As I've mentioned we started this school year sending Wyatt to second grade & Edison to afternoon Kindergarten.
Our school offers an extended-day kindergarten program to children who need a little extra help. And, over the summer the recommendation was made to put Edison into this program.
We had also been offered this for Wyatt when he was in Kindergarten and we passed for various reasons.
- We knew Wyatt's personality. He's much like me in that change is difficult for him. So, we wanted him to have the year to adjust to school. And, half-day seemed much more do-able for him.
- We felt like the expectations placed on Kindergarten students were much higher than they needed to be. Kindergarten used to be a fun place to learn your letters and numbers and some basic school skills. Now that so many children attend Pre-K or daycare (none of ours have), children are expected to come into Kindergarten practically ready to read.
- We had some issues with teacher who taught the extended day part of the kindergarten session. We loved Wyatt's Kindergarten teacher for the afternoon, but a different teacher would have had him in the morning and we questioned the wisdom of letting Wyatt go to that teacher.
- We felt Wyatt would benefit most from us continuing to work with him at home and help him 'catch up' with where the school thought he should be.
For some of those same reasons we passed when the extended day program was offered to Edison this summer. And we tried to work with him at home (although if I'm honest here - I didn't do nearly as much one on one practice with him as I would have liked).
Then Edison's teacher approached us recently and again offered the extended day program for him. After some thought and prayer we decided to let him participate.
- His personality is completely different from Wyatt's. He thrives on social interaction and is task-driven. He's been talking about full-day kindergarten all school year and was very excited to go. We figured we should tap into that enthusiasm.
- The teacher we had an issue with is no longer there and we feel very comfortable with this year's extended day kindergarten teacher.
- Edison is less focused at home when John or I try to work with him on his learning skills. But, we know he picks things up very quickly at school and would benefit from the extra help they are offering. Even though we still feel the expectations are unnecessarily high we also know he is eager to learn.
So today Edison got on the bus in the morning with Wyatt and he will be there the whole day!
Can I just say that it has been a treat to be able to focus on my little two this morning? I almost feel guilty saying that. But, this has given me the chance to give Charlie and Joseph the attention they crave. Charlie has been a much happier little boy without his big brother her to fight with. And, I have also been able to tackle some of those household chores that usually get pushed to the backburner so I can play referee.
Oh, and the big change? Now I can really help Charlie with his potty training. He really WANTS to wear his underwear. And, before I'd put it on for awhile but end up putting him back in his diaper. I wasn't able to direct him to the potty on a regular basis. I'd forget. He'd forget. And, we would have accidents.
He still had an accident this morning but it was poopy not pee (my boys always take longer to learn the poop in the potty part). Other than that he stayed dry all morning.
So, this change in routine could be exactly the change, the break that I've been needing. And, I'm hoping that when my big boys come home in the afternoon I won't be as stressed and ready to give them some of my undivided attention.
We shall see....