Tackling New Challenges: Goodbye Preschool. Hello Kindergarten!

Last set of school pictures from Preschool

In this wonderful world of parenthood, you are constantly being presented with new challenges. Each new challenge is more difficult than the next, but THAT is what makes it fun right? “Back to school” season is a particularly stressful one in general, but even more so when “back to school” is actually going to a new school! This year, SquallyMuffin, the one you all have literally watched grow up, started KINDERGARTEN. She has officially been in school for a month and no, I’m still not okay.

Getting Ready for a New School

There are so many things that go into choosing a new school for your kiddos that nobody teaches you about. Steps that you really would have had to consider way much earlier than some would expect. For example, what neighborhood you live in is important, because if you are going to send your precious cargo to their zoned school, you want it to be a good one! Unfortunately for us, the school in our neighborhood does not have great ratings or reviews. While I recognize that it could still 100% be a hidden gem, we just were not willing to take the risk. Especially since Muffin already has an IEP that she has been ROCKING. We feel 100% prepared for kindergarten!

Seeing her future classroom for the 1st Time

What to Wear?

We applied to and were accepted to a school that came highly recommended to us. The biggest drawback was the dress code, which really isn’t a drawback depending on who you talk to! “I wore uniforms to school growing up and I was fine.” Me too! Me TOO, but I would have loved to allow Muffin to be able to share her interesting twist on the concept of fashion with the world. The hardest part about the uniforms was the logo requirement. But no task is too big for the Squally Squad.

I ordered the kindergarten uniforms with the intention of bringing them to Memphis with us this summer. ( From the Children’s Place, if you must know). What I didn’t know, was that the uniforms ran smaller than the regular clothes. So I had to return and exchange everything. It took FOREVER. (I’ll admit that it was partially my fault because I had the clothes for a few weeks before I let her try them on. And then I stupidly tried to return/exchange them in person rather than just mailing them back the way I GOT THEM! IN MY DEFENSE, the too-small realization came really close to us embarking on our trip, so I was low-key panicking.) I ended up having the new sizes shipped directly to my mom. In hindsight, I could have just done that in the 1st place.

My mom is a seamstress. So I spent a million hours scouring the internet for good images of the school logo. Once I finally found it, we had it digitized and she put the logos on all of Muffin’s shirts! All was well and good in the world.

Nobody Tells You How Hard Day One is…

Muffin was so excited for her 1st day of school! That first drop-off was ROUGH for me though. If you’ve never dropped your baby off at big kid school before, you probably shouldn’t be doing it on your way to work. Because there are a lot of emotions!

In all honesty, it just wasn’t organized enough for me and it caused so much anxiety. We walked through a gate and there were cones with the teachers’ names on them. At the same time, there are a million unmasked, snotty-nose children running around having the time of their lives.

After consulting with a staff member, I learned that the kids are to put their backpacks down at the cones and play until they’re called to line up to go into the building.

Here’s my issue though..

I felt like it was asking a lot of kindergarten students, who don’t know each other (or anyone there). My daughter can read some, but I’m not sure if she would have remembered her teacher’s name after playing. I tried to leave once and couldn’t. I was internally panicking.

My daughter has some difficulty with pronouncing L-blends.. and her name is Lariah. So when they ask her her name and she says,”Maria’, what if they can’t figure out who she is and where she is supposed to be?! And I’m theoretically already gone, on my way to work, and no one is there to advocate for her!! It wasn’t until another parent sensed my internal struggle and offered to have Muffin stand with her and walk in the classroom with her and her daughter. BLESS HER. I haven’t seen her again since, but I hope she knows that she is truly my best friend.

It was Good until it Wasn’t..

Screenshot of how much she enjoyed Day 1

I don’t claim the negativity that is associated with saying that problems tend to follow us around, but I’m also not naive enough to not call a spade a spade. Muffin could not even finish one full week of Kindergarten without having something MAJOR happen. It’s SO major, that it’s going to be its own blog post. 🙂

Thanks so much for reading and check out some previous posts. This one about Great Wolf Lodge is right on time for Fall Break Planning.

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