Kindergarten for Celia has stressed me out for likely 3 years. When Celia was born I thought that by the time she was ready for Kindergarten that our school district would offer full day kindergarten. Then the economy took a nose dive and I suspected that would not be the case. I was right and there is only a full day option for those students who are at risk or struggling. My 5 year old who is currently reading beyond the 1st grade level and who has a great understanding of number concepts would likely not qualify. I could send her to the 2 1/2 hour district day and send her to 1 of the 3 daycare options out there, 2 of which I have heard are awful, 1 is genuine babysitting. Lovely. Oh but there is the Y program that when you talk to parents about they all start with "well it was not really good but it was the only option" or as I love of one parent "I cringed every time I went to pick her up". No!!! I will not do that, even for 2 days a week. There is a new program in our home elementary school but it is a lottery system and I could not just send her the days I needed and it is not cheap.
In the fall I learned about the possibility of tuition assistance to our local Friends school. I love the Friends schools. So I submitted an application, we took a tour, and Celia went for an admission interview. They loved her and she was accepted but of course that did not matter until they told us if we could get financial support. We are not poor but we can not afford the full tuition. I love that school, Celia loved that school. It is the warm fuzzy feeling classroom atmosphere that could establish a love of reading, writing, and math for my sometimes academically disinterested 5 year old. One of the top reasons I would love her to attend the school is that one of the priorities is social skills. They do not refer to it as social skills but it is the Quaker philosophy of everyone getting along and settling disputes peacefully. I love that. So last week we learned that we have been awarded the right tuition and Celia will be attending Friends next year.
I am excited that she is going to a great school next year but for the past month when I did not think that the money would come through I was thinking about having her home 1/2 days and it excited me. That said, Celia has been ahead academically for so long because she is older. We have supplemented at home but it is time to see what happens if she is pushed. I am glad that she will be in a setting in setting in which they will build on what she knows.
Of course I do have a new scenario that I am nervous about, I will have Audrey home with me 3 days a week!! Mommy preschool I guess will happen! This is not unique to me though as next year Audrey will be about the same age as Celia was when I took my year maternity leave. This time though I will be with a 2 to 3 year old and not only be sleeping for 20 min. a time!!! I have said it many times in the past and I will say it again. Many Moms look at their little ones and think "Oh, I wish she was not growing up so fast". In my case, at least when I look at my oldest, I do not want to slow or speed up time. Every year Celia gets more fantastic so I really look forward to what the future holds. Now for Audrey.... Well yes at age 1 I totally wanted that fast foward button!! But we are in a good place at the moment with Miss. Audrey right now and we are enjoying it!