Everything He Needs To Know He’ll Learn In Kindergarten

I do not want to send my son to all-day kindergarten. Some of you may call me crazy, but I’m definitely not looking forward to it. With each passing day I feel more dread for the fall, when I no longer will have him here all day to play with.

I know it’s only from about 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. but that’s six and a half hours without my baby! Wow. What am I going to do? What is my 2-year-old going to do?

I know I am not thinking rationally and there are plenty of things that I can do with my 2-year-old to stay busy while his brother is gone. It’s just that he and his brother are best friends. Sometimes I think they should have been twins. The three of us have a blast together and now it’s going to be very different.

Don’t worry, I plan on taking my youngest to the local children’s museum for toddler time, and I’m sure we’ll spend most of our Wednesdays at our public library’s discover day. We’ll do all the things I did with my oldest when he was an only child.

My 2-year-old will probably be just fine acting as king of the house while he’s the only child at home. Until he has another sibling someday… whenever that may be. It would have been nice for him to have a little brother to play with, but things don’t always happen they way we plan them to.

Anyway, there are a number of reasons why it’s hard for me to let go of my son and send him to school. For one, I love his company. I have spent 99.9 percent of his 4-and-a-half years with him. He has literally been at my side from day one. When he was a newborn he would sit on the couch next to me in his Boppy pillow while I typed up freelance articles for the Deseret News. I was so happy to have him that I wanted him with me all the time.

It’s also hard for me to see him go because I gave up a lot when I had him. It changed my whole world. Don’t get me wrong, I chose to have him and become a stay-at-home mom. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard for me to turn my back on my college education and dream career. Now that he’s going to school I feel abandoned. I gave up so much for him and now he’s leaving me!

Again, I know I am being dramatic. He’ll come home to me every afternoon and we’ll live it up in the evenings. I loved school and so I am so excited for him to get to learn and grow like I did. I am actually a little jealous that he gets to go do all the things I loved doing.

I am just going to miss him so badly while he’s gone. I also don’t want to have any regrets. I keep asking myself if we have read enough stories, watched enough Disney movies, fought enough “wars” or found enough dinosaur bones in the backyard together. Have I done all that I could with him? Will the memories be enough to carry me over while he’s gone?

I sure hope so. Because whether I like it or not, he’s going to turn 5 this summer and I’m going to have to turn him over to his teacher for most of his waking moments. That’s when I’ll live for early-out day, the weekends and summer vacation.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jackie h
    Jun 23, 2011 @ 08:59:23

    I felt the same way about claire last year for all the same reasons. She turned 5 on the first day of school, she had no academic worries, but was still a bit socially awkward, so I totally kept her and we’ll start this year. I haven’t regretted it for a second! She’s better prepared socially, and this way she’ll be older and wiser when she graduates and leaves home. If his birthday is later in the summer, maybe consider it. I talked to a bunch of kindergarten and first grade teachers and they all thought it was best to be older. Think how he would graduate and go right on a mission, no awkward year between to get bad grades in college (we are constantly trying to explain away my husband’s grades from that year) or get in trouble.


    • Natalie
      Jun 25, 2011 @ 10:48:44

      Jackie, you don’t know how tempted I am to do the same thing you did with Claire. But honestly, my son is ready to go so I am going to just have to bite the bullet. He’s going to love going to school, and I am going to love bringing him back home every day 🙂


  2. Annette
    Jun 23, 2011 @ 16:19:53

    Coming from someone who went to all-day Kindergarten, I think half-day is better. It makes it easier to transition the kids.One of my memories of Kindergarten is crying kids on the first day and for the first week.

    Of course, kids eventually adjust and I wouldn’t worry. I also wouldn’t worry about him academically. Studies have shown that by the end of the year, Kindergartens are either at or near the same level as their classmates. They’ll learn together. 🙂


  3. Christie
    Jun 23, 2011 @ 20:55:20

    You are right. About pretty much everything. They grow too fast. And once they start school, it flies so fast. But you are an amazing mom. And yes, all those moments you’ve spent with him will carry him through.

    Nathan went to all day kindergarten even thought I wasn’t so sure about it. He LOVED it! And he thrived! But here I am two years later, and I am keeping Emma home one more year. We will home school (online- through K12) kindergarten and she’ll start 1st grade with everyone else her age. I am not ready to turn her over to the kindergarten teachers here. And the school Nathan went to is no longer an option. 😦


    • Natalie
      Jun 25, 2011 @ 10:52:10

      Thanks Christie. I think that’s cool you are keeping Emma home with you. I will probably consider doing something like that too when my youngest is at the kindergarten age 🙂


  4. Cherrie
    Jun 24, 2011 @ 10:43:25

    Hang in there Natalie! I know exactly were you are coming from. I was the same way with Braxton, and Asher, and with Keagan for Early Intervention Preshool. In fact I cried like a baby the first day of kindergarten and thru the first week. To be honest Asher will be in 3rd grade this year and I still bawl when she starts her first day every year. I am like you and my life revolves around my kids. They are with me constantly. I never do anything without them by my side. In fact, I tell everyone that I am the babysitter and so that goes for my kids as well. I just can’t imagine my life/days without them. I worry about Asher struggling everyday while away at school. I worry about my kids being teased by others. Which they are a lot and I hate it. I am constantly thinking what if Asher can’t do this or that? I just want to keep her under my wing and protect her forever. But I have realized that I can’t do that and my kids need their time away and to learn and be around others their age. No matter how hard I try to prolong the beginning of the school year each year, I am glad they have the opportunity to learn. I have come to realize that although it is very hard to see myself going about my everyday activities without them, I also need the break and time to myself. No matter what you decide to do about having him start this year or next, or go full day or half day, you will make the right decision for him, yourself, and your family. Your 2-year-old will enjoy his mommy time with just the two of you as much as he enjoyed being with his brother. They are best friends and are so dang cute together. But sooner or later that time will come when they can’t always be together all the time. It is hard and after 6 years now of my first starting kindergarten (man I am old) I still wish each school year that I can just keep all of us home and together and safe. It will be hard when the time comes. But you will make the best of the time with just you and your 2-year-old, and the times when you are all together after school, etc. We love you Natalie! You are a great and wonderful person!! And a fabulous Mother!!!


    • Natalie
      Jun 25, 2011 @ 10:52:59

      Cherrie, I am going to call you the first week of school so I can have a shoulder to cry on 🙂 I agree with everything you wrote. I have all of the same worries and concerns, but I have to set them free.


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