Love Kingergarten, Hate the Kindergarten Rat Race.

This has been the most peaceful day I’ve had since school started…and oddly, it’s been an awesome day in part because there was no school today. I went to bed last night looking so forward to this morning because I knew we wouldn’t have to rush, rush, rush everyone to “get dressed” and “eat breakfast” and “gather backpacks” and “remember lunches” and hustle everyone out the door, down the stairs, and into the car.

Just like the good ole days, the kids and I got up early but we took the morning slow and easy. No rushing, no panic, no last-minute remembering, no racing. We went to Jazzercise all together, saw our friends, went out for breakfast, and then came home. Later this afternoon we made popcorn, put in a movie, and listened to hail pound against the windows and watched the tree limbs going nuts outside during a perfect fall storm.

I tell you, I just can’t stand all-day, every day kindergarten. I really wish that it was a full day but just three days a week,  leaving a mother two week days to spend with her little ones exactly as she (and they) wish. I knew that adjusting to a daily 9-5 school grind was going to be a challenge for this commercial fishing mom and family, and it is.

Getting up early is not a problem, but I find hustling and strict schedules really annoying. Be at school by 8:20 each and every morning of the week…or else. Be at the bus stop by this time in the afternoon…or else. Yesterday, I saw that we were going to be late to school and instead of rushing and ordering my kids around, I chose instead to call Eva’s school.

“Eva will be at school at 9 this morning,” I announced. I know that being late is not a good precedent to set for your children, but I weighed the odds and decided to make the call. Hey, these are my kids, not the school’s. They are still little, I’m seven months pregnant, and darn it, I just did not feel like hurrying everyone.

I cannot wait for the holiday season to get into full swing. I am looking forward to a few days off at Thanksgiving and a couple weeks at Christmas with the children so we can have more time to play and relax and not make every day about being on time, dropping off, picking up, eating dinner, and going to bed. They are only four and five years old! And soon, we will have an infant in tow. How did we become part of the workday grind along with working adults?

The school district and most parents absolutely love all-day, every day kindergarten and I’m well aware that my view on the matter is in the minority. I understand the reasoning for the school district implementing all-day, every day kindergarten and I’ve listened to and read all of the arguments on both sides. But this is my blog and I can spout my opinion here…so here it is. I am one mom who does not like it. At all.

I’m glad that today, for one day during the week, we got a break from the elementary school rat race and I had both of my children home to spend time with and enjoy.

Speaking of the holiday season (and moving on from the topic of school—it is Friday, after all!)…it’s not only the holiday season, but it’s pre-Dungeness crab season, too! G and the crew are on the boat working hard each day getting it all ready to go. George has been working on the boat by himself for the last two months, so I love it when the crew rolls into town with their help.

Here are a few pictures of the last couple weeks…

First things first, get the boat back in the water.

Quick time out to celebrate Halloween and go trick or treating…


Back on the boat to keep getting ready for the crab season…

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Foster a precious pitbull named Ryder….

Dream of next spring’s Florida or Hawaiian beach vacation, as Eva and her iPhone sketches seem to be doing as well.

Comments

  1. ALL DAY kindergarten? When do the kids get a chance to be kids? NO WAY. Okay I am old school and even thought I worked, I worked when they were in school. And then when they hit the higher grades, I still made sure I could volunteer in their classrooms.

    Now my list of excuses for being late. Feel free to use any of them.
    1 The cows got out.
    2. A pipe broke in the orchard.
    3. The cows were on the road.
    4. Electricity went out.
    5. Drew got a nose bleed on the way out the door.
    6. Drew got a nose bleed in the car on the way to school.
    7. Car wouldn’t start.
    8. Boat work.
    9. We live in a different time zone than the school.
    1o The cows got out……

    The Attendance at the High School actually had the nerve to ask me if I had taken Drew to the doctor for his nose bleeds. I just gave her the look that says, “Yes I have taken him to the doctor more than once and DO NOT question my parenting skills. I have good kids and they are never in the office for being a problem.” That look.
    Lori

    • I know it. Five years old just seems so young to be away from home and on such a strict schedule five days a week. I have heard before that some countries don’t start until the kids are closer to seven. Eva is almost six, loves kindergarten, and was ready to begin…but even so, I think five half-days or a three full days per week would have been enough.

      That would give everyone a chance to relax, look forward to something other than a school routine for a change, and to talk about all the things they’re learning in kindergarten and let them soak in without pressure. They even have homework now. At least Eva just started receiving homework; her friend in a different class was studying for spelling tests three weeks into kindergarten!

      The reasoning for the homework is to give the kids the opportunity to become used to it and for the family to figure out a time that works for them to do it…but I’m like, I think being at school all day every day is work enough for five-year-old children. But as I said…I’m in the minority with my archaic thinking. :)

  2. I stumble across your blog and realized we live in the same town! How bizarre. I have a Kindergarten student this year in the district as well. I am one of those that is so pleased to have the all-day Kindergarten. But – I have an older child. I kept my son home last year and didn’t put him into the system until he was 6 (his birthday is in August). I also have an older child that did the half day program – so I can see it from both sides. The half-day program was “okay” but they were so rushed to get through projects and lessons every day due to the time constraints. Also, from a “rush, rush, rush” perspective it was WAY worse. Just by the time you got settled from the morning it was time to pick them up again. What I love about the all day is that in the afternoon (at least in our school) the kids get “Work Time” where they get to do centers and it is more free play with learning. I’m amazed at what he’s learning and trying in this time. For example, he made a “telescope” in Art Center which was awesome but then he wanted to learn about stars so he went to the library (in his class) found a book and wrote a “book” about finding stars in Writing center. No way would he have had time to do this sort of activity in the 1/2 day program. He might have had 20 mins of free play in the entire day. Also, the 3 day program was a bust. Last years schedule there were weeks that the kids only went to school one day! They were not in school consistently enough to get the routine and for the teachers to have any continuity in their lessons. they had to spend so much time with administrative tasks that they didn’t get a lot of learning time. I also love that my son gets a “real” PE , music and Tech class — not just some “mandated” time taught by the teacher.

    But it is an adjustment to the rat race. Wait until you get both of them in school and they both “like” and want to participate in different after school activities ….. we are always in the on the run mode. I love the early release on Wednesdays! We use that extra time to just hang – or catch up!

    • Hi Amy,

      Thanks for taking time to write in with your experience and thoughts!

      You raise all good and thoughtful points. I did read all of the district’s literature on the subject, as well as viewed the video they released. I also spoke with several friends (some of whom are teachers, two of whom are PTA presidents) and do understand why the move was made to all day, every day kindergarten.

      It sounds for sure like this is the better way, especially compared to what was going on. I’d heard about those weeks where kids had school three days, or one day, or two days, without any consistency, and I can’t imagine how annoying that would have been. I don’t even understand why such a nutty schedule like that was even allowed to exist.

      In my perfect world, it would be a regular and consistent MWF 9-3 pm schedule, leaving us T/Thr to spend however we wanted.

      Mostly, it’s just a big adjustment and I don’t like change. :) We are too used to doing what we want, when we want, and creating schedules that work perfectly for us as a family.

      Eva does love kindergarten and was ready and eager to go. I’m also happy we have a good district with great teachers.

      Thanks again for writing!

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