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Science Kids on the Loose

Science Kids on the Loose

Category: Transitions

For months, everyone has been asking me “Is Leo excited about Kindergarten?” Without hesitation I have always replied. “Leo is so READY for Kindergarten.” I haven’t worried about him at all. Leo has been going with me to Henry’s school, now his, for two years. He knows the routines for lining up, playground rules, and he recognizes all the Kindergarten teachers. And they know him! I even skipped over the orientation for new K students last spring because Leo was so familiar with the classroom after spending so much time there with Henry. No problem, right?
A lot of people have asked me how I am going to spend my newfound “freedom” when Leo starts all-day Kindergarten. (Um…work.) And I get a lot of comments about how much harder things are about to get with homework, PTA, sports, etc. To be honest, I thought I was looking forward to the day when both boys were at the same school with the same drop off time. I have fantasies about going to the gym, having lunch with friends, and getting hours of writing done in my home office.
But as the time ticks down to the first day of school next week, I realize how wrong I am about a lot of things: both for Leo and for me. Leo has anxiety about starting Kindergarten. I got the first hints of it in July when he misheard me and thought that school was starting the next day. Understandably, Leo burst into tears and said he did not want to go to school. More recently, Leo has asked to visit his preschool. He wants to stop by and see the wonderful Miss D. before Kindergarten starts. My usually laid back, transition champion is having a rough time.
What can I do to help him? I feel like I am scrambling last minute to ease a summer’s worth of fears. First of all, I called the preschool and made a date this week with Miss D. I think it will go a long way to easing his mind and maybe providing some closure. I also took him to a community event called Kindergarten Roundup, which featured a magic show for new Kindergarteners. I really billed it as a special celebration for kids like him and made sure that he felt special.
Mostly, though, I am downplaying the anticipation. I love the buildup leading up to big events like holidays, birthdays, family vacations, and milestones. But time goes by, I have come to realize that my children do not feel the same way. The anticipation seems to cause anxiety. So, instead of plastering a big smile on my face and saying “I am so proud of my big Kindergartener,” I take quiet moments to ask how he is feeling. I’ve done a little bit of school shopping here and there, but I haven’t made it a big event. In other words, I am trying to ease Leo into his new role as Kindergartener. He needs some more time.
As for me, I am quietly mourning my quiet times with Leo. I treasured our time together when Henry was in school. Leo and I are kindred spirits and enjoy each other’s company. We loved our Wednesday Sid investigations. Change is hard for everyone, but this one has snuck up on me. My baby is going to Kindergarten, and it seems like a lot of clichés are true. I am wishing we could have a little more time but I am excited to see Leo start off on a new adventure. Thank goodness we can still watch Sid the Science Kid every afternoon and continue investigating after school.
How do you handle big transitions with your kids? Do you have new Kindergartner? I would love to hear your tips and strategies!
This photo captures the summer for me. A part of me wishes we could just stay at the beach!

Produced by: Funding is provided by:
Jim Hensen Corporation logo CPB ViNCi MetLife The Rosehills Foundation S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation logo The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations logo

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