‘Twas the Week Before Kindergarten…

by Margo on August 30, 2012

….And all of the moms were in a horrible state. Because I can’t be the only one feeling like this. Right? Right???

Holy crap, guys. My baby starts school in less than a week.

I said that I wasn’t going to come back here and blog until after the school rush, but here I am. That’s because I am in full-out panic mode, in the way that only a mom can do it.

Here’s the back story.  For a variety of reasons, we decided not to send Becca to preschool. I ordered some educational supplies with the intent of teaching her the basics myself. And this worked really well for about a month, before our schedules broke down and we started working on mini-lessons once or twice a week instead of every day.

BUT– I made a point of reading to Becca every day. And we practiced writing, letter recognition, being able to spell a few basic words, and general preschool-like math skills. She’s a smart girl, and she picked up on everything fairly quickly. Unfortunately, I missed some areas. Big areas, as it turns out.

Becca is a bit lacking in fine motor skills. I’m considering this a genetic trait. I’m 28 and couldn’t cut (or draw, for that matter) a straight line if my life depended on it. My handwriting is still atrocious. Becca has a lot of trouble with writing. Her letters sprawl all over the place. It’s like the pencil develops a mind of its own half-stroke, and it takes her a few seconds to get back on track.

Part of this is a lack of practice. That’s my bad. And it’s something that we have been working on a lot in the past couple of weeks. And I think part of it is distraction. She starts writing something, loses track, and starts doodling something else. Or she starts daydreaming. Getting her to stay on task for more than 2-3 minutes is a challenge.

I think she also has some performance anxiety. I see her write her name at home without much of a problem. The moment she goes into the school setting, she stumbles over even the easy letters. I saw this when they did her testing at the orientation, and the papers showed that she could only count to 11 (the girl regular counts to 30 or more) and that she only knew her letters to N (she learned her letters at two. All of them).

So, what caused the sudden panic tonight? We went in to her classroom this afternoon to drop off all of her supplies and look around a bit. One of the tasks that the teacher had for the students was to count how many times they could find their names around the room (8), and then write their names and the number on a piece of paper hanging from the bathroom door. Everything went well until she had to write her name. She wrote it in yellow first, but it was too light, so she wrote it again in blue. Except she was frustrated by then, and it took her several minutes to write out her name. Then she had  mini-meltdown when we told her that she couldn’t play with all of the toys for a while (it was time to go).

And I had a moment of panic, thinking that maybe we’re sending her too early (she’s only 4; we could have waited a year), but I know she’s going to do well in school. It’s just going to take a bit of adjustment. It’s also going to take working with her more at home to help her get caught up with all of the other students.

I know she’s going to do great. I’ll stop worrying after the first few days. Until then, this mom’s going to be a bit stressed out. Maybe it’s just because I’m not ready for her to go to school yet.

But, gosh, she just looked so darn cute with her backpack on as we were heading into school.  I couldn’t ever take that away from her.

carrying her backpack through school parking lot

Growing Up


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