Kindergarten’s first hard lesson: It’s a morning people’s world

I’m waiting for the Kindergarten grind to catch up to my son.

His preschool was only three hours in the afternoon. Kindergarten runs all day. Like his old man, he’s more inclined toward being a night owl than a morning person. We’ll see where that gets him after a few months of having to get up early every day.

We worked on adjusting his sleep schedule in the buildup to school, but there’s nothing like the real thing to make it hit home. So far, after a week of school, he still must be forced to go to bed at a reasonable hour. He gets up in the morning without too much fuss, though it’s clear he’s not happy about it. Welcome to my world, kid.

There have been no reports of him nodding off in school, which makes him a better man than I was at that age. When I was in Kindergarten, I came home at noon. That, and the modern curriculum, makes his current situation more comparable to my first grade experience.

In first grade, my day went like this: get up at 4 a.m. for a quick bowl of Cream of Wheat before going to milk cows; get to school 15-30 minutes late, smelling as little like the barn as possible; chocolate milk and a cookie at 10; fit some learning in before noon; peanut butter sandwich and random Hostess product for lunch; sleep at desk until awakened for bus ride home.

Sleeping school

Where was this school when I needed it? I could have been first in my class.

I’m not sure what my class did in the afternoons as I was rarely with them in consciousness. I don’t remember falling behind, so maybe it was just a recap of the morning’s work. For all I know, it was free play all afternoon, or maybe the teacher led them in games of Let’s Shoot Spit Wads at the Sleepy Farm Kid. I was blissfully ignorant of the goings on around me, which makes me pine for the days when I could put my head down and fall asleep at my desk. The work day would go so much smoother if I could still sleep in that position.

Desk sleeping

“Arrgh! How do they expect me to sleep at such an uncomfortable desk?” (Image: Bayard Taylor)

By the second grade, I was staying awake all day. I’m not sure how that happened. It seems impossible that I could go to bed even earlier than I did in first grade. Maybe I matured, or maybe the second grade teacher made a habit of kicking my chair in the afternoons. It could be that the specter of cursive writing made it too hard to relax.

With all the stuff they throw at little kids in school these days, I doubt it’s a good idea to take the afternoons off anymore. If Kindergarten does start to wear my son down, we still have room to adjust his bed time. That should help him get through the day, but I don’t think he’ll like the idea at night. Hopefully, he’ll be too tired to raise a stink.

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15 comments on “Kindergarten’s first hard lesson: It’s a morning people’s world

  1. ksujulie says:

    I am the same way. If you ask Emma what is her least favorite thing about school she will say waking up early. I would rather the school day start at like 10 and it go to 5.

  2. Even though I am in college I am still having a terrible time getting up. One would have thought that being at university last year would have knocked it outta me…no…

  3. Tom W says:

    I guess your new boss hasn’t figured out what your old boss knew-Oh, just let his sleep at his desk for a few minutes, maybe he will not be so crabby when he wakes up.

  4. 1createblogs says:

    Nice post!

  5. Here in Brazil school either starts at 7:30am and goes until lunch, or starts just after lunch and finishes at 6pm. The parents usually get to decide, and if I have anythig to do with it we won’t be getting up at 6am every morning in order to get ready.

  6. Traci says:

    As a high school teacher, I’d really like to reinstate nap time … from 8-9:30 every morning.

  7. stacybuckeye says:

    This night owl mother is worried about her son. His teacher told me he is tired by 9:45 am. That’s an hour and a half of quality schoolin’!

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