of school my kid really only has a couple of hours before she has to get ready for bed, and she does not need to spend that time doing MORE schoolwork. She is resistant and it’s a struggle to get it done, and my sense is that it’s adding a lot of pressure to our lives. As I said, she’s not yet reading independently, and she’s very resistant to reading as well.
    Which brings me to what I see as the root of the problem. Like others’ here, my daughter is a perfectionist and is afraid of being wrong, making mistakes, etc. She’s feeling a lot of pressure – 1st grade is serious, compared to Kindergarten! There’s more work, it’s more nitty-gritty, and it’s just all more real. Her reaction to the pressure and the fear of making mistakes is to get defensive and then go on the offense with the other kids. Which creates a cycle of course, because she feels safe with the one girl she likes to play with, and doesn’t want to step out of that safe zone into other relationships – because, yeah, the kids don’t necessarily want to play with her because she’s not nice to them!
    Ugh. I am meeting with her teacher on Friday and hoping to come to some bigger understanding on both sides. I’d like to know what the real expectations and purpose of the homework is, as well as how much leeway there is. I sense that in large part the point of the homework is to pacify parents who insist on it.
    Anyway, insight, advice, suggestions, commiseration are all very much needed here!

  72. Maria — I can only provide the commiseration; I hope it helps. And I do think that off all the times for less homework, this is one. I know my middle child needs nothing more than he needs a break from socializing/interacting at the end of the day.

  73. SarcastiCarrie – My daughter’s class is ages 3-5, but 4s and up stay in the class during nap time and continue working. I think probably she’s not ready to stay, because she’s not ready to focus on the more demanding work the older kids do. She’s still very much Three in so many ways. But I do wonder if there are other activities she could be doing.Of course, yesterday she did actually nap for 45 minutes, and the nap room teacher was so happy about it. She told hubby, and he was not happy. When he put her to bed at 8:30 (late because of the nap), she didn’t fall asleep until almost 10! URG!
    @maria – That sounds like a really tough situation! Maybe the teacher will have some ideas for you to work with your daughter? Can you role play some of the scenarios to help her understand how her behavoir with others makes them feel and try out other ways of interacting? I’m thinking of Playful Parenting techniques, which might help in this situation. Good luck! That just sounds so difficult to deal with!

  74. @Maria–oh man..that sounds rough, I am glad you have an appointment with the teacher. I totally agree with you on the h.w. and perfectionism. I can’t tell you how often my daughter tells me she is terrible or the worst at something, and really when i talk to the teacher they say she is doing just great. I have asked teachers to be sensitive to this when they correct her mistakes.I have to say, seeing my kid hurting others is one of the hardest things ever. It hurts on so many levels–shame, fear (is this who I am raising?? will nobody ever like her),helplessness, guilt, and also, knowing that when my kid lashes out it is out of not having the tools to deal with her own pain, so–failure. But–every kid does it sometimes, and the fact that you are dealing with it as best as you can…that’s all you can do. But I totally feel your pain.

  75. @AmyinMotown — I’m a retired teacher after 38 yrs. teaching mostly 1st-4th grades. Follow the suggestion from anonthistime. I agree that (1) A teacher should not be discussing child’s behavior in front of child; (2) It should not be a daily occurance. When you have your conference, have a specific plan of action in mind to request. For example, you might ask her if she could just hand your daughter a small piece of paper each day with one of 3 different marks — smiley face for a good day, straight face for an OK day or unhappy face for a not so good day. You could even go prepared with a small tablet of paper to give her so all she has to do is apply the face that indicates the kind of day your daughter has had. Then at home have a specific reward for good and OK days. It can be something as simple as a chart that gets 2 stars for good day, one star for OK day with a bigger reward the end of the week for a goal that you set. Start out small — maybe 3 days with good or ok would equal a special dessert, (I’m not big on sweets for rewards! Sometimes they are the best though!) or special time with you and/or your husband. What ever you decide on, be sure it is something you will consistently follow through with. So don’t set up something that will be difficult to do. Gradually increase your end of the week expectations. eg 3days with all smiley faces, 3 days with all smiley & one day straight,etc. The downside of all of this is whether or not the teacher will be accountable for her small part in the plan. Your daughter can learn to ask for her paper, but that will take some time and training. Also, when you have your conference discuss the folder issue. It is not too much to ask teacher to remind. I think at this age she should be checking as students go out the door whether or not they have homework material, but then who am I?!! Homework at this age should be review of something already taught and practiced at school, not something you have to teach. My feeling always was that in the lower grades while HW did provide practice, it was more important to use it as a tool to teach students to be responsible for taking it home and getting back to school with it. I like the suggestion of another post of discussing with the teacher setting a specific amount of time to get it done. Be sure to just plain ask the teacher to refrain from bringing you negative reports daily. I think that positive reinforcement will get you much farther; if you can find a place in your conversation, you might hint that to teacher! Hope this helps. Never be afraid to express your concerns to a teacher. Their job is to teach your child and in so doing find the strategies and techniques that work the best for your child. What’s good for her undoubtedly would be good for others in the class.

  76. @Chaya I love your HW complaint!! HW should be something taught and practiced at school — not sent home until teacher is sure student can do it independently.Math Facts: I am a retired teacher who struggled with students learning the basic math facts. It is my belief that children must memorize those facts. If they don’t, as they move further along, math will become harder and harder. If a student has to count to compute a problem, the act of going through the counting whether its using his fingers, toes (!) or some kind of counters, will inhibit his ability to concentrate on the actual problem thus more mistakes. I found that working on the facts a small set at a time was much more successful. For example, addition facts: work on what I call plus one first — 0+1, 1+1, 2+1, 3+1,etc. Then move to 0+2, 1+2, 2+2,etc. Get some 3X5 inch index cards and cut them in half. Put one fact on each card, just the fact not the answer. You can put the answer on the back if you want. You should make 2 cards for each fact. eg. 2+1, 1+2, 3+1, 1+3,etc. Use a black felt tip marker and write big enough so that the fact fills the card (easy for child to see). Then punch a hole in the top left hand corner of each card. Start working with just 5 facts and choose them randomly from a set, not in numerical order. Put the 5 that you are working with on a 3 inch key ring or metal shower curtain hanger. This keeps track of them but more importantly, it gives child something to hold on to and practice and also a feeling of accomplishment as the ring gets fuller and fuller. As you work with child, when answers can be given before you silently count to 5, consider the fact known. If if takes any longer than that to answer, child is still counting somewhere. Often children are counting in their heads or actually using their fingers without holding them up. As child learns a fact, add a new one to the ring. Never work with more than 5 unknown facts at a time. It is too many for the child to concentrate on. Our brains, yours and mine too, can only deal with just so much new info at a time. Also, daily drill time should not be long and drawn out. Start with as small amount of time as 5 minutes and then work up to 10-15 minutes, but I don’t recommend any longer than 15 min. Keep the learned facts on the ring with the unknown ones, mixing the unknown ones up in the learned ones. You can alternate between addition and subtraction sets or do all addition and then subtraction but should not expect child to be successful with multiplication and division facts before she has mastered addition and subtraction. This may sound like a lot of work, but once you get started you will find it is easy to do and the success your child will have is well worth the effort. This is a long set of directions. I hope they are clear and that you will try it. It works. After teaching many years, my “old fashioned” feeling is that math facts must be memorized for math success in higher grades.

  77. I almost fell over this morning when the assistant manager at our daycare asked me to make recommendations for how to improve the daycare. Finally. Someone is noticing.Service & quality have been declining over the past 6 months. I attended parent/administrator meetings and no other parents showed up, so the meetings were cancelled. I’d been meaning to write a letter. But I think it’s much better if the daycare is asking for it. It may mean they’ll be more open to critique/ideas.
    I started my letter and it’s 6 pages long so far. Eeek! I guess I have a lot to say. Needless to say there will be editing and re-formating to make it more concise and less overwhelming. But a little proof that I’ve put this off for too long.
    We’re still looking for new daycare options, but maybe the tides are beginning to change at our current place. Fingers crossed.

  78. @maria – That sounds rough. Our elementary school also has a counselor/social worker who works with kids and behavior. They do something called a “think sheet” for strategies on improving behavior and interactions. If you and the teacher don’t come up with enough strategies, you might want to see whether your school offers such a person.

  79. I’m late to this thread (the start of the year slams hard). Youngest is 3 and in a more preschool based daycare classroom (still play based). Oh, right, I’m a WOHM and WOHD as well. So, daycare. Daughter adores new classroom so much she has decided to stop napping. This has made evenings harder. Did not expect that as older sibs napped well into elementary school.Which leads to middle kid, 1st grade, who needs to do homework right around when the youngest starts her meltdown. He came out of Spanish immersion K a reader in both Spanish and English, and this year he has taken a few weeks to adjust. He cried two weeks ago when I asked for math facts in Spanish, but is initiating conversations with DH in Spanish now. He is a wiggly kid who easily joins in to mischief rather than thinking if something is a good idea or not. So that was expected but improving as expected with age, reminders and experience.
    Oldest thriving in middle school. Yeah.
    The schedules and the work are overwhelming most of the time. For me I mean! Hardest part is keeping on in the evening to ask about homework, help out, check for notes from school, is the oldest one track for the next Big Project. Mostly I would like to veg out in front of a screen myself after stressful workday.
    Needing more sleep is apparently year round…

  80. CraptacularI am holding it together for everyone else’s sake but WTF – the after school program lost track of my child for an effing hour. I gave them a 2nd chance but partner pulled child out saying we just can’t do this. Child will be fine. Partner I’m mad at — couldn’t have come to that conclusion after the first episode? Had to put me thru another week? (Solution involves partner using work flex time so the decision wasn’t really mine to make.) In the irony of why the decision wasn’t mine sorta is that my work schedule isn’t flexible b/c… Wait for it… I’m a teacher, (and I do truly love it.). My mantra since child was born is to try my best to be focused on work at work and home at home. well, the phone interviews w potential babysitters during 20 min lunch break and the lesson plan craziness at home have blurred the lines way too much. And we moved over the summer but still haven’t sold other house. And it is 1am and child just woke up complaining of ear ache.
    September brought it on like a mofo. Pardon the language but haven’t slept in a while.
    stress? and I feel guilty b/c my problems aren’t “real” enough.

  81. Oh, and my report: T. likes his new school! He has friends who get him, ask him home for playdates, want to play King Arthur and see the books and rocks and feathers and such he brings to school! He has teachers who not only want to nurture and challenge him but do things like ask to talk to his visual therapist about how to integrate visual processing tasks into his school day! He still isn’t sure about the five-days-a-week thing (and I’m right there with him), but overall it’s a huge success. I am so relieved.And now: the search for next year. Big or small? Public or private? K or 1? (He’s in a transitional K” program now.). Progressive or *really* out there? Four counties, 21 schools, one spreadsheet, one determined mama. I know, I’m crazy – but we need to find a school that meets T’s somewhat quirky needs in a place we can stomach living, ideally somewhere we can actually afford to live. We’ll tour like hell, cut it down to 10, and pray. Luckily, we’re totally broke, so the financial aid should be generous… um, right?

  82. Sorry for possible double post, but this isn’t showing up:@Shandra, backchannel me if you’d like re reading and visual processing issues/LDs and perfectionism… been there (and still there, but real progress emerging). lisa AT ampedit DOT com.

  83. Hi all!New to writing on this blog, but I’m an avid reader…LOVE MOXIE!
    You got me through some of our most difficult infant stages! THX!
    Here’s my issue with “back to school”…
    We have a (delicious) three and a half year old boy, who is bubbly, super social, demonstrative and funny. Easy to love and easy to make friends.
    Last year (first year in preschool) was a breeze. He had a lot of little friends that he already knew in class (through friends of mine).
    This year, he’s in a new school, a more high-brow school (WE ARE NOT THOSE PEOPLE, but it was our best option)…where a lot of the kids already know each other. There are seven boys (an odd, not even, number). The other six have already paired off into groups of two, based on already knowing each other. Our son, who truly believes EVERYONE wants to be his friend, is coming home telling stories about “D” saying, “I don’t want to sit next to you, E!” and never having a “partner”.
    It is heart wrenching…killing me! DH keeps saying, “He’s 3.5, he’ll be fine.” But I feel so sick about it.
    Talked to the teacher and asked her to be sensitive to it.
    Any suggestions about how to break through the barrier of already established friendships and how to coach my son in this hurtful time?
    mom of delicious boy

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