I've been up pretty much all night. I have that gnawing feeling in my tummy; my mind won't shut up and let me sleep. I'm sort of miserable.
Frannie starts kindergarten on Tuesday. I'm not happy.
I don't like unknowns, I really don't. No matter what decision I make I always feel like it is the wrong one. Then I ask Jason's opinion, but then his opinion sounds like the wrong one so I change my mind about it again. Then I wonder, "should I have just listened to my husband?" But then I remember how his FIRST opinion was the choice I ended up making before I tried to convince him that the OTHER choice was the right one. Poor guy can't win with me.
At this point she is scheduled for the AM K-1 combo class.
What I really wanted (after I changed my mind no less than twice on the paper and twice by phone) was to have her in the AM class that is from 8-11:45 Monday - Friday. That way I could pick her up and come home for lunch and have the whole rest of the afternoon. We would still have time to attend Tuesday Park Day together so she can see her friends. I ultimately felt that would be the best transition for her. Even though it means the end of slow mornings and will take quite a bit of focus on my part to change those habits. But it's ok, I'm ready to do that now.
But...with all of my mind changing...all of the AM regular kindergarten spots filled up quickly. They had too many parents who wanted that time too, and they only have one class structured that way.
The other option is the PM kindergarten class which meets from 10-2:20pm. The kids eat their lunch at school. The nice thing about this is that it would be a more relaxing morning for all of us and I've only heard wonderful things about the PM teachers. But I became very bothered by the fact that a dismissal time of 2:20 makes it feel like she's gone all stinkin' day. That, and seeing her old friends at the park is out.
The school has been really nice and accommodating with me. The secretary never made me feel like I was putting her out when I called. So I really appreciate that. In trying to fulfill my changed request for morning kindergarten, they put her in the AM K-1 combo class. It meets from M-F from 8-12:30 except on W from 8-1pm. So invariably in trying to have her be at school for LESS time, she is at school for the most time of any option. (Head falls on desk...)
And from what I can tell by the tentative schedule, I don't see that there is any real instructional time past 11am. It's a little odd actually because in having to accommodate the first graders, the kindergarteners end up having their snack at 10am, they have library time, music time, or computer time from 10:30-11 and then are walked up to the cafeteria for lunch at 11am. After lunch there is recess until noon. Then it seems they come back to class to do a quiet activity (she mentioned her play kitchen in the class) until parents come to pick up at 12:30. Part of me feels like that isn't so bad since it is a lot of play time and I really believe in play time. Afterall, more daily activity with friends was one of the reasons I felt homeschooling wouldn't work well for her.
But...(and here is where I start worrying) I know she is going to get really tuckered out. And when she gets tired she doesn't want to do the activity anymore. This is one of the big reasons why she started whining to me about going to ballet, because the class was at 5pm and she was already ready for dinner at that time and it was cold outside and she said she was tired. Then she started whining about going to gymnastics because it was Tuesday at 3pm and we had already been at the park for hours. She doesn't like to do gymnastics when tired and she would often fall asleep in the car on the way over. So even an activity she likes can quickly become one she doesn't like if she's being dragged to it. Knowing that she will be really tired after such a full morning like that, will she even have the energy to go to the park? Or will keeping her up like that without an after-school nap mess her up for the next day when she'll be at school even longer?
And that brings me to Wednesday. What can they possibly do with the kindergarteners for an extra 30 minutes one day a week? Honestly? Nothing. It will just be more kill-time activity. Wednesday is the school-wide minimum day so she is following the schedule of the first graders on that day. I asked about just picking her up at 12:30 and the teacher said she'd prefer the kids to be picked up at 1pm just because it can get complicated with remembering which children leave and which don't etc... I can appreciate her position on this since she does have 24 students and it is of prime importance that every head be accounted for and that the drop-off, pick up policies be air-tight.
But it just makes me uncomfortable. Even the PM kindergarten class gets a short 3 hour day on Wednesday because they meet from 10-1. I'd rather her have one day of the week like that, rather than a longer day. Even though it is only 1/2 hour longer. It's still longer. So if anything I wish it were the same pick up time, 12:30.
I've decided I'm going to try it out and see how it goes and how she does with the changes. If I continue to have a problem with the 1pm pick up time then I'll schedule a meeting with the teacher and probably principal just to arrange that I'll be regularly picking her up at 12:30 (or heck, maybe even 11 since they're just playing after that time anyways).
It is all just too many unknowns for her and for me and I can't sleep because of it. I want her to have a really good first year of school.