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.
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.
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.