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What I Want For My Son in Kindergarten (And the rest of his time in school)3 min read

The other night I awoke at 2am in a cold sweat. I didn’t have the flu, wasn’t too hot, nor was I having those infamous teacher-dreams (there’s still another month before those kick in).

No, I was laying there thinking about the fact that my little boy, Jack, will be starting kindergarten in exactly one month. This fact shot my eyes open and disturbed my sleep for a number of reasons.

1. Where the heck did the last 5 years of my life go?!
Time flies too fast, and when you have children, they are an indicator of that.

2. Seriously, how do I already have a 5 year old??!

3. Sending your kid to kindergarten is a momentous threshold.

This is the very beginning of his formal education. Kindergarten is where Jack will decide if he loves school or not. The thoughts and attitudes he forms over this next year will strongly dictate how he feels about school the rest of his life (Here’s research to support that). This is the foundation for education, the exposition to a story he will be apart of for a long time.

School is a major part of all of our lives. Jack will be with his teachers every day for the next 13 years more than he will be with his mom and dad (That’s another reason for the cold sweats!) So I don’t think it’s too much to ask that he love it.

I desperately want my little boy, a kid who currently loves learning more than anything else, to love school. I want him to embrace learning, grow socially, physically, and emotionally. I want him to get smarter and smarter, and develop skills that will serve him throughout his life. I want Jack to become a hard worker and learn the value of grit and persistence. I want him to have teachers who are deeply invested in him and his success. I want him enter projects in the science fair, join band, get in trouble and learn from it, sit by a lonely kid at lunch, meet a friend who sat by him if he’s lonely, dissect frogs, fall in love with books, skin his knees on the playground, geek out about long division at the dinner table, win a writing contest, lose a writing contest, find beauty in diversity, learn how to speak in public, advocate for himself, color inside the lines, color outside the lines, have strong discussions, learn to collaborate, ride the cheese wagon, soak up wisdom from his teachers and his friends—- I want him to love school.

And I think he will. But I think it’s the fact that it is all about to begin that makes me a little nervous. A good nervous, the kind you have before running a marathon the next day, or when your wife hits her due date and you know any day now life is about to change in a very big way.

So I’ll embrace this excitement, lose a little sleep, be grateful for all of his future teachers, administrators, counselors, coaches, and custodians- and do my very best to not cry when we drop him off at the bus stop next month.

But no promises there.

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