Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just to Clarify...

Hi ladies ~
After some of the comments from yesterday's post, I felt the need to clarify a couple of things that I wasn't very specific on.
First, Christopher likes school (and I daresay he is even excited about school sometimes!!), he just doesn't like the process of going to school. This holds true for many other activities: he likes the playground, but doesn't like going to the playground; he likes the swimming pool, but getting him out the door to get to the swimming pool can be like pulling teeth :) The list goes on and on - he's just a kid that's hard to get out of the door. The reason that I've focused on the particular transition of him starting Kindergarten is that I would like to make sure that I'm sending him off for the day with a loving attitude - it is a longer day than he's used to, and I want him to feel happy and supported as he leaves in the morning.

Second, Christopher has been in school before, just half-days 3 days a week as many of you mentioned. He has told me that he likes Kindergarten better than he liked any of his other preschool experiences, so that is definitely a positive! Getting him to preschool was also always hard, and that was at 9 or 9:30 a.m. and only until noon, but once he was there he enjoyed himself. He's never been one to be melancholy or sad at school - he's found lots of things that interest him - and now that he is in Kindergarten it seems like there are even more activities that are interesting to him and engage his creativity.

Third, we did prayerfully consider every schooling option for our son, and for now, this is the conclusion that both my husband and I have come to. Perhaps God will lead us in a different direction next year or in the years to come, but for now we feel confident in our school choice.

Lastly, thanks to all of you for your morning suggestions! The reason that C is riding the school bus is because he really wanted to - all of the little boys on our street ride the bus, and he couldn't wait to ride with them! We actually live less than a mile from the school and I would have been happier walking with the kids for drop-off and pick-up, or driving in the car on rainy days, but he does seem happy to be riding with his friends. Driving/walking wouldn't give us extra time, but there may be mornings when it seems best for me to take him myself and I'm totally up for that.

Thanks for all of your comments, and God bless all of you and your little ones!


JMB said...

I'm late to the party here with suggestions for your son, but I found what worked for us was somewhat counter-intuitive. I noticed that mornings ran much more smoothly in the spring when we had less time to get ready for the day than in fall/winter after Daylight Savings Time. So I started waking up my children later for school and streamlining the morning routine where it now takes them 20 minutes to dress, brush teeth, comb hair, eat breakfast and get out the door. We don't have nearly as much fighting or lollygagging because we simply have no time for it!

Sophie said...

Kat, I hope you can find some things to do to help your son with his transitions. I have a son who is exactly like this. I am still working on this each day with him. I find that if I set a timer, one that he can see how the time is going down, it helps greatly. I tell him "if you can finished getting ready by the time the timer is through, you'll have 20 mins of free play time before you have to leave." But I found that unless i talk to him at other times in the day to help him have self awareness of his need for some free play time at home, it doesn't really sink in. Something like "I know you really love to be at home and value the free time you have before you leave for school, you just need to work a little hard first before you can have that."

I hope some of the suggestions will help. I also want to let you know that you're right on in sticking to a decision and a commitment you made with regards to school and not giving up when it gets a bit rough. I suppose no matter what school decisions we make, we'll get responses from people that border on "just give up what you're doing and do something else!" As a homeschooler, there are people I can not voice my difficulties in that vocation to, because their response is usually "well, just send them to school!" Argh! There are issues of child rearing that no amount of away school or homeschool will solve magically, each has those difficulties that have more to do with the child and their temperament than how they are educated.

B-Mama said...

Kat, I love this discussion A) because it addresses little boys and you know we love those, B) because it embraces Christopher's individuality and does not seek to squelch it, and C) because I know you are seeking the best possible outcome for your family and they will be blessed by your efforts. Way to go! Christopher is one lucky little guy to have such an understanding mommy!

I'll echo the suggestion of timers, which are essential for our efficiency around here. Also, would Christopher understand the natural consequence of missing the bus since the bus is a fun thing for him? Perhaps you could let the scenario play out where he misses the bus and you have to take him and see if that is a motivation for getting him moving? That is, until the bus becomes an old thrill and you have to think up something new! :)

I've also considered having a morning chart of our routine where M has to check off tasks before he can get a reward like play or TV. He'd have to come to me and show me the checks before I sign off for his reward. For us, this is aimed to encourage greater independence on his part. Good luck!

MargaretJDMom said...

One thing I might look into if I were you would be to eat breakfast first thing following wake-up and morning offering. He might just need more energy in the morning and his tendency to dawdle is going to be exacerbated without food. I have no idea what your views are on food, but you might try a fair amount of protein balanced out with fruit and whole grains, staying away from sugar. I have a child, a 5 year old just starting kindergarten, who is not moving in the morning these days and this helps a lot. I also have to admit we've bailed on bedmaking for now....we have to be out the door by 7:30 and it is just one more thing. They do it on the weekends! : )

Right Said Red said...

B-mama--Love your thoughts on the natural consequences of missing the bus.

JMB--Ditto your thoughts. Around here less time is better than more time. We don't do play-time in the mornings, except on weekends or off days. I find that it is very difficult to get my children "re-focused" once they begin to play. Two days a week we have to be out of the house before 9am (Im' homeschooling), and I leave just enough time to get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, deal with last minute problems, pack-up our stuff, and head out the door. It seems the mornings when we all get up earlier are when we arrive late!

Kat--I now see that you are capable of stirring up controversy on the blog ;-) I thought only MaryAlice and I were capable of that feat! It seems the ladies have had a lot of great suggestions, and I hope at least some of them are helpful.

Catherine said...

I have a very slow moving 1st grader! We use a token system to get him going in the morning. Another idea that has worked in the past for us is a picture chart--have something velcro or a sticker to put on or take off when the task is completed. My son is mostly distractible, so this works to keep him on track. I don't know if this would just prolong your son's morning or not, but if there's something fun waiting for him once everything is finished, it might speed things up.

I'm impressed by your serene response to all the inappropriate comments on your original post. Thanks for your example! Hope you're feeling better these days.