I Survived Kindergarten … Again.

by Kerry Rivera


My eldest son achieved another milestone this week, graduating kindergarten, and is now ready to embrace full-fledged membership into grade school. Hooray!


He can read … kind of. He can add and subtract … to a degree. He can even march into class all by himself … minus Mom or Dad signing him in to some daycare computer system.


Even more important, over the past nine-plus months, I have seen his self-confidence rise, his love for learning grow, and his ability to problem-solve – in the classroom and on the playground – skyrocket. To say the least, I’m really proud of him, and I just can’t believe how much he has grown up in this short school year.


I’m also kind of proud of myself. Some of you may recall that I was agonizing over where to send him to kindergarten – private, or Montessori, or public? How would this choice impact his learning, his ability to thrive and his social skills? Would this one decision screw his chances for future success – setting a course for delinquent behavior – or would kindergarten pave the way toward his future PhD?


We ultimately elected to send him to our neighborhood public school and he was fortunate to land a terrific veteran teacher able to guide him through this transitional year – no longer a preschooler, but not yet a full-day grade-schooler.


I’ll admit it. I started the year as a neurotic first-time parent stressing about how this new environment would impact my kid. But I’d like to think I’m also graduating kindergarten with gold stars, calmer and more capable to handle the school years ahead. Not sure if my neuroticism is totally cured … some of that just comes with my personality … and I’d like to think because I care so much, but thanks to the key individuals below, I’m gaining confidence in my parenthood decisions too.


First and foremost, I’d like to thank my child’s patient teacher, who answered all of my questions, was always open to an extra parent-teacher conference and treated my son with respect and kindness.