Sunday, February 03, 2008

How can you think of blogging at a time like this?

Actually there's nothing really going on. And by "nothing," I mean "the Super Bowl," about which "who gives a rat's ass." (Waving to the other person who doesn't give a rat's ass... why hello there!)

The real reason I have slacked off here is because the Bean switched to afternoon kindergarten last week -- she has half-day kindergarten, and the morning and afternoon classes switch midway through the year -- and it is well established that I don't love changes in my schedule. Takes me a while to settle into a routine that I like. When do I blog now? When, I ask you?!

It might be just because I'm not quite used to it, but I think I don't love the afternoon K schedule so much. Oh well. In mere months she'll be out for the summer, and I really don't want to think about that just yet.

I hear a lot of rumblings and grumblings that our town really ought to have full day kindergarten. The push for it comes mostly from households in which both parents have paying jobs. Their kids have been in full days of preschool/daycare for years already, so to get to kindergarten and have just a half day of school is kind of a step back. I can see that. Also, the point is often made, children learn SO MUCH MORE in a full day and they can GET AHEAD. Ahead of whom, I don't know. Presumably kids who don't have full day kindergarten.

I stay out of these arguments... they do become arguments, which is a bummer... because I'm quietly delighted that the Bean didn't go to school for the whole day this year. She's ready for it now. But in September, she was barely 5, she'd only had half days in preschool and "science camp" (a summer program at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History), and some days when she got home after her morning in kindergarten, she was really tired. It showed in her eyes, in her demeanor, in her emotions. She was processing a lot of social information and new school routines, and her downtime was more critical than ever.

As to the kids "learning more?" I don't know if I buy that. Maybe they do, and maybe it shows on standardized tests that I don't care about anyway. But I can't believe that more time in school at that age is something to push for on purely academic grounds, given no special learning challenges. Part of what makes my job so tiring is that the girls are learning things every minute, whether it's through books we read or places we go or just running errands and interacting with people. Things come up. Something as simple as "look at the pretty sky" can generate a whole conversation about how the Earth goes around the sun and the moon around the Earth, or how clouds are made of water, or how light is different colors. Learning happens all the time, and while doing worksheets to improve her writing is definitely valuable, twice the worksheets wouldn't be twice the value.

Plus, I'd have plain missed having her around.

Times like this I'm especially glad to have "stayed home" with the girls. It sucks to have lost my part of the family income. It sucks how stupid I have become by many adult standards (including my own). It sucks how unemployable I will be when I do try to find a paying job again, and how little I am likely to earn if I find one. But for all that, it rocks to be home with them, and I'm so glad we could make it work.

I must be sure to pencil in my blog time in any case. Some days, it's all that passes for adult conversation, even if I'm the only one conversing. Which may account for the above referenced stupidity problem. Hm.


  1. Actually, it's well documented that kids DO NOT learn as much in full day kindergarten...for all the reasons you mentioned. They are too young for such long days.

    And this rush to get ahead...ack!


  2. Read some intelligent magazines to keep the brain working (New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, etc) - it really helps.

  3. I also am glad I stayed home with my kids, even though I am nearly unemployable now! I try to look at it as an opportunity for re-invention, a chance for new career options. Like grocery store cashier!

    I went to full-day, 5 days a week kindergarten and I loved it. I had only turned 5 in September, so I was a young 'un, but I absolutely adored it. We had lots of social time and took a one hour nap after lunch.

    Our school district offers several options for kindergarten. Full days two days a week and a 1/2 on Friday, 1/2 day 5 days a week, or full day 5 days a week. Boy's school has 1/2 days 5 days a week, but he is there all day anyway because he is in an autism room the rest of the day. He likes it, but he does have a classmate who is just exhausted by the end of the day.

    I also didn't give a rat's ass about the Not-So-Super Bowl. TNT had a marathon of The Closer. I watched that.

  4. Uh, it was a good game, and not all the commercials were completely offensive - some were even mildly amusing.

    I am not sure I understand the whole "unemployable" issue. Are employers that narrow minded? From the little I know of parenting, "stay-at-home" moms could easily handle most emergency management, event planning and coordination assignments with one hand tied behind there back. Heck, they would make great business associates, keeping organized, making sure everyone did what they were supposed to, on time and under budget. Just a thought.

  5. You'll find blogging time again, don't worry. I used to like afternoon K because it broke up the day a little better... but I agree with you on the full day - they kind of have the rest of their lives to go to school. LOVE the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History! Well, I do if it's the one in Brewster. Are you close by? We have a summer house (shack, is really more accurate, to tell the truth) in Orleans!

  6. STOP THE INSANITY! More academics in kindergarten? Arrgh. When will this insane rush to more and earlier academics and testing run headlong into the fact that kids aren't developmentally suited for that at an early age? Kids should be learning to love learning. I don't think it's so much the time in school as what's going on in the school, and alas, the current public school agenda is not ideal.