The envelope from the school district arrived and I put it aside so my husband and I could open it together. It was silly to be so nervous, really, considering we had already decided that, no matter what district officials recommend, we were not going to put our youngest son in developmental kindergarten.
After having him evaluated, I had an unplanned — yet revealing — conversation with one of his preschool teachers. When I said we were still thinking about developmental kindergarten, she kind of wrinkled her nose.
The program, she said, is great for kids who need some extra time or attention or who are not used to the school environment. My kid, she assured, was doing really well on his schoolwork and was a good student and friend to his classmates. He is excited to learn, is becoming a leader, follows classroom behavior rules and understands how to act in a group. She thought he would be bored, if not next year, then the following year, if he went to developmental kindergarten.
His preschool teacher has a lot of experience and has taught a lot of 4-year-olds. She knows our son really well and, frankly, I trust her and her judgment. But were were still uncertain.
Then, about a week later, we attended the school’s “Kindergarten Round-up.” I didn’t know what would happen at the event, but it turned out the kindergarten teachers were taking the soon-to-be kinder students to the classroom for stories and songs while the parents did a Q&A with parents of current kindergarten students. “Here it goes…” I thought, thinking how my kid will freak out at the idea of being separated from me and going off with strangers. I envisioned tears and leg clinging.
We walked as a group, which included a couple kids from his district-run preschool class. When the time came to go our separate ways, my kid turned to one of his friends and said: “Sean, you’re coming with me.”
He said, “Bye, Mama,” took a teacher’s hand and walked away.
Just. Like. That. No problem, whatsoever.
That pretty much sealed it
So, now, like with every big decision we make for our kids, we are going to move forward and not dwell on our choice. Transitional kindergarten looks like a great opportunity for a lot of kids. It’s just not for us.
To learn more about transitional kindergarten, including a new California law that will make it mandatory for children born between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1, visit The Transitional Kindergarten Library.