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Entering Kindergarten Fall 2018 - Parents Chat

  1. 2PeasinaPod

    pomelo / 5507 posts

    Late to the party, but joining in!

    1) S
    2) September (Cut off was September 1, and he was born at the end of September, so he'll be turning 6)
    3) Private - our day care has private kindergarten
    4) Drop off

    It feels like another year of day care for us though I know the curriculum will be public based. Our district still does half day kindergarten, and the before/after care for that was just as much as keeping him at his day care to attend private kindergarten. Both DH and I are big on public school, but they made it almost impossible for us to chose public kindergarten over private kindergarten. So we'll be keeping him where he's at.

    Once he enters into 1st grade, he'll be taking the bus (which also terrifies me), but I feel super lucky to have this extra year to get him accustomed to a more structured environment.

    ETA: We also have a tree nut allergy here. That worries me a little more than peanuts since I know schools are far more strict about peanuts than they are tree nuts.

  2. hellobeeboston

    cantaloupe / 6792 posts

    @Mrs. Carrot: ugh this is a HUGE question mark for us still. I'm going to apply for the afterschool program as soon as possible because I know it's popular.... We currently have a full time nanny who is moving, so we're considering finding someone to just work the afternoons (we have a 2.5 yo too) so then she could be there for my older son to get off the bus and have already picked up my younger from Preschool. If that P/T nanny doesn't work out then I guess we'll be putting my younger into full time daycare, and doing the after school program every day.... What makes it challenging is me and DH commute an hour to our jobs so getting home on time with traffic can be tough. Ultimately one of us is going to work closer to home as the kids get older.

    ALSO - SUMMER? I guess we're going to be paying for a lot of camps. I can't even think about it. I don't understand how working parents make all of this work.

  3. Mrs Green Grass

    pomelo / 5553 posts

    1) Dylan
    2) October (9/1 cut-off)
    3) public
    4) drop-off

    I’m so excited but really bummed by the lack of info about K at his school. There’s a link for online enrollment and that’s about it. I have no worries about him in school, it’s just so different! We’ll be doing aftercare. I have no idea what he’s going to do in august before school starts. I guess we’ll have to do some camps. I don’t work in a July but I do in August and his current school is full. I’m going to miss it!

    Just checked bell schedule: 8:30-2:38 and out at noon on Wednesdays...

  4. Mrs Green Grass

    pomelo / 5553 posts

    I just called since there is absolutely no info and she said they are working on it and will have something up next week. She was nice but still, come on people!

  5. Mrs Green Grass

    pomelo / 5553 posts

    Our school is just K-3 which is think is kinda cool so D will actually go to 4 different schools total!

  6. hellobeeboston

    cantaloupe / 6792 posts

    @Mrs Green Grass: We close at noon on Wednesdays too!

  7. 2PeasinaPod

    pomelo / 5507 posts

    @Mrs Green Grass: @hellobeeboston: Closing randomly at noon in the middle of the week? Man...can they make it any more difficult for working parents? I'm thinking that we'll have to get a PT nanny as well once S is in FT public school as neither DH nor I can be home to get him off of the bus at 3pm. I really don't know how everyone does it.

  8. Mrs Green Grass

    pomelo / 5553 posts

    @2PeasinaPod: the after school program is from 6-6 including half days and I think it’s pretty reasonable cost.

  9. Mrs. High Heels

    blogger / eggplant / 11533 posts

    I'm so late to this thread, but just read through all 3 pages!

    1) Child's name - Jaren
    2) Birth month - February
    3) Type of school: public, private, charter, whatever - Public
    4) What method of transportation? Car... we don't have a bus system! But luckily, it's only a 5 minute drive and in the next neighborhood over.

    Our Kindergarten is half day, and you can choose AM/PM. We'll be putting him in aftercare, but only until 3 pm so that we can pick him and his sister up at the same time (she'll be in 2nd grade and gets out at 2:10 pm). Every Wednesday is a minimum day here too - the day ends at 1:20 pm on those days. I WFH so we're able to have them home earlier.

    At our school, it isn't nut free but they have designated nut free tables for kids with allergies. They're also really good about using disinfectant wipes.

  10. hellobeeboston

    cantaloupe / 6792 posts

    @2PeasinaPod: OMG, don't get me started, haha. This noon closing on Wednesday is K-12 in my town!!!!!! HOW??! Wednesdays the after school program covers that whole time, but I will feel kinda bad having him in the program for so long. I usually do one day a week working from home so I might start doing Wednesdays instead of Fridays when he starts.

  11. Grace

    cantaloupe / 6549 posts

    I wanna join too!
    1) Child's name - Paige
    2) Birth month - September (cut off is Dec 31 here)
    3) Type of school: public, private, charter, whatever - Public French Immersion
    4) What method of transportation? This is up in the air right now. If she gets into PM kindergarten, we’ll drop her off at daycare in the morning and they will bus her to and from daycare and we’ll pick her up from daycare. If she’s in AM kinder, we’ll be walking her to school and then school will bus her over to daycare.

    We’re lucky in that our daycare does before and affer care as well as for inservice days and holiday breaks and summer. So so lucky.

    I also registered her back in January (which is when the info nights were). I’m surprised that everyone else seems to do it so much later.

  12. Adira

    wonderful pomelo / 30240 posts

    I just registered Xander!!! He was screened while we were there and even though he was really timid and wouldn't answer some of the questions, the teacher said he did really well and that she's pretty sure he knows even more than he was willing to answer.

    Orientation is on June 7th!

  13. JCCovi

    apricot / 355 posts

    Is anyone starting to work on skills that their kids will need? I’ve gone through California’s K readiness checklist and DD is good on most things but we need to get her:

    #1 Totally bathroom independent (right now she still struggles to wipe after #2)
    #2 Tying her own shoes. We haven’t even started this one!
    #3 She’s never had a packed lunch which she ate without me or DH, so we need to do some trial runs and make sure she can handle opening everything.

    https://www.calstatela.edu/sites/default/files/groups/Anna%20Bing%20Arnold%20Children%27s%20Center/Docs/kindergartenreadinesschecklist.pdf

  14. Mrs. Carrot

    blogger / persimmon / 1330 posts

    @hellobeeboston: We had a local magazine come out last month with a list of camps in our area, so I did some research and basically for most of summer we'be looking at about $6K worth of costs. Still less than half of what we pay for daycare, but damn!

    Our orientation for parents is next week, the 13th, so we'll pick up the registration materials then!

  15. Mrs. Carrot

    blogger / persimmon / 1330 posts

    @JCCovi: Wow, that is comprehensive! I tried to find if Virginia has anything similar and we only appear to have some generic guidelines. I'm going to ask at the K registration next week. Honestly, my biggest source of panic has been whether there are kindergarten "readiness" requirements that are not age appropriate (like reading, or writing more than a few scribbles). My kid is nowhere near reading, and she knows how to write letters, but honestly just doesn't care to. And we just joked about how she's probably never going to learn how to tie shoes because kid shoes don't even come with laces anymore!

  16. 2littlepumpkins

    grapefruit / 4115 posts

    Fun! I kind of feel between the 2017 and 2018 threads because my dd is a Sept baby and went to transitional kinder this year. She just moves up to the next class next year, no registration or anything stressful for us. Dd has had a great year!

    1-
    2- September
    3- Public (TK-6)
    4- Drop off

    @JCCovi: Thanks for sharing! Dd does pretty much all of it, not the tying shoes and as far as interacting with peers I think all kids have their moments but she gets along with other kids. Some of her letters aren't written correctly despite a lot of practice (lowercase g!) A lot of things she picked up this year in TK though. All of a sudden she could read some words phonetically and knew 100+ sight words. And they aren't even that intense in her class but somehow she picked it up. So I think even most kids who don't meet all of that will do fine, but it's a good list!

  17. meganmp

    persimmon / 1337 posts

    For everyone upset about closing at noon- let your local governments know with your votes! Teachers have professional development needs often required by states/local districts. Since districts don't have the money to pay teachers beyond contract hours, schools have to close early- at least, this is how it is for us. Speak with your vote!

  18. hellobeeboston

    cantaloupe / 6792 posts

    @JCCovi: Yes! We've started working on some things, especially #1 on your list! Actually, this week he's gotten 4 stars in a row on his "chore chart" on doing a good job wiping, haha

    He's only got velcro shoes for now, so that's fine.

    the big thing is that their lunch is only 20 minutes long - so he's got to focus & eat! and if he's buying lunch that day then he's got to get the food and eat and not mess around! To get used to this I'm planning on packing a really big snack!

    Our K gave us a list of a little activity we could do each day leading up so we've got that hanging on the fridge... The one yesterday was to tell Knock Knock jokes!

  19. Becky

    apricot / 406 posts

    @JCCovi: We have sort of started, as there were certain things encouraged during parent night. We haven’t worked on shoelaces yet because she’s not ready and the teacher said they will love us for sending them in Velcro until they’re ready to tie which for some comes later than others. We are working on:
    1. Going to the bathroom and flushing the toilet with the door closed. So smart of them to recommend this as apparently my kid isn’t the only one who hates the loud toilets.
    2. Wiping well independently.
    3. Opening a lunch box. Also might stay working on remembering to bring it back to her classroom (DD is super spacey).
    4. Playground social skills, namely sticking up for herself. DD will let every single kid cut in front of her on the line for the slides and there are like 190 kindergarteners so that could be a problem.

    Anyone with older kids have tips for navigating getting on and off the bus? This may be crazy but whenever I had something big coming up (test, concert, sports event) I would have dreams about missing the bus and I still do now (had one before a job interview last week), because it was intimidating to me as a kid. I’m just nervous about her getting on the wrong bus or something. Is this an unfounded concern?

  20. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4458 posts

    We had our round up today...I had told DD is was a practice day for Kindy and that I heard she would get a ride on the school bus - she was not feeling the bus part of it. DD was also terrified when they mentioned that the parents needed to leave the rooms and head down the hall (the kids were put into smaller groups in different classrooms)...

    I was so surprised..my lil kiddo who cant wait for me to leave at Daycare drop offs was stuck to my leg. As usual - the teacher was a rock star and got her comforted as I slipped away.

    Anyways - by the end of the house she came running up to me telling me she has a new friend named Charlotte and that she cant wait to start kindergarten! Relief!!!

    Two interesting tidbits...

    1) they give the kids sunflower seeds and tell them when the flower is big tall and blooming that means its time for Kindy to start. Cute.
    2) They suggested lots of ways to get the kids ready...all the normal stuff you'd expect (potty training/independence, zippers, shoe laces, read read read) but one surprised me...using a computer mouse. I guess they use it pretty early on and they say its one area kids can freak out about.

    Thought I'd pass along!

  21. lindseykaye

    persimmon / 1290 posts

    Joining the group!

    1) Child's name - Ellora
    2) Birth month - November (August 31 cutoff, so she will be on the older side and is about to graduate VPK)
    3) Type of school: Charter
    4) What method of transportation? Drop off

    We've finally decided on her school, mostly by process of elimination. Our public district changed their setup a couple years ago and made one of the elementary schools a dedicated pre-k and kinder only school. This would normally sound awesome, but that means my daughter would have gone to a new school for VPK. a new school for kinder, and another new school for 1st and beyond. For me, that's too much change for someone so small and who is so new to school. I also have heard great things about the school but also that there are a lot of resources and programs for ESL and kids who are behind the learning curve, but none of that benefits my LO. So - that means our public district is out. We also were denied zoning school choice because every other school is full, and did not get picked for the lottery of our other public school option (a single school district educational research school - and where like all her friends got in ).
    So, that means we will keep her at her current, lovely, amazing, wonderful charter school for their lower elementary. There is a pretty steep tuition, but it's worth it considering our other options have exhausted and we truly do LOVE the school. We'll plan to continue to apply for the research school and zoning exemption each year - as it gets easier after kindergarden, and hope for the best!

  22. MrsRoo

    pear / 1595 posts

    @Mrs D: Fun! Our round up is next week in the evening and I have zero idea what it actually entails. Thats pretty cool that it involved the bus! I think that is what my daughter is most excited about, but I know her and can completely see he freaking out when it comes time to actually get on one....
    Good tip about the mouse. I'm not sure dd has ever used one.

  23. Adira

    wonderful pomelo / 30240 posts

    @Mrs D: @MrsRoo: What is a round up?

  24. Alba4

    nectarine / 2688 posts

    My DS has his K screening on Saturday and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they are starting a Spanish program for grades K-5. As a middle school Spanish teacher, I’m obviously ecstatic!!! We have a visitation at the end of May where he gets to ride the bus! It’s becoming real!

    @Becky: We are working on wiping still (yikes)
    My DS hasn’t ever brought lunch so he’ll have to learn to open his food too! Stuff to think about for summer (I’ll practice with day camp).

  25. MrsRoo

    pear / 1595 posts

    @Adira: it’s the schools K registration event. I have gotten surprisingly few details on it, honestly. But we register her for K, sign up for before/after care and she gets a tour of the school.

  26. Adira

    wonderful pomelo / 30240 posts

    @MrsRoo: Oh, we registered for Kindergarten, but they just tested Xander and then we filled out all the forms. Didn't even get a tour of the school or anything! But there's a Parent Orientation day in June and then supposedly a Intro event before school starts... but I don't really know any of the details.

  27. MrsRoo

    pear / 1595 posts

    @Adira: oh god. Testing? Lol. I’m so unprepared for all this.

    I know there will be another night to meet the teacher closer to school starting, but there is just no information about the registration process in my district posted anywhere. So maybe this is a lesson in going with the flow for me.

  28. Adira

    wonderful pomelo / 30240 posts

    @MrsRoo: I wasn't prepared for the testing either! I brought Xander to registration and then they whisked him away an d wouldn't let me come with him!!! He was NOT happy!!! But he did well on the test I guess... basically it was seeing how well he knew his upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, shapes, etc.

  29. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4458 posts

    @Adira: For us roundup is just like "step 1". It was totally informal, no sign up before hand or anything. It was 1 hour. We also have an end of year extravaganza (in June), then a Kindy intro picnic late August, then family fun day the week before school. We register off site, a district facility. We have no testing at registration.

    @MrsRoo: We didnt have any testing!

    @Alba4: I started sending lunch 1, sometimes 2, days a week around Feb timeframe, just to get DD used to it. I also asked her teachers to provide some feedback on if she is eating it quick enough or not.

    The things they suggested we should have the kids work on this summer was counting 1-10, knowing all letters (lower and upper case) and start working on the sounds each letter makes, and writing and recognizing first and last names.

    @Alba4: DD has had a bit of exposure to spanish in her current school; our Kindy offers it as one of its "Specials" which I am super excited about. I'd love for her to build on what she knows!

  30. Corduroy

    grapefruit / 4706 posts

    We’ve registered for K and we’re waiting to hear if we got into after school care. After school care is $9.80/hour (that’s the cheapest for 20+ hours per week, it starts much higher). The school district still hasn’t voted on the length of the K school day or the first day of school yet.

    We have an orientation coming up at 12:45 on a Friday. No kids. Awesome because that works for neither SAH or WOH parents. I guess that’s our new world though.

  31. SproutBee

    cherry / 124 posts

    @Corduroy: we recently found out our rising Kindergartner did NOT get an after school care spot. CUE MAJOR FREAK OUT. There are no other programs in our town that pick up at our public schools. We’re so lost. I always planned to send my kids to public school - it’s one of the major reasons we bought our house in the town - the public schools are great. But now we are seriously considering the local Catholic school bc at least they guarantee after school care. Ugh.

    1- C
    2- August (1.5 weeks before the cut off!)
    3- Public. But considering Catholic due to After School Care problems
    4- Walk or short drive

  32. Corduroy

    grapefruit / 4706 posts

    @SproutBee: I’m sorry. I heard stories in the neighboring district that parents line up in the middle of the night for K registration - not to get a spot in K but to get a spot in after school care. My next door neighbor quit her job when her 2nd and 4th graders didn’t get spots one year. I’m going to be stressing until our spot is confirmed.

  33. Adira

    wonderful pomelo / 30240 posts

    @Corduroy: Wow, that no-kid orientation is at the weirdest time! WTF?? We have a no-kid orientation too, but it's at 6:30 at night!

  34. Silva

    pomelo / 5625 posts

    @SproutBee: can you find a SAHM who can watch your kid after school? When I was growing up thats what we did until we were old enough to be home alone.

  35. Silva

    pomelo / 5625 posts

    t is officially registered as a homeschooler. We weren't planning to take the step of actually registering her because it isn't necessary (she isn't required to be enrolled somewhere until age 6). But we want her to take a class or two at the public school, and learned she would need to be officially registered as a homestudy student in order to take part time classes at the public school.
    Now we're waiting to hear from the school what their schedule will be for next year. I suspect, based on conversations with the principal, that we will send her at around noon/12:30, one day a week. This will be right after lunch/recess. There will be a short "quiet time" for students in the classroom (she can look at books, play quietly), then they all go together to art class, then after art class is more play time. After that we will likely have her ride the bus home- we live very close to the school so its a short ride, and I will have two younger ones at home so I'd rather not have to go pick her up (plus it would be a mess with nap time).

  36. MrsRoo

    pear / 1595 posts

    @SproutBee: Oh no. That's my biggest stress right now, too. I hope you can find a solution

    @Corduroy: @Adira: Wow, I wish we had a kids-free orientation so that we could actually get the info I feel like I need to be prepared for K!

    We had our Kindergarten Round Up last night. It was basically just a little intro to the school for the kids. We got our registration packets and supply lists and took a tour of the school. DD was pretty excited and the administrators we met seemed nice. We will have placement testing on 7/31 and then meet the teacher sometime after that - they don't have a date set for it yet. But apparently thats when we sign up for after school and get the bus route info. The planner in me does not like this one bit, because school starts 8/13, so we have to wait until the week before school to find out if we got a spot in after care? The website says there are limited spaces, so I'm stressed about that. I *think* we could work something out for after care if we had to, but it would be a stress on us (me) the whole year. I'd like to know sooner rather than later.

    @Silva: awesome, I think thats pretty cool that you have the ability to homeschool and have her involved with the extracuricular classes at the local public school.

  37. Anagram

    eggplant / 11008 posts

    @SproutBee: would you consider just hiring a part time sitter to pick up for you? That's what we do now (My oldest is in our public Pre-K program, and has the same school hours she'll have next year in K....8:30-2:30. Right now, our college aged sitter picks her up at 2:30 and brings her home (when weather is nice they go to the park for an hour or so first) and just entertains her till I am home at 4:30-5 pm. It's nice because I don't have to add a pickup on to my commute, and I already have the sitter in my wheelhouse for date nights and other random events. Plus, if I have the occasional late night at work, the sitter is usually very flexible. She goes to community college in the mornings.

    Next year, we're thinking about hiring a morning sitter to dress the kids and walk them to school, and a second afternoon sitter to pick up. The price in my town is actually really comparable (maybe even less) to having 2 kids in an actualy daycare's after care program.

    You can probably find a good selection of people on Care.com to interview. Another option would be to pay a SAHM whose kids go to the same school and want to make a little pocket money.

  38. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4458 posts

    @Anagram: We are planning to do the afternoon sitter the same as you mention. Its $15/hour for her, as opposed to two kids in latchkey at $8/hour each. Deal!

  39. hellobeeboston

    cantaloupe / 6792 posts

    @SproutBee: ugh, I'm sorry! Is there a waiting list you can get on? People might move or have a chance of plans.

    You actually just reminded me to email the coordinator about our after-school care. We haven't gotten ANY info yet. But wanted to make sure we held a spot just in case... We're still unsure of what to do next year after our nanny leaves... but I'm thinking i'm going to start looking for someone 5 days a week to come in the afternoons.

  40. Silva

    pomelo / 5625 posts

    @MrsRoo: Its a big privilege, I know. I will have my hands full, with her at home plus a 2 year old and a newborn but we'll figure it out. I really think its the right balance for her.

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