Today (Thursday) is the last day of school. Wow, kindergarten went by so quickly! I can’t believe it’s over already. It’s pretty amazing how much RB40Jr learned in one school year. He can read almost anything now and his writing is a lot better than last year. Just this morning he read on TV – “man shot and killed.” Okay kid, good job reading… He’s great with math and PE as well. On the other hand, he still doesn’t like art, music, dance, and other creative activities. Oh well, you can’t be good at everything.
All in all, kindergarten was a fantastic 9 months for me. Seriously, it was like a nice dream. However, RB40Jr didn’t enjoy school as much as I did and he’s really looking forward to the summer break. Whoa, we have such opposite points of view. I guess I’m too old now and forgot what school was like.
SAHD much easier
It isn’t hard to see why parents love the school year. Life is so much easier when kids are in school. Parents can have a little time for themselves instead of supervising the kids all day long. As for me, I have a lot more time to exercise (19 pull ups!), run errands, and work on Retire by 40. Blogging has been so much easier this year because I had bigger blocks of time to concentrate. When our kid is home, it’s impossible to write. I’d have to do that after he is asleep. It is great to have a little time to read and relax as well. Being a stay-at-home dad is great, but it’s so much easier when RB40Jr is in school.
Truthfully, spending all day with a rambunctious kid can really wear you out. Our kid has so much energy and he wants one of us to play with him constantly. We just can’t keep up with him. He loves to run around, jump, throw stuff, yell, and be noisy. This is fine outside, but it drives me a little nuts when he does this inside all day long. At least the weather is getting nicer now so we can play outside and go swimming. Actually, I’m looking forward to spending a little more time outdoors.
Kindergarten has been awesome because I could do my own things until he gets off the school bus at 2:45 pm. Spending half a day with him is just about the perfect amount of time. We don’t get on each other’s nerves as much.
Kindergarten was tough
On the other hand, kindergarten was tough for RB40Jr. He went to preschool 4 days/week so I didn’t think he would have such a hard time with the transition. I think the big problem is that he is pretty stubborn. If he doesn’t like a certain activity, then he won’t put any effort into it. He has no interest in art, music, dancing, and those types of activities so he avoided them. The teachers want the kids to try their best so that’s one source of conflict. Anyway, here are the highlights from his kindergarten career.
- Hitting incidents – The first 3 weeks of kindergarten was a huge adjustment for RB40Jr. He had many arguments with the kids in his class and he’d hit them… The hitting incidents culminated with him hitting his teacher. She has been a kindergarten teacher for 6 years and this was first time a kid hit her. The teacher was shocked and sent him straight to the principal. That one must have clicked because he hasn’t hit anyone since then. At least she was fast enough to turn and didn’t get punched in the crotch like his preschool teacher did…
- His best friend left – This one was a bit sad. He finally made a best friend after things calmed down a bit. However, that best friend got banned by President Trump and never came back to school. Well, I’m not sure if he got banned, that’s just speculation on my part. The kid’s dad was a college student from one of the banned countries and the timing was right around the first ban. Maybe he just finished his studies.
- Frequent visits to the front office – RB40Jr was one of those frequent visitors to the front office. He was sent to see the principal a few times at the beginning of the year for the hitting incidents. He also dropped by the nurse’s office quite often to get patched up. The kid is fast, but a little klutzy. That’s a bad combo on the playground… Recently, he was sent to the principal’s office for sticking his tongue out at the music teacher. She wanted him to practice a performance dance routine and he refused. Oh well, at least the staff knows him now and they can help keep an eye on him. I really hope we don’t have to hear from the office as often next year. Oh, he also got pulled out of class for coughing too much once. There was a whooping cough alert and the nurse sent him home until the pediatrician could clear him. Thankfully, it was just a bad cough.
Anyway, he never enjoyed school much because it is “boring.” He prefers to do his own things so he’s really looking forward to summer. This is a little disconcerting because other kids seem to love kindergarten. That’s bad news for RB40Jr because he has at least 12 years of school left and possibly much more than that. Hopefully, he’ll start liking school more next year.
Another reason why I love our public school is because we don’t have to pay for preschool! Our monthly expenses are down in comparison to 2016 and we’re ahead about $3,000 YTD. We’re doing very well with our cash flow this year because our expenses are down while our income increased. That’s the recipe to building wealth. Anyway, we’ll be back to spending more money over the summer with childcare and vacations. That’s alright because it should balance out by the end of the year. Summer will be a lot of fun, though.
Summer is a great time to be in the Pacific Northwest. The weather is just about perfect and there are a ton of fun things to do. RB40Jr will have a great mix of scheduled activities and free time. Here is our summer plan, check it out.
- Half day summer camp. I’m going to sign him up for half day summer camp at the community center every other week or so. This is basically childcare from 9 am to 1 pm. It’s not too expensive at $110 per week.
- Day camps at the zoo. This one should be a ton of fun. It costs $60 for a full day of fun activities at the zoo. Kids will explore the zoo with the keepers and learn a ton about animals and how the zoo works. I signed him up for two days over the summer.
- Visit Southern CA. We’re heading down to visit Mrs. RB40’s family near Palm Springs for a week in July. Then, we have another week in Long Beach, CA in August. Mrs. RB40 has a business trip and we decided to join her. These two trips will probably cost around $2,000 total.
- Camping at the beach. I’ve been looking forward to this camping trip all year long. Our camp site is in the path of the total solar eclipse and it should be an awe-inspiring experience. We may have to drive a bit if the weather is bad, though… This camping trip shouldn’t cost too much because we’ll drive. Maybe around $300 tops.
- Lots of local fun activities. We’ll go see free concerts, outdoor movies, and a bunch of other events. There is a big sandcastle contest at the beach this weekend. Then next weekend, we have a milk carton boat race nearby. There will be plenty of fun activities to enjoy this summer.
Man, no wonder RB40Jr likes the summer break better than school. He’ll have a lot of fun over the next few months. When I was a kid, we pretty much spent the summer at the library and the swimming pool. My parents were usually too busy working to have fun with us.
Thanks you to the teachers and staff
Lastly, I’d like to say that we really appreciate RB40Jr’s teachers, aids, and office staff. Our kid can be a handful and they helped him a lot this year. His teacher is a saint for putting up with 28 crazy kids every weekday. I’m sure they are all looking forward to summer break, too.
Okay, the 5th graders are having a year-end kickball game at school today and I’m off to chaperone my kindergarten class. Have a great summer! Do you have any fun plans this year?
Image credit: Tomas Del Coro