It's the return of the Kindergarten support group!
If your child is entering Kindergarten this year and you’re feeling apprehensive about all the transitions for your whole family, here’s the solution you didn’t even know you wanted:
Spirit Fingers: Kindergarten
Be on top of logistics, emotional changes, tensions, and increased skills through the entire year.
Spirit Fingers: Kindergarten is a 14-month-long guided discussion group for parents of kids going into Kindergarten this summer, fall, or after the new year (for Australians). Runs April 24, 2014 through June 30, 2015.
(Why did I call it "Spirit Fingers"? Because being a kindergarten parent feels a lot like trying to keep your fingers moving so no one will be able to tell if you're getting all the footwork correctly. For a video definition of "spirit fingers" click here (safe for work, but turn down your speakers): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTSkvAabm0k)
The First Month
It starts April 24, and we’ll spend the first 5-6 weeks working on the big categories of change you’ll see in Kindergarten so you can be prepared and know what to watch out for. This month will be structured, with “thinking point" prompts to guide questions and conversations, and help you set up your systems and plans for processing it all.
- your expectations and emotions around Kindergarten, school, academics, and your child’s growth
- how routines will change and how to anticipate changes and set up systems
- your child’s anticipated transitions, tensions, behaviors, and increasing competencies
- externals, including teachers, the school system, testing, other kids, other parents, and ways of participating/belonging
The Next Phase
Then we’ll take it easier for a month or two during the summer until kids start actually going to school--we’ll be talking about one theme every few weeks and also talking about whatever comes up for the participants over the summer. This period is slow in the discussion group because people are on vacations, and also because nothing's really happening with school at this point.
The Next Next Phase
This can be a little bit of whiplash because when it starts it really starts, in August and September. The group will go into easy weekly prompts at this point so you can also bring your own questions and topics as they happen now that your child is actually in school. We'll move through the shakeout of the first few weeks of school and making friends, then the ramp-up toward the holidays. The group will be quieter during holiday break, and then we'll crank up again in January for the return to school, new social problems, fatigue, summer camp registration, and decisions for the next year.
- fall being heavy on routines and diagnosing changing competencies in the kids,
- winter being about holidays and academics, and
- spring being about fatigue with school, friendships and navigating relationships and other people’s kids.
All run through a private secret group on Facebook, so you can participate from any time zone or location, with no big deal if you go on vacation or get busy for a few days, and a strong likelihood that there will be someone on if you need feedback or validation at random times.
Big Four benefits of taking Spirit Fingers: Kindergarten:
- Guidance in sorting out what all the logistical and emotional threads are, so you can help keep track of them
- Help in knowing what’s just part of the normal process and what indicates something you should stay on top of
- Support in working through it all with others in the same boat
- Safety to vent or gloat in a place where everyone understands and will keep things in proportion
In the group running now (for kids who started K last fall), we've talked about American and Canadian public schools, private schools, homework, expectations of teachers, teachers' expectations, helping kids navigate friendships, our kids' personalities and how that affects how they participate in school, managing our own emotions about school, and lots more. I added a week on to the beginning of the session for this year to make sure we had time to talk about everything we needed to touch before people went on vacation in the summer--last year the beginning phase felt a little squished to me.
It runs April 24, 2014, through the end of June, 2015.
Run through a private, secret group on Facebook that only those of us in the group can see and know exist. What happens in the Spirit Fingers group stays in the Spirit Fingers group. No one who isn't in the group can see what you post, that you're posting at all, or even that the group exists.
Registration open from now through September 6, 2014*.
Simple, easy, smart.
Who Should Take It
You should take Spirit Fingers: Kindergarten if you have a child entering the 5-year-old school year--Kindergarten or SK (Canada) or the year 5-year-olds go to school before Grade 1 --between now and spring 2015, and
you're either worried/concerned about how it will go, or
you want to be prepared and want some like-minded people to talk about it with as it happens.
This is especially for you if you know you'll want to talk about it all as it happens, but have too many people on Facebook who won't want to hear about it or who aren't in the middle of it with your specific kid.
If your child did Kindergarten last year and you feel like it totally got away from you, you might consider taking it to get a logistical and supportive "do-over."
If you're considering redshirting (holding your child back a year to enter K), email me and we'll talk about whether you should hedge by taking it: askmoxie at gmail dot com
Who Should Not Take It
You should not take Spirit Fingers: Kindergarten if you
- are homeschooling, because a big part of the course is going to be about dealing with things that are part of schools--teachers, the school policies, other kids, other parents.
- have kids going into 3s or 4s in preschool (US) or JK (Canada). Enjoy it now, and join this course next year.
- hate other parents and don't want to discuss anything with anyone.
Let's Do It
Click the button to sign up. If the email address I should communicate with you through is NOT your Paypal address, be sure to add a note to me so I can email you with details to get into the group. (And if the name on the Paypal account is different from yours, tell me what your name is in the notes.)
I’m excited for this class and wish I’d thought of doing it when my kids were in K! Please pass it along to anyone you know who might need it. If you have any questions, email me at askmoxie at gmail dot com to ask.
* Registration is open until September 6 because last year people asked if they could get in at the end of the summer, and that's fine. If you're delaying joining because you don't know where your kid is going to K yet, don't delay. There are already several people in this year's group who don't know exactly where there kids will be going, and that's part of what we work through in this super-early phase of the group. The group is a place that you can stress about the not knowing, if you don't know, and all the unknowns.