Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kutting Kindergarten

When our older son started kindergarten, many parents were having a tough time watching their children start a new chapter in their lives. Since he was attending the afternoon class, he would only be gone for two and a half hours which was the same schedule as preschool. This was a natural progression, so our only concerns were learning our way around the building, and getting the carpool there on time. From our son's point of view, he was just happy to have high bars to hang onto during recess.

I'll never forget our first parent - teacher conference, when his teacher raved about how well he was doing. She said that he was a pleasure in class, and was excelling at writing the alphabet and math. She was sure that he would be reading by the end of the year. After the meeting, we took our son and his little brother out for ice cream to celebrate.

The following spring, it was time for another conference with his kindergarten teacher. As she reiterated how much she enjoyed having him in her class, she paused when she was halfway down the review form. She looked at me with complete seriousness and told me that he was not performing well with a scissors. She was concerned, because he had difficulty keeping up with the other kids during art projects. I don't know how I made it home from that meeting, as I was in complete shock.

My mom was at our house babysitting, so I told her the news and asked her to practice cutting with him, while I gave our younger son a bath. As I was filling up the bathtub with bubbles, wild thoughts were racing through my mind. What if my son who graduated from preschool with honors, had to spend an extra year in kindergarten, because he couldn't  cut it?  Where was Edward Scissorhands when I needed him?

A few days later, his teacher called to tell me how skillful he had become with a scissors. She may have noticed that I was slightly concerned during our conference, when I looked as though I was about to spontaneously combust.

The following year as he began first grade, she began teaching third grade. It would have been nice if he had a warm and nurturing teacher in kindergarten, but maybe she gave him the push he needed to be a cut above the rest.


  1. Breezing by on the A-Z train, your post reminded me the first day my son started nursery, I remember walking away with him at the window crying and me crying...I worried how he would cope without me. As a strapping 16 year old he is such a blessing. Amanda

    Amanda - Realityarts-Creativity
    Art Blog

  2. I found it hard when in turn each of my children started kindergarten.As you say it's a new part of their lives and is hard to adjust.
    I enjoyed your post.


  3. I remember it being difficult for me when each of our daughters started preschool- they attended a Mother's Morning out at the church and I was devastated. But I believed that this would all help develop their social skills so that, once they entered kindergarten, things would be a bit easier. For them because it was still hard for me. LOL

  4. Ah yes - kindergarten. I loved it when my daughter was that age. It brings back very fond memories.

  5. Ha Ha, as a teacher I really enjoyed that!

  6. I'm still lousy with scissors and yet somehow I've managed to limp my way through life.

  7. great story---i wasn't good with scissors and am still not!

  8. In every single conference I had with my son's teachers, from kindergarten thru middle school, they all said his penmanship was terrible. He's fifteen now and he still can't write his letters so anyone can read his words without a Rosetta Stone to help them. But he's an honor student and likes school. He just has to write everything on a computer. :)

  9. Oh my gosh, how relevant this post is'll understand after you read (or if) my post today! Kindergarten teachers can make all the difference in the world and so foundational for both kids and parents! Great post...for more ways than one :)

  10. I love Edward Scissorhands. I thought for sure your son was going to take the scissors to his hair. Not that my kids would ever do that, definitely not more than twice. :)

  11. I'm a mother of 5 grown daughters now. It's great remembering them as little children.

    Now following your heartfelt posts.

    Doing A to Z

  12. I'm horrible with scissors. Can't cut straight to save my life. I can't imagine that being something that would flunk him from kindergarten (I would hope not at least!). But glad to see he's much better with them now. :)

  13. So glad your son mastered the scissors. I'd never thought about that skill as a prerequisite for moving up in the grades, so I've learned something new here. Loved your story and its happy ending.

  14. I'm still horrible at scissors! Thank goodness for machines that cut straight lines for crafting...otherwise, I'd be otu of luck.

    Loved this story! :)

  15. When my oldest son was in kindergarten the teacher was concerned that he didn't color between the lines. She thought he had bad eyes. But, his dad offered to buy ice cream if he would color in the lines for him. He did. The teacher thought we were miracle workers.

  16. on the upside she wasn't concerned that he was too good at scissors due to him cutting hair ;) My son was convinced for the longest time that scissors were just for cutting hair.

    *~ MAJK ~*
    Twitter @safireblade
    A TO Z Blog Challenge

  17. All he needed was a little instruction and practice.

  18. Amanda - I agree that the first time they went to nursery school was more emotional than kindergarten! Thanks for following me and I hope to see more of you!

    Yvonne - Whenever they started anything new it was a big adjustment for the whole family.

    Empty Nester - I also did a "Mom's Morning Away" class when I was pregnant with my younger son, so that my older son wouldn't feel like I was sending him off to preschool to spend more time with his little brother.

    Mary - It does go by so fast.

    Thanks Mind The Gap!

    Delores - Don't ask me to even cut coupons. It's the same whether I cut them or rip them out!

    Lynn - I knew I liked you!

    L.G. - Thank goodness for computers! My younger son has always had poor penmanship and he gets it from me. In fact, my next post is on that subject. Glad your son is doing so well now, and you remember the old joke about deciphering doctors' scripts! Thanks L.G.!

    Tracy - The suspense is killing me! I'll head over soon!

    Tonja - Fortunately they never did that. Although my younger son let his fraternity brother cut his hair a few times, but at least it grew back!

    Shelly - Wow five daughters must have made for some pretty interesting stories growing up! Thanks for following me and I look forward to getting to know you!

    Valerie - I started out by saying how calm I was about him starting kindergarten and then I fell apart with the scissors episode. The only danger of him flunking kindergarten was in my head. Thanks Valerie!

    Lee - I don't think it was really a "prerequisite," but it got me pretty rattled me at the time! Thanks Lee!

    Kristi - I can trim my bangs in a jam, but that's about it! Thanks for following me and I hope to see more of you!

    Yvonne S. - Ice cream does work miracles!

    MAJK - I'm so glad we didn't have to go through that! Although your son could've turned into a successful hair stylist!

    Alex - Yes, that's what did the trick! It all went uphill from there!

  19. My son was never good with scissors, or anything to do with his fine motor skills. (His Tourettes affected him that was when he was very young. His handwriting is still atrocious! Even at 17!! Some things never change.

  20. I remember the principle saying to me when I brought my first child to school for his first day "cut those apron strings." She had such a mean face as I recall. I bet she was great with the scissors ;)

  21. A prostate exam from Edward Scissorhands.
    It's a nightmare I have.

  22. Nancy - So glad he's doing well now, and has his pick of colleges to choose from! Fortunately handwriting isn't as important anymore, but I'm still blogging about mine for "L." Thanks Nancy!

    Jen - That was a nasty thing to say especially on the very first day of school! You're probably right about the scissors! Thanks Jen!

    Al - It might pinch a little, but at least it would be quick! Thanks for being such a "crack up" Al! Julie

  23. I still remember going through Kinder drama. Everyone needs an Edward! thanks for visiting me yesterday,

    1. Debra, Yes Edward would've been very helpful, and he would've gotten extra credit for his creative landscaping! Thanks Debra!

  24. Wow, I'm surprised that scissor skills would have been a concern in kindergarten. I'd never heard of that as a concern before. I think we were very lucky that my son had several wonderful teachers throughout his school years.