Prepare yourself, I’m going to complain. Yes, it’s probably not healthy and it goes against my typically moderate stance on anything that gets posted on social media, but I’m doing it anyways.

I, Karin Riemer, mother of a kindergarten student, think that Kindergarten Gradual Entry is the worst!

Professionally, as an educator and an elementary school principal, I understand that gradual entry into kindergarten provides children with a smoother transition as they make the adjustment into a full day of school. I’ve read the research that states, “Kindergarten Gradual Entry is a developmental model of transition planning, emphasizing the interconnected relationships among the child, teachers, family, peers, and community that are developed across time.” (Pianta & Kraft-Sayre, 2003)

I know that teachers ease the transition so that children feel comfortable and valued as an important new member of the school community. I’ve seen kindergarten students have a better start to school with gradual entry when we introduce children gradually to classroom routines and procedures, as they adjust to the new social and emotional realities of the elementary school context.

Oh The Logistics!

What does this mean for my family?

Utter chaos and disruption.

From the perspective of a family with two working parents, it is such a logistical challenge. Not only did we need to arrange childcare for the three weeks before school started, we also have 9 school days to contend with before our kindergartener can attend full-time.

Of course, we make it work. We make it work because we know it’s what’s best for our kid, but…ugh!

If you ask my friends and family, they won’t hesitate to tell you that I’ve whined and complained a lot about Kindergarten Gradual Entry and my side hustle as a household logistics manager.

But Now It’s Time To Stop.

It’s time to stop because last week God did His thing, and in His goodness, and through His people, He reminded me that I have the privilege to complain.

There was a time, a very long time in fact, where my husband and I were in a sad and hopeless-feeling place that consisted of not having kids to love. We were envious of tired, busy parents who had children to nurture and care for.

Well-rested, stress-free, and with loads of free-time, we would have traded places with them in a heartbeat.

This year, we are blessed to be parents of a healthy and happy boy who is starting kindergarten and we love him so much!

Other aspects of parenting will be hard (harder even than gradual entry), and I know there will be things I complain about in the years to come, but I am going to be mindful about remaining grateful in the journey. 

Today, I will rejoice that I have something to complain about. Praise be to God.