It’s officially five more days until HJ begins 1st grade. Coming to this moment has been somewhat of a tumultuous journey, considering that we had wanted to hold her back two years ago before she entered kindergarten. But because she receives special education services from the public school and has an IEP (individualized education plan), our school district strongly encouraged us to have her begin kindergarten on time (even with her late summer birthday).
Then, this past year, we made another go of holding her back. She was doing well in kindergarten, but still not reading and still behind her general education peers. I thought that another year of kindergarten in a general education class might be the best transition. Despite our efforts to convince the district to allow HJ to have another year of kindergarten, they basically said that was not their policy and refused our request. Long story short, we even hired a lawyer to make our case, but in the end, we had to give in since the school was the one giving her the services.
And this is all to say, I didn’t really want her to start first grade this year.
Nevertheless, here we are. Five days before school. And now it’s time for me to put on a brave face and show my daughter that she is ready for this big step. It’s time for me to do whatever I can to help her be prepared.
It’s a good thing we get lots of practical advice from HJ’s counselors and therapists. Otherwise, I would be living in denial and it would be the night before the first day of school, and I would suddenly be saying, “Oh my god, what have I forgotten to do?”
Here are five easy tips that I’m rapidly trying to implement before school begins next week. Five because we have five days left. And easy because that’s about all we have the time and energy for now.