God help me! (dd starting school) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 07-22-2006, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is almost 4. for various reasons I've decided to allow her to go to preschool. I basically want to shoot myself right now, if anyone can help me with the following or give some advice or ANYTHING....please!...maybe even a link to some mild sedatives

I hate the public schools systems. I hate the idea of my daughter taking standardized tests, being judged (by everyone and their brother), I hate the idea of her having to learn EXACTLY what the teacher tells her to, no less and no more...blah blah blah, we can all go on forever, right?

But then here's the REAL dilemma. My beautiful angel has never ever been picked on, put down, shoved around, hit, kicked, bullied, judged, betrayed or anything like that and I'm about to shove her into that existence for what? Because she wants to go to school, wants that backpack and because I'm single mom-ing it and I NEED A BREAK!

I was thinking of homeschooling and my dh (who is home 4 days a month) is supportive, but I'm so stressed out, I seriously need someone else to school her. I feel guilty and afraid for her. I want her to always feel as beautiful and wonderful as she does now and I know that the ps system will just strip her of that. My mother (a teacher) even agrees with me! (thanks, mom)

can anyone please give me some solace? I can't afford Waldorf or Montessori or the like....oh, yeah, and crap! I forgot to mention that the preschool she's going to is brand new, the teacher to my knowledge has never had her own class before and we're in a town full of rednecks who probably spank their kids, so the other little monsters in her class will all beat her up for the purple crayon. AAAAHHHHHHH!
sarah

Mama to girl (11), boy (7) and girl (4).  "Can't we all just get along?" joy.gif
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#2 of 12 Old 07-22-2006, 11:57 PM
 
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Your DD will probably be fine, mama . . . and so will you. No need to shoot yourself .

My DD started preschool last year at the same age. We researched extensively to ensure the perfect fit for her and our family. I *still* didn't like it once she was there. I don't like her teachers. I don't really like the school. I missed her terribly. But she LOVED it. She looked forward to going every day. She missed it on days off.

"My beautiful angel has never ever been picked on, put down, shoved around, hit, kicked, bullied, judged, betrayed"

Neither had my DD. Last year . . . pretty much all that happened (albeit not often). But she STILL loved it. She would matter-of-factly tell me what sounded like the most horrible things, and the next day she would be best friends with whatever perpetrator it was.

"I want her to always feel as beautiful and wonderful as she does now"

My DD still does, and more so. She is even more confident, happy, and amazing than she was before starting school. My stomach is in knots as the days fall toward September (especially as I just finished reading Hold on to Your Kids), but she can't wait to go back. I lobbied hard to her to let me switch her to what I believe will be a much better school, and she refuses to switch. She LOVES her teacher (of whom I am not a fan) and can't wait to see her again.

The ps school system may not strip her of that . . . it doesn't ruin everybody. I'll bet the vast majority of MDC mamas went to ps, and look at how wonderful they are .

And here's your (and my) lifeline: if it's horrible and she hates it, you can always pull her out. But I'll bet she loves it. Just send her with her own purple crayon so she doesn't have to wrestle with the monsters
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#3 of 12 Old 07-23-2006, 09:44 AM
 
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I had similar reservations when we send dd to preschool last year (and it is a private preschool in a culturally diverse urban area - a really excellent school with rave reviews... still worried about sending her). But guess what... all of that good parenting doesn't fly out the window when your dd goes to school. My dd was one of the few in her class that GENTLY avoided conflict. Her teachers commented that she once even said, "That hurts my feeling. I'll play with you again when you can treat me nice." See, your dd can be the GOOD example. I will admit that dd came home with some doozies!! The school uses time out and while dd was warned a couple of times for being involved in something unacceptable (paint was involved with one), she was never put into time out. I have used every situation that came up in school as a learning experience and I always took plenty of time to explain why other kids might do things differently and why we believe it is unacceptable (or acceptable) behavior. Unfortunately, you can't protect them forever. We are are going to be influenced by other people OUR ENTIRE LIVES. The problems arise when a detached parent dumps them off at school, brings them home and never connects with them, never talks to them, and allows those influences to brew in their little minds without trying to qualify them. Just remember to devote extra special time together every day after school. School's not going to make her change as long as homelife is as consistent as it's always been and she still has that attachment.
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#4 of 12 Old 07-23-2006, 07:23 PM
 
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Maybe you should take it one year at a time - there is likely to be no standardized testing in preschool so you can hold off on worrying about that until your child is a bit older.

As for being bullied and picked on - stay tuned in with how carefully the teacher is managing and redirecting the behavior of the children. I found my dss preschool experience to be more positive and inclusive than that of random interactions with kids on playgrounds.

BJ
Barney & Ben
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#5 of 12 Old 07-24-2006, 10:23 AM
 
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I agree with Stella Luna-my daughter never had a really bad experience with other kids before starting public kindergarten last year. It was SUCH a difficult year, filled with one conflict after another with kids being mean to her, etc. She established her rep () by the end of the school year and is now very confident in herself with regard to handling others. I also wasn't crazy about her teacher, but she loved her-and I've learned that sometimes my standards aren't as important as dd's standards. It may be hard, you may be in tears (as I quite often was,) but you have choices and you will both learn a lot.

I also just wanted to add-I went to private school-nothing's perfect, believe me. Good luck!
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#6 of 12 Old 07-27-2006, 09:16 PM
 
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Homeschooling in the young years isn't much different than what you are probably already doing. By the time you need to be doing more with her, she'll be older and everything will be easier. I did not want to homeschool. I desperately wanted a break (I have chronic fatigue syndrome) but ds hated school, actually ran away, so sending him to school (pre-k) took way more energy and was way more stressful than homeschooling. It was so hard to get him well rested, fed, and dressed. And it was hard having to be out the door every morning by a certain time.

I'm sure your dd will be happier at school than my ds was (because it would be hard not to be). But I don't think homeschooling would require as much as you think, either. Just in the past year, my ds has gotten so much more independant that I AM able to get breaks during the day. The only thing I am doing, other than normal involved parenting, is finding homeschool groups that have weekly parkdays so ds can see the same kids from week to week and develop friendships.

You can just see how it goes for your dd and know it isn't a permanant choice if she isn't happy.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#7 of 12 Old 07-30-2006, 02:57 AM
 
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Hi Sarah,

Don't feel guilty. Don't be afraid. She will have a blast, and she will get through any difficulties. Preschool is FUN! There are friends to play with, music, messy art projects, class pets, dress up, field trips, snack, different toys than we have at home. It is all good.

Brand new teacher means she isn't burnt out! And I grew up in a "town full of rednecks". It wasn't very racially diverse, but most everyone was kind.

I think that whatever emotion and expectation YOU have for her school will cloud what could likely be a very positive experience for her. Don't think you "know the public school system will strip her of feeling beautiful and wonderful". Don't even think it to yourself. Get in a positive mindset.

I went to the only school in our little "redneck" town. K through high school graduation. It was at least 95% good. I have many, MANY fond memories of teachers who really cared about me, about learning and making friends and going through success and failure. Some things coming easy and some things being hard. Trying things that I might never have chosen but learning a lot along the way. I took standardized tests and it was no big deal. I don't remember feeling judged. You can teach her "more". The school may even do so if it is good. Even in my little redneck town, they gave some of us advanced work when we were clearly already past our current grade level. In 13 years, I was absolutely never shoved, hit or kicked. Regular kid disagreements and teasing - sure. But I wouldn't want my child to get to the "real world" and never have had any experience with how to resolve conflict in a peer situation. Experiencing little disappointments (even though they seem HUGE at the time) is practice for the bigger adult issues that are coming eventually.

Send her with a smile on your face - and in your heart. It will be a lot of fun for her - and you may find you like it too!
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#8 of 12 Old 08-05-2006, 10:23 PM
 
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i understand !!
With my dd (she's not yet 2) it isn't preschool, but daycare...I started taking her for 2 hours a couple times a week..because she CRAVES the company of other kids. SHE LOVES IT.
I don't really like either of the ladies, some of the other kids are downright mean..but DD LOVES it like ice cream!

I think sometimes you have to take EVERYTHING into consideration...and dd's feelings count for a lot!!

CPST
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#9 of 12 Old 08-05-2006, 11:52 PM
 
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Sarah, I am in a similiar situation with my youngest. She is 3.75 and will start preschool in 10 days. She can't wait and I just want to throw up. She wants it all, she wants to have a teacher, wants to play outside with those kids, wants to carry the backpack and take a snack.. she's 100% ready.

I worry about a lot of the same things that you worry about. But, I do have the advantage that I also have a 6.75 yr old son.. and I HAVE done it once, and it does get easier. Sending him away was so hard I thought I was going to rip my hair out.. if I hadn't had a baby at home I might have just cried all the time. But, just like others have said, he adored it.. he still loves school, and can't wait to go back. His sister sees how much he loves it and has clammered to go to school since she turned 2. We are finally giving in.. and ... I will be totally alone, three mornings a week. Part of me can't stand the idea, part of me is doin' the banana dance..

You can do it if I can, and she'll be fine..
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#10 of 12 Old 08-06-2006, 08:13 PM
 
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my son LOVED preschool. He will now enter kindergarten in the fall and I think preschool was a good experience for him. I also really like the community his school provided--some of our best friends (mine and my sons) are through his school community.

It can be great for your whole family--just remember that they are kids and sometimes kids (even from the best families) act like kids and forget to say please and push and bite.

 hh2.gif  ~~~~~~~~~~hh2.gif
 

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#11 of 12 Old 08-07-2006, 04:18 AM
 
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My son also starts preschool next week, and I'm so glad to have found this forum! He is so sensitive and pure...I have so much anxiety about sending him off into a world full of same-age peers. Most kids his age seem so much *tougher*, and most here in Switzerland are enrolled in some sort of institution from a very young age (my son will be 4 this fall) so they're more experienced in groups. I've decided to think positively about it at least initially...give the school benefit of the doubt! I really want him to like it.

I've heard it so many times...it's harder for us than it is for them!

good luck!

Blissed out mama to 3 beautiful boys love.gif LIFE IS GOOD! thumb.gif

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#12 of 12 Old 08-08-2006, 03:09 PM
 
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I can't tell you all how happy I am to have found this thread!!

Ds starts kindergarten in 2 weeks and 1 day and I couldn't sleep last night thinking about how much bigger the school is than the one where I went and what kinds of kids will he have to deal with and how it will shape his personality or hurt his feelings and on and on and on.....

I was going to really start having more directed discussions with him to prep him for kindergarten, and I realized from reading many of your posts that I was definitely thinking about them in a way that was seeking to warn him about uncomfortable things that might happen! Yikes!

Thanks for helping me redirect my own thinking!

Rebecca, single mama to intact Junebug 6/01, Daughter of the King!
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