My kid really really really wants to go to kindergarten despite that I had originally wanted to homeschool her. I don't feel strongly enough about homeschooling to make her stay home if she really wants to go, and we are moving into what many consider a good school district, but I know very little about the school other than there's a half day kindy option and it's an academic kindergarten. I don't want to keep my kid home if she rather be elsewhere, but I do worry about it. Her development is extremely asynchronous. She excels at math, reading, and gross motor skills. She can add and subtract multi-digit numbers with regrouping; understands adding and subtracting negative and positive numbers; can multiply small numbers; reads books like Little House on the Prairie on her own; learned to ride a two wheel bike at 4; can climb so she can sit on top of most swing sets; etc... What she really struggles with is emotional maturity and fine motor skills: she still acts aggressively; she still has tantrums daily; she struggles with handwriting, snapping, buttoning, and the like; etc... Also, despite potty training at 18 months, she's been having potty accidents lately. Especially starting mid-year, I really worry that her really uneven development is going to make kindy really rough for her. I worry that she will learn not to think well of herself, learn that academic stuff is boring, etc... but I also want to be supportive of her. What can I do to make the transition to school easier?
Partner to R ('03); Parent to T ('07), A ('10), and E ('13)
Both my kids were extremely firm on wanting to attend school even though homeschooling was always an option. My eldest did not have a positive kindergarten experience but she also was 2-5 grade levels ahead all around (even in essay writing,) driven and unusually mature. She was moved to first grade mid-year. Outside of her first 2 years of high school, she's had very, very positive schooling experiences. At 15, she's in a high school/college hybrid and having a glorious time again. She learns and thrives on discussion and quality debate. School has always offered that vast potential of experiences and viewpoints on a daily basis. I understand her desire to make it work. Now, DS sounds a little like yours. Very advanced. Particularly mathematical. A short temper. Handwriting struggles. You know what? He ADORED kindergarten. He loved the social aspect period. He loved having a teacher. He loved being able to "share his day" at the dinner table. He did very little academically that year. He didn't even show the teacher he could read until near the end. He was happy doing the kindergarten work he could do easily, quickly and well (which was more important to him than accelerating at the time.) DS is an intensely social creature and without that daily infusion of people, he goes a little crazy (even at 11, summers are difficult for us.) He too, has had largely positive schooling experiences. Both kids remain quite advanced, passionate, ever learning, social kids.
The best thing to do is to talk openly and honestly about kindergarten. Make sure she understands there are a vast variety of ability levels represented. There will likely be other readers along with some who are still figuring out letter sounds. There will be kids who can count to 100 and kids who can't get past 20. They can all be her friends. Make sure she has the right gear. Showing up with a lunch bag when everyone else has a lunch box can be upsetting to little ones with high expectations of school. Make sure she knows she has the option of going back to homeschooling but I'd commit to trying the school for a set amount of time. I'd tour the school with her prior. I'd arrange to come in before or after class so the teacher can give her a private tour of the class (where is the bathroom, pencil sharpeners, ect.)
Both my kids had an accident in kindergarten. I couldn't believe it! They'd both literally been accident free since 2. It can take some adjustment and really, it was no big deal (and they weren't the only ones.) Have you had her checked out by a doctor though if it's happening regularly? Always good to rule out physical ailments.
Anyway, good luck to you both!
If the accidents are recent it might be a good idea to bring her in to the pediatrician to see if there is a physical cause.
And sometimes the things they struggle with at home they do very well for someone else.....Different environment and challenges sometimes changes the dynamics.We introduced our twins to preschool at half year because they really needed the additional social aspects of being with lots of other kids. Funny thing is that my shy twin is the outgoing one at school and my outgoing daughter is shy. Both are excelling and are also getting to grow different parts of who they are. Best of luck.
Happy Mom of radiant twin girls. Information gives you the power to choose.