Yes, it is!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Secrets About Kindergarten

Until I became a parent, I never really cared to read stories about school.  Although I did well academically, school was not a particularly exciting event for me.  With this new school year starting, with Jackie starting 2nd grade,  I have come across some interesting articles in regard to school.
This article caught my eye today.  Looking at the title, I couldn't imagine how Kindergarten would be so secretive.  The further I read, the more I had to agree.  At least, based on my experiences as the mom of a former Kindergartener, this article had quite a bit of truth to it.
For number 1,  Jackie nor I have ever been scolded by the bus driver, thankfully.  Jackie has had the same bus driver from day one and she is a sweetie.
Number 2, well it's just pretty much common sense to treat all the kids equally.  One kid is no more special than the next kid.  Now, there are kids who have special needs (I have 2) and need special accommodations.  That's fine. Otherwise, I expect my children's teachers to be as fair to them as they are to all the other students. 
Number 3, PTO.  Ah, yes, the PTO!  Otherwise known as Parent Torture Organization.  And it is torture to have to deal with a disappointed Kindergartener after I refuse to allow her to participate in the 3rd fundraiser in the first month of school.  Fundraiser packets were taking over my house at one point.  What makes me angry is that they gather the entire student body to get all the students psyched for the cheap prizes.  Sell $500 worth of grossly overpriced goods to get a worthless $10 prize (which in most cases is promptly forgotten about as soon as the child brings it home).  I have actually inquired about just donating some money to the PTO in exchange for leaving my child out of all the fundraising hoopla.  I realize fundraisers help schools to raise much needed funds for extra stuff but... why do we need that many fundraisers in such a short period of time?!! (I'm going to guarantee you that next week, each kid will be bringing home an Entertainment book to sell and receive orders for more.) Okay, I'm going to get off of my soapbox now on this one.  I can go on and on with this.
Number 4, oh yes, reminders about the fundraising packets.  The daily letters reminding you to return the order forms full of orders by the deadline.  Now that is stalking.
Number 5, Room Mom.  And no, it is not as innocent as it sounds.  I was a helper mom during Jackie's Kindergarten year and I realized then that the actual position of Room Mom was probably a job that I would not want.  Well, guess what? Nobody else stepped up to the plate at the beginning of Jackie's 1st grade year.  And guess what?  You guessed it.  Yours truly took the position.  The first party actually was not so bad.  However, things went downhill after that.  I won't go into specifics but I pretty much wrote off doing it again.  But guess what?  Uh huh.  I did it again. At Jackie's Open House last week, a handful of parents signed the form and put a check next to "help plan party"  while other parents saw the form, scrunched up their noses, and moved on to the next form.  Nobody checked "Room Parent".  Guilt set in. (Ask Tim, I have a guilt complex).  Being that I have experience as "room parent" and I don't work full-time, I reluctantly checked up the box for "room parent".  I don't know if I'm a brave fool or if I just have hope that this year will be better.  I. Must. Stay. Positive.
Number 6, oh yes, the "lice" letter.  A child in the classroom has been found to have lice.  It happened last year during 1st grade, too.   Jackie also got a letter about a fellow student with an allergy.  I take these things seriously... but who the heck gives their Kindergartener tartar sauce?!! That stuff is nasty.  I just don't understand how such a young child can enjoy that stuff. But that aside, Jackie got the same letter today in her backpack.  It must be the same kid from Kindergarten.  The kid who is allergic to tartar sauce. 
Number 7, letters about upcoming events at school.  Family reading night, spaghetti fundraising dinner,  Scholastic book fairs, gingerbread house night, Trunk or Treat night, you name it.  I've tried it.  The guilt trip is true.  Like I said, I have a guilt complex and if my kids know about a certain event at school, they will not let me forget. I have tried bribery.  Doesn't work.
Number 8, thankfully I didn't have to deal with this secret.  Jackie was not a problem child at school.  In fact, she won the school's character award in Kindergarten.  She was selected for her academics and for persevering despite having a disability.  I was a proud mom.

So, there you have it, the dirty secrets of Kindergarten.  Actually, I enjoy taking an active role in my children's education and I hope to be able to continue doing so in various ways throughout their school years. 

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