Being Carly

Redshirting, Preschool Problems, and Plain Old Bad Luck

Calvin William is having a rough time of it lately.


He’s been attending preschool and I was so excited for him to start because he’s never been to school before. His privileged sister got to start attending Montessori school at 18 months and was able to switch into a 2 year old class at a new preschool the year after that, but Mr. Summer Birthday just barely missed the cut off to join the 2 year old class and we were not about to drop another gut-sinking wad of cash into the Montessori that we weren’t too thrilled with.

Anyway, it has not gone well.

He didn’t want to go at all in the beginning once he realized that he’d be going by himself. Unlike Eva, Calvin doesn’t like to do things by himself. A lifetime of always having one family member within arm’s reach has led to a lot of resistance when it comes to solo activities. It’s been a touch of a handicap because he can’t do things like gymnastics lessons or library story time unless he can stay within a couple feet of one of us and that’s just a huge pain. Preschool was supposed to be the answer to this problem, though, so we pushed him out the door even though he was resistant.

First, they lost him. We still don’t know exactly what happened but I went to pick him up and he was in the parking lot by himself. He had left his classroom and the building during the chaos of pick up time and with everyone coming and going nobody noticed his absence until I brought him back in. Not his fault but there was still a lot of scolding because I didn’t want hi to do that again so he left school in tears.

Then, someone took his backpack. Just one of those things that happens but a really big deal to a three year old and not something he was able to comprehend. It was made worse by the fact that his teachers didn’t believe he had brought one and told him so when he kept insisting that he had, so he left school in tears again. And that was the beginning of him saying that he didn’t want to ever go back.

Neither of our kids do things they don’t want to do very often unless it’s something that has to do with being at the doctor. We’re with them most of the time and not many situations come up where we want them to do something in particular and it’s worth pushing. The closest has been long car rides but the kids are mellow about that so it’s barely worth mentioning. This is the first time that we’re really pushing either of them into something.

I want it to be a good thing for him and I’m committed to at least finishing out the month, but I have to admit that his sad little face is making me waffle on how committed I am to him finishing the year. I think I’m coming dangerously close to crazy helicopter mom overprotective mode, but he’s such a little bear and is it really necessary for me to send him out on his own at three? Would it be OK if I dropped him down to a younger kids program with shorter hours and less responsibility if that means academic redshirting for Kindergarten…especially when these problems don’t really have anything to do with his abilities? Am I currently the queen of first world suburban homemaker problems thanks to all these pregnancy hormones?

Blah. He’s so little.


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  • Reply Colene

    Does Kindergarten even take preschool in to account? If he moves to a younger preschool class now that doesn’t mean he can’t start Kindergarten when he is ready and meets the age requirement. And he is so little! And cute! And smart!

    September 14, 2016 at 3:09 pm
  • Reply Mary Beth

    It’s a tough decision. But it’s not just pregnancy hormones. My earliest memories are of having a hard time with teachers/students when I started school- so I’m so sad for poor Calvin- and I’m not pregnant! It’s a tough choice- but I wouldn’t worry about red shirting too much. According to my friends red shirting is a lot more common than it was when we were kids- and it’s not even just Summer kids. I know one six year old who just started kindergarten and his class is entirely designed for and populated with red shirt kindergarteners.

    September 14, 2016 at 3:19 pm
    • Reply Carly Morgan

      That’s so interesting that there were enough kids to do a special K class designed around redshirted kids. I actually kind of love that!

      September 15, 2016 at 5:05 pm
  • Reply Susannah

    Maybe his preschool isnt the right one for him. I work at a preschool/daycare, and not every setting is right for every child. But if he is socially and academically on track, have a serious talk with the school about those issues. Those sound like school issues, not Calvin issues…

    September 14, 2016 at 7:21 pm
    • Reply Carly Morgan

      Yeah, it worked for his sister but he’s having a completely different experience. We’re exploring our options…

      September 15, 2016 at 5:04 pm
  • Reply Rebecca

    I have to agree with Susannah – I don’t think the teacher dealt with the situation very well and to let him wander off could even be considered a little negligent on their part – perhaps seek out an alternative with better care?

    September 15, 2016 at 7:50 am
    • Reply Carly Morgan

      Oh it was a lot negligent. They blamed first day of school chaos but that’s not an excuse.

      September 15, 2016 at 5:03 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    I mean this in the nicest way, but what kind of crap school is he going to?! You found your son alone in the parking lot. Again, your son was alone, unsupervised, and his absence went unnoticed. I would’ve raised so much hell.

    And then his teacher basically reduces him to tears by not believing him? Would you be thrilled about going back? (And I’m well aware little ones aren’t the most reliable bunch, but don’t they have their own cubby or hook?)

    I’m very much a “suck it up, buttercup, we honor our commitments” person/mom, but I’d pull him if I were in that situation. Not because of Calvin, but because of the school. Besides, he doesn’t need preschool yet. Wait for pre-k, let him enjoy being a kid at home and with his family. It’s amazing what a year of growth could do for his independence!

    September 15, 2016 at 7:55 am
    • Reply Carly Morgan

      Yes, there was much hell around to be raised. The crazy thing is that this isn’t a new school for us. Eva went there for 3 years and 99% of her experience was wonderful. So this just felt like a bizarre fluke…but a pretty bad one. If we were brand new to the school we would have been out after the first day, but now we’re hung up on the fence.

      September 15, 2016 at 5:02 pm

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