Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I need a little kids school...

For anyone who's been reading my Facebook posts, this will probably all be old news... but I thought I'd go ahead and post on here. In hopes of drawing it all together for myself, maybe. That's why we tell stories, I think. To organize our experiences for ourselves, primarily; to make sense of our lives.

I am having some monumental mom guilt at the moment, let's just get that out there right now. Why didn't I insist/push/just-do-it find a good pre-k program for Finn last spring when we got here?

I don't remember. I tried, I know. Three co-op preschools were full. One CDSA site had space, but we fell into a weird income hole and were too poor to get one subsidy and couldn't get another unless I went to a job-searching class 40 hours a week, which was senseless to me. I guess I got tired, and then it was April, and then it was Well, let's just wait.

And he was going to pre-K anyway, I thought. Then he had a growth spurt - emotionally, communication-wise - as I posted last time.

And truth be told, I started kindergarten when I was 4. I was "smart". I always took pride in that. And all the kids Finn was born with began kindergarten last week. I didn't want him left out. So we were off to kindergarten with high hopes.

Then he started wetting his pants, right after we visited his school for the open house. He's never done that. Ever. And it was constant. And then he went to school, and he started crying. Not for a little while - he cried for three days straight. He kept getting lost in the halls, his teacher said, because he didn't know how to stay in line with his class. He wouldn't let her leave his side at lunch.

She told me all this on the playground in the morning, when the kids were lining up to go in. She didn't email or call me. I didn't have much time to process the information. It's her first year teaching. She's very sweet. If he was ready, I wouldn't worry about experience on her part - but he's a guy who needs some special care, I think, some knowledge.

And truth be told, I don't think he's ready for the kindergarten that exists now. He told me, very clearly:

"I need a little kids school."

Maybe if we hadn't moved.

Maybe if he'd had one or two years of pre-school.

Maybe if dad and mom were different people (not sure how, just different somehow - the kind of people who don't move, maybe, and who make sure they own a house before they have a child, and who make sure that child goes to preschool...)

So now, the decision is what pre-K program?

The sweet, sweet, small one a mile away, with 4 staff members for 15 to 20 kids? The one where most kids with him will be 3 1/2 to 4 to start, then catch up to being 5 along with him? The one that meets Mondays through Thursdays from 1pm to 4pm?

How will I work at all if he goes to that one? Even my work, my freelance writing and coordinating and teaching work?

Or the school program that seems somehow less desirable - the site we're considering is further away, for one thing, but not tremendously. 9am to 3pm, 5 days a week - shorter days not an option. Where they nap from 12:30 to 2pm, no matter what. Finn hasn't napped in two years. He'd have to rest quietly on his mat during that time. He hated naptime when he had to endure it at his San Diego preschool. The school with an executive director who is reviled by folks I know, although the teachers at this site seem lovely.

A lot more freedom for me. A lot more hours for me. To work, write, whatever.

What do I do?


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1 comment:

  1. Maria,
    Trust your mom instincts. Do what's right for Finn.
    Find a place that allows him to be creative and play--that's a child's work. Take your laptop along, save miles, and work on your creative stuff at a wi-fi place while you wait for him to come out with his big smile. :) Remember, a kid is resilient, but he also needs to be able to trust you and your decisions for his welfare. You're happy=he's happy=you're all happy.

    Praying that in your next post you'll share your solution! Love ya.