Kindergarteners Want to Stay Home

So, I’m feeling a little more guilty these days. Well, more guilty than usual about the time my son spends in the car driving from one activity to the next. Last year as a preschooler he loved a ride in the van as he was home with me all day. Some days we had a packed schedule during the day while other days it was bo-ring, so he was ecstatic to get out and see something knew.

This year is different. He’s up early often after a later bedtime than usual. A full-day of school is a strain for a 5- going on 6-year-old. His sisters both had half-day kindergarten. He has morning work, reading group, math, specials, lunch, and not to mention recess. By the time the bus arrives at the end of the driveway he is pooped…ready for play and a little TV.

But he has homework every night — reading, sight words, and sometimes math. And his sisters have activities to go to. Some days I leave him with his 13-year-old sister while I take the 10-year-old to her activity, but other times the 13 yo really needs to get her homework done.

It is a difficult situation — a real lose/lose situation — that I have not found a solution for. I don’t think there is one. The bottom line is that the girls have activities and at 6 he is too little to stay home alone. So, off to the activities he goes. Thank goodness for t-ball. I hesitated to sign him up as it felt like one more thing for us to get to, but the sight of him in his t-ball uniform beaming with pride was priceless.

Another source of stress to him is that he gets frustrated at not seeing his Daddy. Two nights a week his dad comes home and leaves almost immediately to go to practice. He is very much a Daddy’s boy. From being a little baby he has preferred his dad to anyone else. I’m not offended in the slightest. I’m glad they have a strong relationship. The problem — you know there would have to be a problem — is he doesn’t understand why Daddy does not stay home every night. It’s hard to explain that Daddy has to take sister to practice.

When his sisters were this age, a crazy, hectic, busy weeknight schedule might have included ballet and tap on one night and, well, nothing else. We are busy Monday through Thursday and Saturday and Sunday. Friday is our lone night with no activities, but you can bet that a middle school dance or something else will crop up on a Friday.

It will be a relief for all of us to have all our Spring activities end and herald the start of summer
we could do with the rest!

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