Now I'm the one with a situation.
I signed ds up for pre-k last January...the free, lottery-funded pre-k. It seemed like a good idea at the time...I went and met his teacher and her assistant, they answered all my questions(though I'm thinking now perhaps I didn't ask enough), were really great with the kids that were there, and we even got it worked out so that he was in the same class with his buddy, one of my friend's little boy that used to live behind us. The only thing I didn't like, and still don't, are the hours. They operate just like every other elementary school in our county, so the hours are 8:30-3:20 M-F. That is so ridiculously long for a 4 year old. I have been against it the whole time because of this, but I welcomed the break I would have, I welcomed the variety of toys and learning tools he would be exposed to, the structure, the hour nap/quiet time every day, which I figured when he got used to that in school it would be easier for me to incorporate a nap/quiet time on the weekends. Plus, I wanted more one on one time with dd, since ds got my undivided attention at her age, I figured she should get a chance at that too.
It started yesterday and he is already saying he doesn't want to go back. Even though his teacher says he is doing great, and that he and his buddy have been inseparable(and my friend is saying her son is really having a lot of fun with ds, etc) -- and he has been a DEMON both these days that I have picked him up. Yesterday was completely out of control...I know, it was the first day, I should have expected it....the school gets out at the exact same time as the elementary school across the street.
I got there 5 minutes early and went on this crazy mission to try to get to the back of the carpool line, which of course starts on the opposite side of the street from where I come. It took me a good 35 minutes to get to the front of the school and get him in the car. Then, I had no snack for him. Silly me, again. He spent half the ride home kicking the back of my seat, yelling: "HUNGRY!" "HUNGRY!" and then he passed out, at past 4 in the afternoon. Which of course is not good for bedtime. More shenanigans at home, didn't want to cooperate, was cranky, having fits over little things...he finally calmed down and I managed to get him outside, and we played together during his sister's very late but short nap(fell asleep at almost 6 pm--we were just all out of whack).
Today I had a snack ready and was there at 3:10, but there were already about 10 cars in the carpool line in front of me and they didn't start releasing any kids until exactly 3:20
. So I sat there with the car running(wasting gas) and dd sleeping in her carseat(thankfully), finally picked him up, gave him a snack, he was still cranky even though he said he slept at naptime today, still fell asleep on the way home, and was still almost impossible to deal with for the first two hours after we got home. I can. not. keep doing this every day. I'm spending the first 2 or 3 hours that I get to be with him just trying to get him to be reasonable with me, and then when we finally start having a decent time together, two hours later he needs to be asleep. And he is straight up telling me he doesn't want to go back, that the day is too long(not sure if I influenced that decision or not, since I'm sure he has heard me voice to friends, etc, that his school day is too long). But if he is with me all day, his intensity gets to be too much for me, he is such a social kid and we do live in a neighborhood with other kids, but we are about to move in less than a month, to a single family home(a very welcome change).
This is not his first time going to school. He started going to a Montessori-based school when he was 2 years 10 months, and did really well there, had a little bout of seperation anxiety that summer after he had been attending 4 months already, don't know where that came from but it was over in a couple of weeks(may have been cuz I was near the end of my pregnancy with dd) --that school closed
b/c the teacher was running basically out of pocket and didn't have enough students to keep it open. From there he went to a local church preschool until May of this year. Both of these schools went from roughly 9-noon every day. And he was fine with that. But this, this is crazy scheduling for a 4 year old. Whatever happened to half day pre-k and kindergarten???? I understand that most parents have to work and that this works out beautifully for them since they don't have to pay those extra hours of childcare. But there should be an early pick up option. We can't afford to put him in private school right now, and the only other option I can see is homeschooling -- which to me looks great on paper but I don't know if I'm cut out for it? Especially since I don't know how to handle his intensity sometimes. I would feel a lot better if I had a close-knit homeschooling co-op(read: some help??) -- I know of one through LLL about 30 miles away, but they are a very tight knit group and I am not exactly in their "clique" -- even though I hold a lot of similar values/beliefs.
If you've made it this far, thank you for reading. I don't know what we are going to do. I cried to DH tonight and he said: "We are not taking him out of pre-k."
He believes in the school system, and thinks we are not organized enough for hs...I told him he needs to keep an open mind and that I will give it til the end of next week and see how we feel then. Sigh....I don't know how I'll make it til then, if it keeps up the way it's been today and yesterday/ I really hope it gets better. I'm so sad, and confused as to what the right thing to do is.