My oldest has started school. The first week of school the newbies stay home. Instead of regularly scheduled class they have one-on-one appointments with their teacher to evaluate how carefully their parents have prepped them for this all-important day. How many years has your child been doing phonics exercises guaranteed to have them reading Plato in 48 hours? For my daughter, none. But I can proudly report she does know her alphabet, lower and upper case, can give most of their sounds when prompted (she knows them all, just gets nervous) and had to be stopped by her teacher when asked to count as high as she could. Ahem.
While he drilled her on her colors and shapes etc., etc., I got to fill out a form about her. Did I have any concerns? What was I expecting for this year? What were my daughter's fears? Were there special circumstances I wanted to share regarding my child? I read through the questions. I read through them again. Just who was being evaluated? I began to feel inadequate.
I am a low-key, laid-back person. I usually am not one to jump to an over-emotional response. I don’t get worked up. But put into this context, I began to worry. Maybe I am simply a slacker. Or worse. A slacker parent. Yikes!
My expectations for kindergarten are…that my daughter discover her deepest hidden talents and arrive home singing an aria she has composed with minimal help from the music teacher? Well, my expectations are that she be taught what you teach kindergartners, you know?
What are her fears? Honestly, I don’t think she has any great fears. I mean, it’s not that she’s never afraid, but she’s also melodramatic, so negotiating between “fears” and “fears”, well…have I been neglecting the emotional well-being of my daughter? My, I mean, Her teacher is going to discover some obvious emotional disturbance that I haven’t dealt with appropriately, and what will that say about my parenting skills?
I had the same feeling when she went for her 5 year check-up with the pediatrician. Did I have any concerns? Um…no. Should I? Is this another test I’m failing? I mean, she likes ice cream more than broccoli, but that’s normal. Right? Am I missing signs that she’s growing inadequately? Am I over-confident in her health and well-being? But back to the school form, I could put down that she’s afraid of shots for immunizations.
We’ve survived two weeks of school now and this includes riding the bus to and from school. No real issues. She can be a little over-emotional when she gets home. But everyone seems to be doing alright. I mean, whew! This starting kindergarten thing. It’s a bit more stressful that I thought!