January 14th, 2010

Kindergarten Stress and Another Side Note

My oldest daughter has officially completed her first half of Kindergarten.  She loves school and I cannot believe how fast the first half flew by!  I also cannot believe how much she has learned.  I can remember back in September/ October, when she would come home and know things that I had no idea she knew, or no idea how she could know after such a short time in school.  I was amazed and still am.

This past Monday, there was a big Kindergarten meeting at the school.  All the parents were invited, along with their Kindergartners.  For the first half of the meeting, the kids were sent off to color, or watch a movie, while the teachers went over what our children will need to know before they are able to move on to First Grade.  As each teacher went over different aspects of the curriculum, I started to feel a little stressed, worried.  Why?  I guess I feel like they expect SO MUCH from our children.  And to say they MUST know this stuff before they move on, for some reason that scares me.

Now my daughter is very bright.  She catches on quickly and is so excited about learning to read that I know she will do fine.  Better than fine actually.  On her report card last week, she received all S's (we still do the Satisfactory, R for needs reminders and U for Unsatisfactory thing) except for an R in Follows Directions (she gets that from her dad) and a U in number recognition.  And the thing about that is, she knows her numbers.  When asked to write the numbers 1-10 in order, she does.  When asked to identify the numbers, she still gets a couple mixed up.  I don't get it, but oh well.

Now, why am I stressed?  As the teachers went on, they discussed ways that parents can help out at home.  Now, don't get me wrong, I work with her at home.  We do her homework together every night, we read, we turn life into lessons when we can.  The thing is, now I feel like I should be doing more.  I apparently need to make flashcards and create games and do more.  I work full time.  My husband is gone pretty much all week, every week.  I consider myself a single mom, who doesn't get every other weekend off.  I have two girls.  It takes just about all I have to work all day, pick them up, feed them, bathe them, clean up after them, do homework, have a little bit of "us" time, take them where they need to be, etc.  I just don't have anymore time to make flashcards and invent games. 

I know she'll do fine.  I know she'll move on to First Grade.  I know she is very smart.  And I know she will be all these things without flashcards.  I just am a bit stressed out about the whole deal.

When the kids were let back into the room with the parents, we had three tasks to complete.  The kids had to count out 20 Fruit Loops, one at a time, and string them on a pipe cleaner.  Paige did that without even blinking an eye.  Then they had to read a book that was given to us.  Again, no problem.  They also had to decorate their Reading Box, which is no problem for Paige, because not only is she smart, but she is very creative also. 

So, in a nutshell, I really don't know why I am stressed out about this, but I am.  Paige amazes me everyday with things that she knows and new skills that she learns and uses at home.  She is going to be a great reader, and her teacher even told me that. 

So I guess, I'll try to squeeze an extra 30 minutes into my day, maybe make some flashcards.  Not because I think she needs that, but because, well, because.

On a completely unrelated side note...

I have seen a lot of buzz about Maggie Steifvater's Shiver and upcoming Linger in the past week.  I was part of a Facebook discussion about Shiver and how much everyone loved it.  Also saw on Goodreads Book Swap that Linger is one of the most anticipated and sought after books.  I have it on my wishlist.  I think Shiver was even listed on one of the "Best of 2009" lists on Goodreads and Linger was listed on one of the "can't wait" lists on Goodreads. 

Just wanted to send a little shout out to Maggie.  Although I do not know you personally, I feel like I know you from reading your blogs and being your LJ Friend!  Thanks for being my friend!