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The kindergarten jitters

August 17, 2010 - Erin O'Neill

It's almost time for school to start and the nerves and jitters at my house have started already.

Of course, my child isn't the one tossing and turning, losing sleep at night. It's me.

It has been over two decades since I stepped foot in an elementary classroom. A lot has changed since then. For instance, when I was in kindergarten, I walked five blocks to school ... barefoot, in the snow. Not really. But I did walk into a moving vehicle one day when it was raining and I hadn't learned to stop on the street corner BEFORE messing with my umbrella. These days, my kid isn't allowed to walk to the end of the block by herself.

Yep, a lot has changed.

Mostly what keeps me up at night, though, is whether or not I made the right decision by having my child – my little baby – tested to enter school early.

I blogged here about the idea of redshirting and my belief that I am the best person to determine whether or not my child, whose birthday falls after the cutoff, is suited for kindergarten. In the end, I decided that, yes, she is very smart and needs to be stimulated in a classroom setting. Overall, the panel of experts in this type of thing agreed, although it was a hard fought battle.

However, now that it's down to the wire, I'm freaking out. Elementary school is much different from preschool. The kids are a lot bigger, the building is easier to get lost in, then there's the whole peer thing ... and bullies and bus rides and school lunches – oh my!

I'm absolutely positive that my kid will adjust and, before long, the whole thing will be second nature. She'll make friends and get good grades and, before I know it, she'll be begging me to let her drive my car.

But that's just my point: Time goes too fast. Oh no, here come the tears again...


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