Thursday, July 22, 2010

Goodbye Preschool...Hello Kindergarten & Anxiety

I cannot, cannot, cannot, cannot BELIEVE my baby is starting Kindergarten. I have been stressing ever since January when I had to hurry and get my application in on time to get my top pick. And while she didn’t get into my top choice (goodness sounds like College) she got into a really great English/Spanish Kindergarten. The school is founded on a dual-language immersion model. The dual-language immersion model is a rigorous academic program where students receive 50% English and 50% Spanish instruction and are expected to become biliterate - to read, write and speak with the same high level of proficiency in both Spanish and English. This model is based on an equal respect for different languages as well as equal respect for the cultures of which those languages are a part.

When choosing a school for her, it was really important that the school provide Spanish to the children. Few people know that I’m ½ Colombian. But I didn’t grow up with my Father who is 100% Colombian, so wasn’t exposed to the Spanish language or culture, which totally sucks!! I took Spanish in school, but was more interested in talking to my friends that learning. So I want to make sure lil mama is exposed to the wonderful world of Spanish at a young age so it’ll stick when she is older. I’ve started at home, and Dora is a big help (even though when ever lil mama wants to watch it I roll my eyes) and through her DVD’s she’s learned some basic Spanish. And I’ve taught her how to count to 10 in Spanish, which I think is amazing!!!

I was so nervous going into the Open House a couple of month’s back, while lil mama didn’t really understand. She knows that in September she starts Kindergarten, but doesn’t understand it’ll be a big change from Preschool. So at the Open House I was freaking out. I wanted to make sure I asked the right questions, didn’t want to come across as a pushy parent. Wanted to pay attention to the right things in the classroom, didn’t want to bump in the children. Wanted to get a feel for the Teachers. I didn’t want to miss anything and I think in the process missed everything lol.

So I called the school recently and had a 30 minute conversation with the receptionist about the questions I still had and she eased my worry about lil mama starting Kindergarten. It just feels like a whole world. It will be an adjustment for both of us. We’ll have to wake up earlier, and she will have a more structured agenda during the day-which is great. Preschool has been great, but her Teachers and I both agree that she is beyond ready for Kindergarten.

But honestly the whole thing is causing my severe severe anxiety! I’m a big worrier, but this really has me stressed. I want to make sure her transition to Kindergarten is smooth and that we are on time for school and that I am on time to pick her up. This means having to get off work early to pick her up, which means less money. Or I could go the route of After School and have a meeting tomorrow to find out the price. But geez thought I would be saving money having her start Kindergarten. Aaahhh!

Think I’m just stressed because this is a big step for her, she’s really growing up and not my lil baby I can rock anymore. How do I get past my worry and anxiety for her starting Kindergarten? Maybe it’ll come once she starts and we get a new routine going.


  1. I think that you're more stressed about whether or not she'll like it. She's had a whole year to bond and make friends in Pre-k and now she has to do it all over again which can be stressful a child. However, I think that if you got good vibes from your visit to the school and talk with the receptionist that everything will be fine. You're doing the right thing by making sure she gets the top of the line education and she will adjust.

    The one thing that I've learned from being a parent is that if we stress out, our children pick up on our stress and join us in the stressing out party. So, just try to relax and pray that God will allow everything to fall into to place. Like I commented in your last post, her father should be made to pay for After School or childcare costs. It's hard being a single mom and I understand your worry over having to cut your hours to be able to pick her up. Don't let him get away scotch free.

    We can only be Super Woman for so long before all of our walls come tumbling down.

  2. It's a big step for her AND you. Really. I remember when my son started day care, then preschool... all of these things are big steps and anxiety provoking.

    I must say (as a former teacher) great job on choosing the dual-language program! If done correctly, it's simply fantabulous! My son not even 3-yrs-old yet and I've looked into dual language programs and where I would have to live in order for him to get into those schools (My parents are Panamanian and I want him to learn Spanish as well... plus we live in NYC and based on where you live that determines what school district you go to...)

    Try not to worry too much about all the nuts and bolts of what your daily routine would look like... it'll all come together eventually. It HAS to. You'll make it work.

  3. Hi Alex!

    I just saw your blog and thought you might be interested in checking out an upcoming PBS documentary that I think may well ease your jitters.

    The film follows four diverse students and their families as they encounter the challenges and delights of becoming fluent in two languages. As we witness their journey, we see how speaking more than
    one language changes them, their families, their communities, and maybe even the world.

    Together, they represent a nexus of challenges facing America today: economic and academic inequities, de facto segregation, record numbers of new immigrants, and the need to communicate across cultures. Using a verité story-telling approach, the film follows our
    characters as they enter the portal of language and open their minds to new ways of thinking and being in the world.

    In a time of globalization and changing demographics, bilingualism offers them more than an opportunity to join the global job market. Language becomes a metaphor for breaking down barriers between ourselves and our neighbors—be they around the corner or across the world.

    You can screen the entire film here:

    Let us know what you think!

    And good luck!

    on behalf of "Speaking in Tongues"


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  5. That's so wonderful that you found a program like that in your area! :) My son is currently enrolled in a full-immersion Spanish pre-school & he's speaking so much Spanish I'm thrilled! <3 I know kindergarten anxiety must be rough & I know I'll go through it too!

  6. awwww, thats great that you found a dual language program for her. I love it! I understand your anxiety though, believe me I do. When my daughter transitioned from pre-school to kindergarten, we temporarily had to move into an area where I was not happy with the school system at all. So we decided it was best to put her private school instead. She had to go through testing and all of that and I was a nervous wreck! However she did fine and now she's about to go into second how time flys, but believe me I think we as parents are more nervous than the kids are with these things! I am sure your daughter will be just fine :)

  7. Thanks for allll the support guys! It's just so overwheleming for me to think that my baby is growing up, and I guess I'm not ready...are any of us? She is the most precious sweet little girl and I know she'll adjust just fine in Kindergarten...but where is the orientation to transition parents? lol, its all about the kids! haha.


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