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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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One more year

Uploaded: Sep 18, 2017
Our oldest has one more year until he starts Kindergarten. Some of our friends started this year, so I get to hear what they think helped their kids adjust and if there were any surprises.

One of my favorite tips was to visit the school periodically throughout the year. Play on the playground, drive by the school, take a camp at the school, etc. Try to make the elementary school as familiar as possible to your child.

I also heard that I should take advantage of our free time as much as possible this year. Mornings, afternoons or even full days when our kids don't have school or classes. I already squeezed in a trip to Happy Hollow and I can't wait to plan more adventures this year. There is a lot to do close to home with our kids, but I'll miss going to theme parks, zoos, and museums when the crowds are minimal. And I'll also miss the lazy days when we all choose to spend the day or just the morning or afternoon at home and we don't drive anywhere.

The last piece of advice was just to enjoy this year as much as possible. Enjoy seeing our kids playing, running around together, full of energy. Kindergarten, especially full-day kindergarten, can be very tiring for some kids. Some kids are exhausted at the end of a school day. Some of our friends not only miss their kids when they are at school, but also miss them at night when they shift to an earlier bedtime. Or miss that their kids are just too tired to play at home or at the park with the same level of energy that they used to.

As with most life events, I feel lucky to have friends and family who have been there before to help navigate the surprises and challenges to come.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Mother of 4 , a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Sep 18, 2017 at 9:11 pm

Apart from the arrival of our first baby, the first child to start kindergarten was the biggest upheaval since. This was far more an upset to family routine than the arrival of another baby, having house guests, or anything else.

A child in kindergarten has to be at school at a certain time each day, has to be picked up at a certain time each day and the whole family is ruled by this daily timetable. Additionally, the school calendar with days off, minimum days, field trips, teacher conferences and class performances, winter and spring breaks, etc. become the default decision maker for family plans. Additionally, the homework (a book from school that must be read each day, or an item for sharing at show n tell, star of the week, or culture/heritage day) become one of the biggest family stresses outside the hours that kindergarten take place.

Enjoy your flexibility, because it will never be the same again once kindergarten arrives. The way your son handles this time and copes with his new status is nothing to what it will do to how the rest of the family copes and handles this.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Sep 19, 2017 at 11:24 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - Thank you for sharing your experience when your oldest child started kindergarten. Great point about it being a huge change (and disruption in routine) for younger siblings.

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