Holden has and likely always will be a strange kid. He has weird observations, he says weird things, he wanted to go to the dentist- and his newest obsession is going to school. ALL he has done for the past week has been to talk about how he wants to go to school.
He’s even gone so far as to convince himself that there is a bus coming for him. So he gets his bookbag (which he got as a Christmas present and I just keep some workbooks and coloring books in), puts his shoes on (which he has NEVER done on his own before) and stands by the door. And he will stay by the door until you FORCE him away from it. He insists there is a bus coming, and that he is GOING to school. Yesterday he even went as far as to unlock and open the front door and to walk outside, talk about a panicked moment as a mom. Walking out the front door is NEVER something a 3 1/2 year old should do, yikes.
I’ve been looking into preschool for him for a while now, and i’ve always found that either it’s far too expensive, or we don’t qualify for it. Here in Virginia, like many other states, we have a program called “Head Start”- which will take preschool aged children and below for free. Once they get to the age of 4 and until kindergarden aged, it turns into another program called “First Start.”
I had a feeling, because we no longer qualify for WIC, that Holden wouldn’t qualify for Head Start, being that it’s solely based on income. Even though we are a 4 person family now, still living off of a single income, programs like WIC and Headstart only look at gross income instead of expendable, so it just didn’t seem likely that we’d be able to get Holden in.
After hearing Holden talk nonstop about school all week, Thomas took it upon himself to call around to see if there was anything we could get Holden into. Surprise, surprise- we don’t qualify for Head Start. So then he was re-directed for the people who run the First Start program- and they don’t have any evaluation times left, even though the school year doesn’t start until September. Sigh…
Even if they did, the bigger issue seems to me that First Start isn’t first come first serve, it’s Head Start kids first, and everyone else later; that’s even fewer spots available. The lady on the phone indicated that we may be able to get Holden in anyways, but I just don’t think it’s likely.
I just don’t know how to tell the kid that he may not be able to go to school. I can’t imagine him standing at the front door begging me to let him go to school, and to have to tell him over and over again that he can’t go. A kid who WANTS to learn should be supported, it should be praised- and I try to have learning time with him every day where we work in his workbooks, but it’s just not enough for him. He wants to go to a classroom with other kids, and learn from a teacher- and I just don’t know if I can make that happen for him, and that’s sad for me.
There should be a public preschool for EVERYONE. Not just those with incomes low enough to get under a restriction, and not just those who got into one of those programs previously, it doesn’t really seem fair. I certainly can’t afford hundreds of dollars a month, even a week, to send Holden to preschool. It’s unreal the amount people have to pay for education these days, when I fully believe that if someone WANTS an education, they should be able to get it, regardless of whether they can afford it or not, regardless of whether they are “low income” or not. What about those of us who appear to make more because of gross, but have FAR less when it comes to expendable? Where do we fit in?
On the other side, i’m not sure i’m ready for my baby to be off and going to school yet. I’ve never been away from him for more than a few hours, minus the time I was in the hospital giving birth to Parker. I will be a very sad Mommy once I have to send him off to school- even though I think it would do both he and Parker some serious good.
Color me sentimental!
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