Last week was Bubs’ first full week of Kindergarten. To say that he was exhausted would be an understatement. So say that he loves Kindergarten would be another understatement.
Looking back over this week, I have been thinking about how I did on preparing Bubs for this huge step in his life. Is there something that I should have done differently? Are there things that I found crucial for him to have a successful week?
Things I believe were crucial for our success:
- Our kiddos attend a once-a-week Mother’s-Day-Out preschool program at our church from 9-2. This gives me time to run errands, attend appointments, and do those things that are hard to do with three kids. During this time, the kids have the opportunity to be around other kids and adults. They see other ways of doing things and are exposed to new activities. I believe this is one of the most important things that we did to prepare for Kindergarten. Bubs learned how to eat a lunch with other kids. He was used to the go-go-go schedule. He learned that he is okay without Mommy and that Mommy will be back to pick him up eager to hear all about his day.
- In the spring, I met with the principal of the school to discuss Bubs’ history. I voiced my concerns and the need that we had for a teacher who could provide structure. Then before school started, I met with his teacher as well. I shared what we have done, what has worked, my concerns, etc. During these meetings, the principal and teacher also understood my desire to support them.
- We have always had a regular bedtime at 7:00. This proved to be very important as we didn’t have to make any changes when school came.
- Because Bubs has been very tired, he has struggled to maintain control at home. Typical of sensory kids, he works so hard to keep it together at school that home allows him to a chance to relax; thus it can get ugly. Thankfully we have learned through OT ways to provide him the sensory that he needs and ways to help him pull it back together. On Friday morning, we added seven minutes on the trampoline to his morning routine when needed.
- Kids’ Time/Sunday School at church has been another preparation time. Because our kiddos are with me almost all of the time, we felt it was very important for us to not work in the same rooms as our kids. Attending every week gave Bubs time to be with other adults and children.
- Our morning routine is even more important now. Thankfully Bubs is very capable of getting himself ready and understands that “B does not happen until A is finished.” We have had no issues getting out the door!
Things I would have done differently:
- Bubs’ eating habits are very frustrating for me. I have learned over the years that he truly doesn’t feel the food on his face. I send a wet wash cloth with him to school to use. I wish that I would have worked differently on his eating. Instead of getting frustrated about the situation, it would have been more beneficial if I would have accepted the issues and helped him learn to handle it more himself than me getting frustrated and washing his face so often.
God has given us a very small amount of time to raise our kiddos. Kindergarten is the first point as kids climbs the mountain to adulthood. At each of these major points, we as parents are responsible to provide our children with the opportunities and guidance that they need to succeed. Ultimately we open our arms wide and release the child.
As I look back over the first six years and at the first point of our releasing, I am thankful that Bubs has done so well but I realize that our job is not finished. Another point of release is just around the corner.