Ah kindergarten. I have waited and waited for you. How is it so far? It’s pretty good. It seems a little early still, even though he’s been in school for nearly a month. The hard parts? Getting up and going so early in the morning has been a big change. Jeff and Luke leave home between 7:20-7:30, to arrive in class by 7:45. We used to leave home at 8:45 for a 9:00 preschool start time. Luke is still having Jeff walk him down the hall to class, instead of getting out in carpool line, or even leaving Jeff in the ‘lobby’ of the school. Luke’s teacher says not to worry. Another hard part? The class size. He has 22 in his class, with a max of 24. That seems like so many 5 year olds to be responsible for, not just managing them but actually teaching them. I’m so blessed that Luke is smart and does not need a lot of one on one instruction. I guess I remember having 22, and a couple of years 28, third graders and how hard it could be. And, those kids were 8 and 9, not 5. Then there is the attendance issue. You have to be there every day and on time. These people are serious. No more staying home with mom just because I have the day off and miss you so I’m keeping you with me today. We were out of town at my grandmother’s funeral and they called, I called, and two weeks afterward, they called again to remind me I have to bring in a note stating my excuse. I felt like I was the kid again. Anyway, it’s still a good experience, so far. Luke’s teacher seems with it, organized and structured but sweet and kind and calm, just what I had hoped for him. He’s been getting good behavior marks, with the exception of the day he poked a table mate with a pencil (later I found out she told him he was stinky and he could not come to her party). He told me he was horsing around and it just happened. Thankfully his teacher gave him the benefit of the doubt. And, he is starting to read, an event that makes me cry I‘m so happy for and proud of him. He has learned the first ten high frequency sight words, with 90 more to come over the next 20 weeks. We’ve started working on them every night and I’m so proud of how he works, even when he’s so tired that he has to pause for yawns. We’re reading books together and it’s amazing how he can remember the words. If I had known teaching someone to read was so magical, I’m sure I would have majored in that. Kids in 3rd grade mostly know how to read, we work on comprehension strategies so this is my first real experience watching someone go from knowing no words, to reading a book. When I ask Luke what he liked best about his day, he tells me “when we went outside.” I ask him what books his teacher read to him that day and he says that she does not read books to them, like Mrs. Cheryl and Mrs. Susan’s class. Mrs. Cheryl and Mrs. Susan are still our gold standard and thanks to them, Luke is well prepared for kindergarten. Of course I think his kinder teacher is good too; kinder is just a different world from our awesome HG. The hardest part is letting go, letting kids be kids, letting Luke learn to get along without me, handle things when someone is less than nice to him, make his own friends and learn how school works. I know it’s just the beginning of a lot of letting go I’ll have to do (which does not make it easier by the way). I’m also excited for him. Elementary school is my place, where I spent some GREAT years of my life, teaching and making friends with some amazing people. So, kinder is, so far, what I had hoped it would be for him. I have said before what a different teacher I would be, now that I have kids. I think most of all I would realize the gift of getting to be with someone’s pride and joy, all day, every day, and that would mean infinitely more to me now than it did then. So, big sigh, happy and a little sad. I guess I better get over it. #2 will join him next year.