School Daze

July 1st, 2008

Well, my son’s first day of school went… ok. Apparently, he cried for a while but eventually settled down and was able to enjoy at least some of it. That sounds like pretty good news, but I can tell he’s rather agitated by all of this. He was very hyper when he got home yesterday, and last night, he woke up about an hour after going to bed, asked if it was a school day, and then asked why he had to go to a new school. Ouch. This morning he asked again if it was a school day, and when I said yes, he got pretty upset.

We did go through this when he was attending his old school, but eventually he really started to thrive and have fun there. His last few months were particularly good, so it’s unfortunate that he had to leave. Poor little guy –-I really feel for him. It broke my heart to drop him off this morning. He held it together in the car, although he was close to tears, and by the time we got to his classroom, that was it. Crying, begging me to stay. Of course I had to remain upbeat, but I got teary as I walked to the car.

Now I’m questioning everything. None of his friends from his last school moved on to this school. The majority of them are attending a different school, a school my son was accepted to but which I ultimately declined because his current school was our first choice. I had my reasons, of course, but now I’m second-guessing myself. He would’ve been with his friends at the other school. He would’ve had the option to attend fewer days, as opposed to the five days that the current school requires. Five days may be just too much for him.

And I’ve read (on the Internet, of course!) that if kids cry when they go to pre-school, then they’re just not ready for it. Yet he had been doing so well at his old school. Yes, it was rough at times, but he also benefited from it immensely. Would isolating him at home really be better? I never could’ve taught him all the social skills and independence he learned there, nor would he have experienced all the pride in his accomplishments or met the wonderful kids who became his buddies and gave him a sense of belonging. The pre-school nay-sayers insist that a child can gain all this just by being around their parents, but I feel I have to beg to differ. Like our pediatrician told me when my son was a baby, with a kid like this, it takes a village.

Either way, I feel extremely conflicted now. Should I have sent my son to the other school with his friends? Should he be in school at all? Am I putting him off of school for life by pushing him into it too early? Why does all of this have to be so damn hard??

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