Thursday, August 30, 2007

Starting Kindergarten

This afternoon, Banana went to her kindergarten orientation. Parents were sequestered off to the school auditorium for an introduction to other teachers and an extended welcome from the principal. It was an odd dynamic – realizing that even though Banana was in pre-K at the school last year, this really was the transition to being a Big Kid.

Parents do not come in the room unless they are observing or volunteering. The kids have assigned places at the tables and folders for their work rather than just for the fun fingerpaint artwork. (In fact, I don't think kindergarteners fingerpaint any more.) There is fun stuff around, but this is definitely not playtime. There is no play kitchen area. There are no toys. There are no nap mats because kids at this age no longer require downtime, apparently.

In other words, this is no longer the kindergarten we grew up with. This is not half days. This is not naptime. This is not graham crackers and milk. This is real school. They will begin to learn math. They will learn to read. They will continue to build on the Spanish, art, and music skills they've developed in pre-K – for those who went to pre-K.

I wasn't prepared for realizing how much of a transition point this will be. My little girl will be doing homework and be challenged to grow up in ways I've seen in friends' kids grow up in the last year or so. It is both exciting and daunting.