My son is now a kindergartener. He started kindergarten last Thursday. Right away on his first day of school, he got a time-out. As we approached his second day of school, he had a tree-nut allergic episode. Oh well! It looks like we are heading down the wrong path.
The nurse called me on his third day of school. I was thinking: Oh God! Please don’t tell me that he had an asthma attack. By the way, I don’t pray. It’s a figure of speech. Anyway, she told me that I might have to pack his lunch, and take him off the school lunch program. I tried to negotiate my way out of that, as my son is a very picky eater. He will not eat what I prepare for him. He pretty much just eats fruits, plain rice, plain noodle, pasta without any topping (not even the cheese on top of it), and yogurt at home. Maybe his body is acting as a defense, telling him not to try anything strange, in case it will trigger any allergic reaction. I did manage to get the nurse to agree on my plan to have him eat the main course only, without any dessert for a couple of days.
The next day, I discussed the plan with the teacher. She advised against that, indicating that the school would not have adequate resource to screen food contents. I analyzed to her the risk of malnutrition vs. the risk of getting tree nut allergy attack following my plan. She agreed to talk to the nurse.
By the end of the fifth school day, lying in my inbox was a letter from the speech pathologist. My son has to attend the ESL class to improve his English vocabulary. Can’t say if I was expecting it or not. He had attended speech class while he was a preschooler, due to the fact (but not entirely) that we speak primarily Chinese to him at home. My husband and I thought that attending the ESL class might be good for him as he would get at least some hours from the teacher dedicated solely for him.
For the after school programs, I have enrolled my son in the weekly Chinese and Spanish classes. I still believe that being multi-lingual is good to a kid’s brain development.
We have survived our first week of school. The good news is that his English vocabulary is the only area needing improvement (based on the assessment).
Final thought: I should probably spend more time with my kids, helping them with their academics. The first step is to cut back his TV watching time and increase his reading time. My daughter is a much better learner. Unlike my son, she likes to interact with people and mimics what we said. It helps her to pick up a lot of vocabulary along the way. In addition, she doesn’t like to watch TV. Isn’t that something! Anyway, I do love them equally or at least trying to.