Kindergarten jitters!

@mommyboo (13197)
United States
August 12, 2009 12:31pm CST
Let me preface this by saying I had made myself almost sick over worrying about the start of kindergarten. I am not completely over it, but I am much more at ease than I was on Sunday night lol. I found out some of the best ways to deal with the worries - meet other parents! Research the school, check the report card, which is available online and provides all kinds of information about how the school rates in many areas, from maintenance, cleanliness, ratio of staff to students, number of students, to how the students perform against certain benchmarks. It also shows the average length teachers stay at a school or in a district, the average salaries, etc. My daughter seems to be having fun, the only thing that is hard for her is getting up so early in the morning. I think I am slowly beginning to be okay with kindergarten. The tough part for me is looking down the road and seeing where this is going..... to third, fourth, fifth grade.... junior high, high school lol. Did you get kindergarten jitters? Are you having them now? Even though I feel better NOW, I would never laugh at myself or another parent for feeling that way. I still feel that way for a moment or a few moments now and then. It really is helpful to find out as much as you can about the school and to make friends, it is true, the more you know, the more comfortable you can afford to be. I want to make sure that I make school and learning a positive thing for my daughter and part of that is making sure *I* know everything I can to enrich her experience.
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13 responses
@dorannmwin (36656)
• United States
12 Aug 09
This time last year I had the worst kindergarten jitters. My daughter started first grade today. I was so completely worried about her, it was a new school for her, her first time in school actually. It was in a new neighborhood as she was going to school in the neighborhood where our house is instead of where we were living while renovating. She knew absolutely no one. And I worried about her endlessly until it was time to pick her up from school. It ended up that she loved it. Now, I have to go meet her at the bus stop in ten minutes after her first day of 1st grade. I can't wait to see how her day went.
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
How did it go? It's funny for me that people I know are split. Several of them are worried their kids will get picked on, while several others are worried THEIR kids will do the picking! I was honestly more worried my daughter would be overlooked. She was a good student in preschool (except for the one time she decided she didn't want to do something and she told some of her friends who also refused - at which point she almost got in trouble) and she has a long attention span, and she is like me, once she begins something, she finishes it, and she moves on. Because there are so many kids, I was worried that her teacher would give them all something, she'd do her paper or whatever, turn it in, then sit there... and sit there... and sit there... because she was done, didn't need help, and wasn't causing any problems lol. I think it will be really eye opening to be in the classroom and see what they do daily, I'm excited to find out!
@dorannmwin (36656)
• United States
16 Aug 09
Kathryn's first day of first grade went well. It was easier for her this year because she went to the school last year. She knows several of the kids in her class from last year. She seemed to have had a really good first and second and third day. She is excited about her new teacher, but she says that the work is boring. They are reviewing right now and it is all about the alphabet which she's known since she was 3. On your comment about your daughter, the well behaved child that would sit there...and sit there...and sit there. That was my daughter. There were actually several times during her year of kindergarten that she would make me go into the school after dismissal and ask her teacher to please give her harder work because what they were doing was too easy. I actually did it too. If you feel like what the teachers are doing with your daughter isn't challenging enough, don't be afraid to ask the teacher about more challenging activities. Oh, and a website that my daughter uses all the time for reading skills is: starfall.com (not a referral link)
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
Thanks!! I'll check out the website . I'm not worried about her saying she's bored, at home she does a lot of art (drawing, painting, coloring) and puzzles, and we have sight word flash cards and some videos I found for working on that from youtube. I don't necessarily want EXTRA work, but I'll gladly accept ideas for ways to work on extra things for a little bit at home. I was SO worried that they would expect the kids to know all these sight words and to count to 100 and read before the beginning of school, but the principal said that by the end of the year they expect the kids to know their ABCs, count to 30, know their whole name, and know a few commonly used words and be able to read/write them. My daughter knew all her ABCs, counting, shapes, colors, and to write her name from preschool when she was three lol.
@gemini_rose (16192)
14 Aug 09
I think seeing a child start school is a really hard thing, I have been through it three times and in September I will see it for the last time with my daughter. I dont think it will be as hard for me this time with having gone through it before but it will still be hard. My worry for my daughter is that whenever she has interacted with other children they always seem to pick on her and I would hate to see it happen in nursery because she has a gorgeous personality and that will be what worries me the most.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
I have done some serious thinking about why it's so hard, and although a lot of people claim it's because this is my ONLY little one and I'm not having more, I don't think that's it. I like hanging out with her, and I think it's almost a crime to let someone else have the pleasure of her company lol. I do know however that some kids are not easy on their parents and I suppose some kids are easier to send to school than others lol. I just happen to have one that isn't that way. I think almost every parent is worried that their child might get picked on - except for parents who have mean, bullyish kids. I don't get it but those parents don't seem to even SEE how their kids treat other kids! That bothers me too, they should have prevented that behavior from happening before their kid is out in school exposed to other kids where they can really hurt somebody!
@CJscott (4182)
• Canada
13 Aug 09
I am not quite at that stage. A friend of mine though, when his kids were around that age, he went and volunteered at the school, met the teachers. Even chose which teacher he wanted teaching each of his kids. Him and his wife did that all through both of their children's school years. I thought the volunteering at the school was a great idea. It is definitely one that I am going to be using when my son is of that age. Cheers.
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@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
It's an excellent thing to do! I volunteered at my older kids' middle school when I was pregnant with my daughter. After she was born, I was able to continue volunteering for a little while but eventually I had to stop. It really gives you an in about what's going on at the school, you get to really see what and how they are learning, and you know what the classroom environment(s) is like, as well as how the various teachers teach and their expectations during the day. I was much more comfortable with the school after volunteering. I was never able to volunteer at the high school because you cannot do that with a toddler, plus I had other toddler related things to do and then preschool. I don't think they need parents as much for that age as they do at the elementary schools, although they do still need parents on top of what their high school kids are doing.
@imsilver (1667)
• Canada
13 Aug 09
I was more excited than nervous I think when mine started in Kindergarten. It's such a big step for them. It's the sign that they are definatly no longer babies anymore. Time to let them go and check out the real world. I've made the school a big part of our lives. I'm involved in everything they do there. I could pack them a lunch in the morning but I choose to be there everyday with their lunches. That gives me a chance to check on them and talk to the teacher if I have to. I make sure that I always know how they are doing in class and where I need to give them some extra help. Once they start school, the years just seem to fly by. I can't believe that my little boy is going into Grade 7 this year. Just enjoy every minute of it and it'll make it a great experience for the both of you.
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
Hehe... well, we got a lunch menu even though my daughter goes half day and doesn't eat lunch at school. Next year she will be in first grade and will have lunch there. I showed the menu to my hubby and while he was laughing about the brand name stuff, I was complaining that she wouldn't eat most of it. It's all like fast food or convenience food type lunches, chicken nuggets, burgers, mac and cheese, burritos, fried things. I wish the school had a little salad bar and some fresh fruit or soup or sandwiches - like cold cuts or something. We don't eat a lot of junk, which is probably why she wouldn't eat it at school. I had lunch at my older kids' school before and it was awful, fried stuff, burgers, pizza, tacos trucked in from taco bell lol. I had to bribe a teacher to help me find a turkey sandwich and some fruit! I do like taco bell but these were sooo greasy.. ick! I'll probably have lunch with her occasionally next year, I'll still be volunteering so I don't see why not
@dbabcook (389)
• United States
13 Aug 09
I did get the jitters prior to my only child starting kindergarten but my daughter was so eager and didn't shed a tear about walking into that classroom that it set my mind at great ease. As a matter of fact if it weren't for her enthusiasm I know that I would have broke down in tears. She is such a little trooper.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
My daughter was pretty excited and enthusiastic too. She talked about it apparently with several of her little friends, and one of them was very upset that HE can't go to kindergarten. He makes the cutoff - his birthday is in October, but since he's not 5 yet, he is doing preschool another year. Even though I was worried and had jitters, I was careful to hide most of it from her, although I did tell her that mommy would be sad when she was away every morning. I let her know that she would be having a great time and learning so many fun things that she could share with mommy, but that sometimes mommy had a hard time with things too, and it was okay for her to have fun. I am very very proud of her, and now that I feel better, I am proud of myself too lol.
@Hatley (164232)
• Garden Grove, California
13 Aug 09
hi mommyboo I had the opposite problem I was okay with itas I had done pretty much what you say you have done, but for some reason my son did not want to go. Its been many years now,but I still remember him getting off the school bus and me putting him back on , only to have him get off again. he was crying I dont wanta go mommy,no no. we even went to the school and met his teacher , she was really sweet, and he finally did get to like her and he began to think kindergarten was okay, but then one day we took him to class ourselves, and the teacher was out sick. my son took one look at her and yelled you arent my teacher.she was so upset and she was also a very nice young lady.we learned however that my son had too high an iq for kindergarten he was bored stiff,he went to second grade in a private school and did just great,he was doing junior college work along with his senior year of private high school.
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
A few of the kids cried on the first day, but I've since figured out the kids that have problems like that likely did not go to preschool and weren't used to the idea of being in a classroom away from mom or dad. If it's something familiar to the kids, then it doesn't worry or scare them. Now I don't do a bus, first of all we live within 3/4 of a mile from the school which is the cutoff for bus transpo anyway, but at five years old, I don't think I would put her on a bus anyway, even if we lived 2 miles away. I don't see the point when I can drive her, I drive her and pick her up anyway. I know that I am the opposite of some moms, there are some people who put their preschoolers on a bus to daycare/preschool/daycare because they work all day, and also friends whose kids started kindergarten when they were four and they took a bus in the morning and afternoon. I'm not even sure I can deal with a bus when she is in junior high lol. It's creepy having your then-four-year-old talk about getting on a school bus.... Ali definitely notices if there's a sub, when she has had a sub for her dance class she'll go over and ask the teacher why her regular teacher is gone lol. It doesn't bother her though, once she knows that the sub does the same things her regular teacher does.
@tlb0822 (1412)
• United States
13 Aug 09
My daughter is only 19 months, but I know for a fact that I will have the kindergarten jitters. I don't even like when a relative takes her for a few hours to give me a break, because I miss her so much. I think it is just a good mommy thing. I'm glad that you have found ways to cope with your child going to kindergaten, its nerve racking to think that they grow up that fast right in front of your eyes. All we can do is enjoy the time we have now. Happy mylotting.
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
They DO grow up fast! It is so bizarre. I've even been there this whole.... well more than 6 years because I didn't work while I was pregnant either. I have lots of wonderful memories and so does she, but it still feels like I blinked and the time was gone. I can't imagine how fast it goes by and what someone misses if they do work. I mean I know I probably got to see about three quarters more than my husband did lol. It's almost like they get giant and begin doing things by themselves overnight!
@4mymak (1795)
• Malaysia
13 Aug 09
i think i only had kindergarden jitters with my first child - mostly because i knew she was always so timid and unsure of herself - she was big for her age, even bigger than the boys in her class (not fat, but 'big'), so i was very worried about she would be treated by the other children.. but that was 15 years ago.. and she survived and so did i... as for the other 4 - i never worried as much.. probably i did all the worrying i could with the first one.. i never thought much about the kindy as you - i was just happy to know that the teachers are capable of teaching my children to read well and write by the time they start primary school, and that my children learned to make friends and play well with other children, while being able to listen and obey their teachers.. of course, i did check the school grounds, the toilets, the dining area, the classrooms, the toys that they provide.. the learning material they had.. but, i dont really check on the school 'ratings' and all that... kindy is just a 'training ground' for them.. a new world besides their home - as long as it is safe, clean, have good, caring teachers and my children learns to read, write, do simple calculation by the end of the year - i think they'll be fine, and i'll be fine...
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
You just never really know how other people will treat your child when you are not there though. While my daughter is clear in her intentions, socializes and communicates well, has likes and dislikes (and will tell you), there are times when she gets shy, more often with adults she has never seen before than kids. She can hold her own, even with strange kids. She is used to taking her cues for how comfortable to be with strange adults from ME. She is actually smaller than a lot of other kids - like me she tends to be older but tinier, but people realize she is older based on her behavior. The problem with 15 years ago (or 30 in my case) is that kindy is different. I don't like that it is but it is. I remember doing a lot of playing. Playing with textures, colored water, bubbles, finger paint. Lots of art projects. Field trips. Music. Running around, ie PE. There wasn't a lot of reading and writing and math and papers. I never had homework. I think I could read before I started school though. Based on what I've seen from friends, some of their kids get SO MUCH homework. It is insane. My school fortunately does NOT do this, and that is a big part of why I'm relieved. I do not think it's appropriate, I do not think it's reasonable. I just have to impress on my daughter that she MUST do her school work AT school. Of course if it is not finished in school ie during class, then you have to do it at home, but if she realizes early that if she has to bring it home to do, then she can't do other things, then she'll probably do it at school rather than give up fun stuff. The school ratings are basically just a report card from compiled information, you know, like statistics about say... a certain state or city you are considering moving to. It was available online and was very helpful.
@MissAmie (718)
• United States
13 Aug 09
My daughter goes to 2nd grade on Monday and trust me...when she went to school I almost had a stroke. She was so young. Her birthday was just before the cut off date so she's one of the youngest kids in her class. Watching her walk into the school on the first day killed me. But soon I was really enjoying the free time during the day. Ahhh...a quiet house. You'll learn to love it!
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
It is strange... having an empty house. My husband leaves for work at 4:30 and my son catches his bus around 6:15. I take my daughter around 7ish. I did do some cleaning last week which was nice, but the first day I did nothing, I was such a bundle of nerves. Thank goodness the school is only a few blocks away. We missed the cut off - she would have been 4 last year at the beginning of the school year and I wasn't ready for that, even if she was. I think she is in the middle for age - she is already 5, but her birthday falls right in the middle of the school year. She will be 6 when she starts 1st grade but fortunately she won't have JUST turned 6. I think it can sometimes be tough for the kids who barely make the cut off, I have friends who put their 4 year olds in kindergarten, and honestly, a few of them are ready but a few of them are NOT.
• United States
12 Aug 09
I can say that I had gone through the same thing too, I was so crazy sick over my son starting kindergarten last year that I was actually thinking of homeschooling... granted I cant do that since I know how important it is to have the interaction alone with other kids..along with so many other things that goes along with regular school. I had heard great things about the school and found out that they were ranked 6th in the state so that of course made me feel much better and I got to meet his teacher before he even started school and I couldnt have got a better teacher for him had I picked her out myself. He was half day kindergarten last year and this year he will be full day first grade this year... I am anxious again about him being in school all day this year but not about the school itself since I learned so much about it over the year and met and learned alot from other parents as well through the year. I hope your daughter does well and enjoys it... that is so important!! good luck and happy mylotting!!
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
Thank you!! I thought about homeschooling too, believe me. I had called my best friend and my sister and my mom and of course when they saw how bad I was freaking out, they ALL suggested it. I am not a teacher though, and I believe that social interaction is a big part of learning. I am beyond grateful that this school has the policies they do, and they have a very involved principal who is out there every morning and afternoon, greeting kids, greeting parents. I am also grateful for half day kindergarten! I had always said that that's all I would be willing to do. Some of the elementaries in the area offer only full day, and there are also a few that have year round. My specifications of course were traditional year (summer break) and half day, and those are things I never would have bent on lol. My older son is in the same district so they have the same days off and same start for the year and end, which makes it easier to keep tabs for me. I think it will be tough next year when it's all day, but it won't be anything like this year. I'll already be familiar with the school and the curriculum.
@Canellita (12056)
• United States
12 Aug 09
Oh my goodness! I can't even imagine what this must be like! I walked my niece to school pne day after she had just started kindergarten and before I left she said "when you leave I miss you." I almost cried right there on the spot!
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@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
I think it depends on the child too. Some kids start out not needing you a lot from the beginning, I know some parents whose babies were not cuddlers, preferred to sleep alone in their own crib, were content to lie on the floor or in a saucer. It works out great for parents who are not hands on either. Mine was never like that, she was always wanting to be held, touched, she likes snuggling with us. She still does. I like being around her. It's funny when I chat with other moms because most of them sound a bit like me. They enjoy their children, they like being with them, of course they want a break from time to time. Once in awhile I find one who just can't wait for their 2 year old to be old enough to go to preschool, and then they want them in it all day. I don't get it. Especially if it's not because they plan to go back to work! The missing is mutual. It is so nice to go pick her up after school... she comes running and says 'I love you mommy!'.
• United States
12 Aug 09
I thought I'd be fearful too. But since both of my girls have had to get help with speech issues I've been in the school system an extra 2yrs sooner. It was hard to accept that there was something wrong with them. But my worries were more like what did I do wrong? Are their clothes ok? She won't let me wash her face, what will the teachers think of me? I will say when they bring a project home to do that it feels like I'm on the spot doing home work again because I have to help them understand what is wanted of them and show them how to do it. I'm dreaming of them being out of grade school then I can go back to work full time!
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@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
LOL! I'm not sure why I was so concerned. For me I have found out that if I do not have all the information, I am suspicious of everybody. I am not trusting without information, I cannot afford to be. Now that I have plenty of info about the school and am starting to know the staff and other parents, and I know from my daughter that things are okay from HER point of view too, it's much easier. I'll be volunteering, I won't have time for anything but that, and if I do anything else it will have to be something that only takes place within school hours - unless it's an extra child or something.
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
12 Aug 09
i seriously think that parents worry way more than kids do about things like that. it may take her a few months to get used to getting up so early but after that, she will be fine. i think kids have highschool jitters but thats about it.
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@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
16 Aug 09
Believe it or not, some of the KIDS CRIED. I think that parents do a disservice socially and against helping their kids adjust to change if they never take their kids to a mommy and me or daddy and me class, or preschool, or summer day camp, or any drop off program where your child is exposed to something like a teacher and rules, a schedule, and chances to be around other kids and make friends and learn conflict resolution, patience, kindness, etc as well as communicating effectively (I have to go to the bathroom, he stole my crayon etc). Even if it's something short, say just 2 hours, twice or three times a week, it helps your child get ready for the idea of school and knowing that learning and being away from parents is normal. It was hard for me to have my daughter go to preschool too when she was three, but we talked it up and I found one I liked and she enjoyed it too. I did actually cry the first day after I dropped her off but NOT in front of her. At kindergarten a couple of the parents were sniffling and crying and in turn I think it frightened the kids who had never been away from their parents before. As much as it bothered me to do the preschool thing at first, I knew it was a step toward preparing HER to be ready, as well as the first step for ME. I went to preschool as a kid, and I had no trouble with kindergarten. I know it was tough for my mom, I have a letter she wrote me in my baby book that talks about although she was celebrating the milestone, she was sad that I would be gone. I know EXACTLY what she meant because I feel the SAME way. It's true that it makes no sense until you go through it yourself as a parent, but sadly some parents do not feel this way.