Saturday, March 08, 2008

Kindergarten redux

You may recall back in January my post about what to do about Rebecca for kindergarten. It's taken a while and a lot of angst but we finally made a decision.

The winner is option #3. R is signed up for Kindergarten in the private school/day care's all day K program. On Valentine's day Jim and I visited the facility in the morning since my eye surgery appointment was scheduled for the afternoon. We ended up getting the owner as our tour guide. They have several locations but she happened to be at our location that morning to meet with work crews; there had been a water pipe outside that burst the week before, due to all this crazy weather we've had this winter. Owner is a trip; she's an immigrant who made good; came to the US and was unhappy with her son's day care experience so she opened her own. The facility is very nice; we were impressed with all that they do. They have music and art teachers, as well as a computer lab. They teach French and Spanish to the kids; R already takes a weekly Spanish class at her current day care so that will be good, and she knows a few words of French from ballet so hopefully she'll get more of that too. We got to meet one of the two K teachers, who is the one she will likely have. The teacher told us that if we were considering having R attend K at the public school to try to get her into afternoon K because they did the main academic stuff in the morning so it would be best to have her there for that part. Later the owner said it more bluntly, that we would be "wasting our money" if R attends morning K at the public school. We also asked the owner and the director about the "bus story" we had heard from a fellow parent at our current day care. She sent her older child there for before and after K but we heard that she had pulled him out right away, because she observed him having to walk down a hill through a crowded parking lot by himself. The owner was very disturbed by this story, but the owner remembered the situation well event though it had happened two years ago. We heard her version of the story which was a bit different.

After we talked some more to both the director and the owner, we went home to discuss. It seemed obvious to us that we should just spend the extra money and have R attend full day K there. The program sounds like it will be right up her alley; she is hungry to learn and has gotten bored in preschool. And, we won't have to deal with the bus issue. I called the public school to cancel our registration appointment and asked when I should contact them to register her for first grade. They don't know exactly when that will be for next year but told me to contact them around this time next year. Needless to say, there is a task noted for early Feb 2009 in my Outlook at work!

Our difficult decision was about what to do with Caroline next year. While we were there we also toured the day care to see about possibly moving Caroline to this place. We decided that we should move her to this facility when R goes. It looks like a good place, different from where she is in that even the little ones have more of an academic focus, but a place she could do well nonetheless. But then Jim started to have serious regrets about leaving our current place, where we love the staff and where the girls are loved so much. We talked and talked... I feel sad too but logistically I just don't see how it could work to have them several miles apart for drop offs and pickups. I wanted to make a final decision so we could get all of the necessary paperwork submitted. So I told Jim that we would have to be really organized and would have to split up the kids for drop off and possibly pickup to make this work. Then one morning C was an enormous pill; wouldn't do anything she needed to do, was very contrary, very TWO. Jim said That's IT! We're moving her to the new place. No way can we handle this and two places all together in a morning; we'll never get out the door! So on Thursday I dropped off the paperwork on my way to work in the morning. The director was there and said that we could start them any time in August, so they're in.

Unfortunately, I had not had the opportunity to talk to the director of our current place about the switch yet, because I wanted to wait until I knew there was a place for C in the new place. She knew about R because R has been telling everyone where she's going for K. Then I found out that R has been telling people that C is going with her to the new place, even though we hadn't decided that yet. I felt terrible that they were hearing this from her and not from Jim and me. Yesterday I sent an email to the director to let her know what our plans are. I sent it from work just before leaving early (thanks, blizzard conditions!) so I don't know if she's replied. Jim picked up the girls yesterday; he didn't see my email so he didn't know about it. The assistant to the director mentioned C leaving so he was further irritated that there was "gossip" going around, but I told him that I'd also copied her on the message.

Change is hard... we will miss these folks so much. But this is the best decision for our family. And it will be nice for C - she'll have to meet new kids now but she'll know them through K. For both girls, they may end up in elementary school with some of these kids so it's nice for them to start meeting some more "local" kids now. That was one problem with our current day care; since it's in a neighboring town, most of the kids there are from that town so R wouldn't be seeing them much longer anyhow. There is one in particular that we will continue to see; she is in R's ballet class and they are buddies, so that is nice. Plus her mom works for the Clinic and I've known her for 15+ years.

I can't believe that in 5 months or so I'll have a Kindergartner... sniff sniff...

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Yes, I remember that feeling - that shock - that my kid was going to be a kindergartner! It was, perhaps, made easier because Bridget was only 6 weeks old when James started school. :)

I'm glad that you've made a decision that feels comfortable for you. Sorry that C's current daycare found out the way they did, but these things happen. I'd apologize for that, and move on.

So is R very excited about starting K? :)