Monday, May 30, 2016

Kindergarten Transition: A Dad's Perspective

Kindergarten Transitions: A Dad's Perspective
So here we are.

Both of the kids have hit their milestones, moving from ankle biters into full on window lickers. It's an unofficial graduation into life as the rest of us know it; the official graduation is Wednesday when our son says good bye to all of his preschool playmates and hello to his last summer break before real school begins.

Our daughter also has her last summer before school starts but for her it's into the land of preschool, into what was for my son.  Short days, short weeks, and even shorter kids, where snacks and hugs still reign supreme.

I like that place.

Our kids have and will attend a small community preschool attached to a church. It has good vibes.  It feels like a safe place even though the gate into the play area has seen better days and swings open when the wind blows. It has been a place of great experience for my son, soon to be for my daughter, and was/is/will be for my wife. (Honorable mentions here as my wife and her brother went there when they were children!)

It's a small piece of America that has in many ways restored some of my faith in human beings. The people there are genuine and kind hearted, the families are involved, and the cost is nothing compared to the gain my family has experienced. And in life there is no substitute for experience.  Especially good ones.

My wife and children have had a wonderful time growing together. Being the full time worker bee to the queen and her hive, my experience has been slightly disconnected, yet satisfying. They have had each other full time from the beginning in part because of me. I say this with all humility as I know in reality it's equal parts luck, grace, and skill on my end.

Our roles are clearly defined; we are mostly modeled after a 50's family without even meaning to be.  My wife's domain is the house and kids; my domain is the outside world and the kids. She does most of the cooking, as well as the stable work and I take care of the finances, cars, yard, etc.

Don't get the wrong impression here either...

My lady has a Masters Degree and her teaching credential. She is an accomplished woman who made a conscious choice to put her career aside and raise our babies (Gladiator, I salute you) and it's right for our family and seems to work well.  

We have a dog, a cat, enough room for a large garden, and 4 chickens.  We ride dirtbikes and grill on the weekends.  

It's the American dream come to life.  

Aside from Mr. Slate yelling, “Flintstone!” and always threatening to fire somebody, it's a damn good life.  

Have you bought in yet? Can you smell the flowers in the garden and the steak on the grill? It's sizzling and delicious and medium rare, usually topped with crispy onion straws, sautéed mushrooms and melted blue cheese.  Mmmmm...

Good beginnings and a true story, but it doesn't end here.  It begins here.

Like my wife, McKenzie, said the mood around education and starting kindergarten has changed.  The once upon a time is over and the storm on the horizon is heading our way. The 800 lb gorilla wants to wrestle and I'll be damned if I can't find a way around it.  Homeschooling isn't an option yet, no way can we afford private school, and the Montessori schools are all full. The missus still has far more faith in the government and humans than I do though. If it were up to me, we would move deep into the mountains, grow beards, and live like Hobbits.

Instead it's almost time to wrestle the growing incompetence and ever tightening budgets of the public school systems in California, Common Core in the country, and the growing trend to give everyone a participation trophy.

What’s your experience been like as your children face kindergarten? How is your child’s other parent involved in supporting your child’s educational careers, or if you’re a single parent, how do you handle it all?
Read ALL of our kindergarten posts by clicking through the image:
And, read ALL of our relationship posts by clicking through this image:
Or, get some new ideas and tips on how to talk to your children about difficult stuff: to your children

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