On The Fence About Junior Kindergarten?

| August 13, 2013 | 10 Comments

1st day school

So here we are just getting into August, the summer has blown by and school is right around the corner.  Some of you may have enrolled your four-year old for junior kindergarten in the winter and some may be on the fence about the whole thing.  I am sure you are conflicted with whether your little one seems too small or too young to be heading off into this big  world away from mom.  Maybe you feel guilty because you are a stay at home mom and feel like your not being a good mom if you ship your child off to school.  Some people may have even told you that sending a four-year old to school is  horrible because it’s an excuse for free daycare.  What to do?  What to do?

This time last year I was going through this very scenario.  In January, I enrolled my daughter in the four-year old kindergarten program.  At that time there were eight months to prime myself up for letting go.  I was doing this for K.  She was home alone all day with just me as her sole playmate.  Now, I am a pretty fair tea party participant but it’s not the same as having other children to interact with.   This was a positive move and everyone was on board with the decision, in September K was starting junior kindergarten.

Needless to say, spring and summer went by so fast my head spun and there we were into August.  It was so exciting for K and I to go shopping for the new clothes, the shoes and all the school supplies!  We organized all the supplies into her new back pack and decided what her lunches would consist of.  Before I knew it, the first day of school had arrived.  I started to second guess my decision to send K to four-year old kindergarten.  She was so small; she’s too young; she can’t carry the back pack and many other excuses went through my head.  I finally reconciled myself to the fact that I was grasping at straws in order to keep my daughter home with me.  Part of me felt guilty for sending her to school at such a young age.  Part of me felt sad because it would end having K all to myself.  Part of me felt scared that something could happen when she was away from me.  So I took a deep breath, put my biggest mommy smile on and said good-bye to the ramblings in my head.

Hubby took the day off because we both wanted to take K her first day of school.  She was excited, nervous and happy all at the same time.  We escorted K to the front gates where the teacher met us.  As I stood there, the big mommy smile disappeared into quivering lips as I watched my little girl  happily skip off towards the other children. That was the longest day of my entire life.  I worried, I cried and I was lonesome.  We drove by the school even!  Just making sure she wasn’t crying on the step somewhere alone, missing me.   I did catch a glimpse of her running around in the playground with the kids and she was so happy!   A small part of me was hoping she didn’t like it and wanted to stay home another year with me.  That didn’t happen.  K loved school, so much in fact that she was quite upset Saturday morning to realize she was staying home.

Today I can say we made the right decision by sending K to  junior kindergarten last September.  What I do know is she is thriving from the learning and interaction; happy to have children her own age to play with and transitioned into a world of routines that she craved.

If your child is ready and is expressing interest in school, put aside the negative thoughts and comments and do what you feel is best for that particular child.  Children need routines, interaction and learning on a daily basis.  Should your child have no desire for school and you feel keeping that particular child home is more beneficial, then it is your right to refrain for another year.  My son did not attend a four-year old kindergarten.  He had plenty of children to interact with and was quite content with his life.  I did provide the opportunity for him to attend but he wasn’t ready.

Should you decide to wait another year before sending your child to school, great!  Enjoy your time with your little one, we all know well the saying “enjoy them now, before you know it they’re all grown up…”  If you jumped off on the other side of the fence and have decided to send your little one to school, take a deep breath, put your biggest mommy smile on and say good-bye to the ramblings in your head!

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Category: Education, Family, Kids, Moms

About the Author ()

Hi, my name is Dawn, Community Manager, Social Media Expert and mom. My career went from working as a Senior Administrative Assistant at a high tech company in Ottawa, back to college to become an Early Childhood Educator, throw in a year of Decorating and Home Staging at an Ottawa design school to being in the health care field. My passion is writing and always has been through every stage of my life. I reside in a small town in Ontario and love to network with other parents through Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. If I am not being a mommy, I am blogging or hanging out at one of the many social media sites. Sometimes multi tasking and doing all three! I enjoy the outdoors, curling up with a good book, yoga and all things mom.

Comments (10)

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  1. We don’t have Junior Kindergarten here but we do have a limited amount of spaces open for Pre-Kindergarten, which takes 3 and 4 year old children for four mornings a week. It did wonders for my oldest at 4 and I’m very excited for my youngest to start this fall!

  2. Sarah Lynn says:

    This is exactly how I felt when my daughter started daycare! That first day seemed like the longest day of my life. She just moved up to the toddler room and cried all last week. Today as soon as I took off her sweater she ran to colour with some other kids and when I said “Good-bye” gave me a look like, “Oh, you’re still here?” I’m happy she is happy to be at daycare with kids her own age, but a part of me will always feel like *I* should be her favourite playmate. I seriously worry that this Saturday she’ll wake up and ask “Daycare?”

  3. paula schuck says:

    The point for me here is that – it is optional. It is upto each parent and family to make the choice right for their child. No child in Ontario is actually required to attend before six years old legally. Where there is an issue of a child with special needs there is so much to weigh. Absolutely every child should get the best experience and best start at school, but I did not send my girl to JK in the public system. I sent the eldest who was clearly ready and kept the youngest at her preschool where they had a better read of her needs and a better ratio of teachers to kids.

  4. Hi Kat,

    I really wished I would have had the option to send my little one to JK part time. I did, however, keep her home if she was struggling and tired. She loved going so it was a huge issue with her if she missed! Thanks for reading and joining in 🙂

    Dawn

  5. Hi Sarah Lynn,

    I know exactly how you feel. I think I had more trouble adjust to my little heading off to school at 4 years old than she did. It took her two days, I still struggle 🙂 It’s hard to watch your child spread their wings and fly away, you want them with you and you want to be their everything. Unfortunately, they need to grow and become independent. We parents need to let them try. Thanks for your input and reading!

  6. Brandi says:

    I’m so happy that my son did Junior Kindergarten and he LOVED it! It’s exactly what he needed. My daughter will be starting in less than a month as well and she’s super excited. It teaches them so much and is great for routine and teaching them how to be more social 🙂

  7. Hi Paula!

    Yes it is absolutely the parents decision to send or not send their child to JK. It is also a decision based on each individual child’s readiness but it doesn’t make any less difficult for the parent to let go. That was my point here, I was the one that had the hard time. Thanks for reading and sharing your point of view 🙂

  8. Hi Brandi,

    I too am glad that my daughter went to JK. She was ready and loved going. I just had to learn to deal with the fact she’s growing up 🙂 They do learn so much attending JK. Thanks for reading and joining the conversation 🙂

  9. Jo-Anne Pfoh says:

    some good info thanks for posting

  10. Hi Jo-Anne!

    Thank you for reading!

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