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Kindergarten Is Over & School’s Out!


Kindergarten is over & School's out!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.

Higher expenses

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.

monthly expense

Summer plans

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

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.

Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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{ 51 comments… add one }
  • Ernie Zelinski June 15, 2017, 1:30 am

    You ask, “Do you have any fun plans this year?”

    Yeah, Sunday June 18 is my birthday (along with Paul McCartney’s).

    June 18 is also National Splurge Day.

    So I plan to spend around $1,000 for a dinner and expensive wine for nine of my friends and I at a fine restaurant on Sunday. (As one of my favorite gurus Werner Erhard used to say, “There’s only one reason for money — and that’s to spend it!)

    That’s just the start of my summer fun but I am too lazy (that’s what I specialize in) to tell you more aside from letting you know about this 45-minute keynote presentation about “The Joy of Not Working” to 1,200 career practitioners in Orlando on June 29 which will earn me $3,000 plus first-class expenses including Business Class travel and 3 nights at the Marriott in Orlando.


    Getting a gig like this is one more benefit of writing a bestselling book. The great thing about getting this gig is I get to stop in Montreal after the gig for 3 nights to take in the Montreal Jazz and Blues Festival, then fly home in Business Class, hopefully with the seat beside me empty. (I have developed a strategy to increase the chances of the seat beside me being empty in Business Class — and I have been batting better than .500 lately.)

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:37 am

      Happy Birthday! Enjoy your party. It should be a lot of fun.
      The gig sounds great too.

  • Grant @ Life Prep Couple June 15, 2017, 2:14 am

    Hates art and dance but loves math and science. Sounds like someone has a bright future 😉 Some kids have a balance of the two but most tend to gravitate one way or the other.

    Camping and seeing the solar eclipse sounds awesome. A fellow nerd and I have been talking about going down to South Caroline so we are on the direct path. Raleigh is roughly 95% so I might have to settle for that.

    No huge plans for us. Couple lake trips and hopefully a beach trip or two.

    And killer work on 19 pull ups. You gotta upload a video once you hit 20!

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:38 am

      You really should drive a bit to see totality. I read that it’s an experience of a lifetime. When’s the next time you’ll have a chance to see total eclipse? I read that 95% is no comparison. 🙂

  • Finances with Purpose June 15, 2017, 2:17 am

    You’re really not selling me on the kid thing, Joe. I can understand your boy, though, I think: boys like being outside, exploring, doing things, and messing around…a lot more than sitting in a cold room eight hours per day. It’s a challenge. I still struggle to sit in an office all day….ergo, part of the motivation for an early retirement plan.

    Sounds like your boy is a prime candidate for martial arts training: he’d learn to hold off on the hitting while obtaining some great life skills; could be a win-win.

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:39 am

      Sorry about that… We thought our kid will be easy going and listen to what we say, but we were wrong… Yeap, RB40Jr is so energetic. He can’t even sit still to have dinner. He is in a Wushu class twice per week. 🙂

  • Michael @ Financially Alert June 15, 2017, 2:18 am

    Happy summer to you, Joe! My daughter starts Kindergarten in a couple of months. She’s super excited. Fingers crossed I don’t get called into the principal’s office anytime soon. 😉

    Summer is going to be busy. We are headed up to Mammoth Lakes to do some fishing, followed by a camping trip to Yosemite, followed by yet another Mammoth trip. A day after, I’m volunteering a whole week at the Tony Robbin’s Global Youth Leadership Summit, and then will top off the summer with a trip to Panama for some deep sea fishing… whew. I’m getting tired just thinking about it. 😉

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:41 am

      I’m sorry to generalize, but girls behave much better at this age. Boys are crazy.
      Your summer sounds great! I want to visit Yosemite again, but haven’t had a chance in the recent years.

      • Wilson June 15, 2017, 11:15 am

        I can mostly confirm the girls generally behave more mildly physically at that age, although I can see cliquish behavior starting already with my just finished kindergarten daughter. I volunteered at the elementary school last month during a teacher appreciation day and ended up monitoring recess for K-3. Man, were those older boys rambunctious. Even when they were playing nicely bodies were flying, colliding, and falling all over. One kid was a serial kicker, and not at the soccer ball. I came away with new appreciation for teachers after those 2 hours.

  • Mr. Tako June 15, 2017, 3:59 am

    I can totally relate Joe! One of my sons is really stubborn too, and always getting into trouble.

    We start school next year (!!), so I’m anticipating all the incidents that a stubborn boy is going to get into. It’ll be really great not to have those childcare costs though!

    Having all that free time is gonna be great!

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:42 am

      Good luck! I’m sure kindergarten will be great. We had some problems, but it was still a great year. Our teacher is awesome.

  • Mrs. Adventure Rich June 15, 2017, 4:08 am

    Congratulations on the “Kindergarten is Over!” piece and have a blast in SoCal and camping!

    We are excited to host family at our new home this summer and share our beautiful area with them! Our actual vacation will be heading a few hours north to Mackinac Island in September for some R&R after the summer is over (summer and winter are really busy for my husband who works at a resort).

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:47 am

      Sounds like a busy summer. Must be strange to so busy during summer. Everybody else is trying to squeeze in all the fun they could. Personally, I like traveling in the fall too. It’s so much less crowded and cheaper…

  • Mustard Seed Money June 15, 2017, 4:09 am

    My kid is about to turn two. So we have a little ways to go but it will be fun to see how adjusts to school. I personally found school to be a bit boring at times and could totally relate to hating the arts and creative side of things. I was happy to do math all day. Hopefully my son is more well rounded than me 🙂

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:48 am

      At this age, he likes reading. We’ll do a lot of that over the summer. Math is good too. We’ll play a lot of board games that require simple math.

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance June 15, 2017, 4:28 am

    Wow RB40 Jr. seems to have a strong personality. It’s amazing that he likes math and can read well. That’s all I’m hoping from Baby FAF at the moment. I didn’t like art or music either.

    I can’t wait until Baby FAF can go to pre-K so that we don’t have to pay for school. Daycare will be one of our two biggest expenses (besides the mortgage)!

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:49 am

      I like music and I’m sure he’ll come around. It’s good that the teachers require them to do different things. At least, they find out whether they like that particular activity or not. Yeah, daycare is ridiculously expensive.

  • Apathy Ends June 15, 2017, 4:32 am

    We are in the middle of a 4 weekend completely booked streak, a lot of it is fun but I would prefer to spread it out over the summer.

    I wasn’t a fan of Dance or Art either….. Sometimes I wonder why we force kids to do stuff they obviously aren’t into – seems like a recipe for boredom leading to mischief

    28 kindergarteners, teachers earn every penny, I would be done in a day

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:50 am

      That’s a huge class. I couldn’t handle that many kids either. We gave her a bottle of wine today. 🙂

  • Karen B. June 15, 2017, 4:38 am

    Enjoyed the article. Remember Joe, time goes by in a flash. Before you know it, your son will be a teenager, and you will be longing for days, like the ones you will be spending with him this summer. So, have fun with him and enjoy it.

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:51 am

      Ugh! I’m not looking forward to the teenage years at all. We already argue a lot. It is going to suck…

  • Mrs. Groovy June 15, 2017, 4:54 am

    Can’t say I blame Jr. for refusing to practice a performance dance routine. He’s already a non-conformist and knows his priorities.

    Next week Mr. Groovy and I are meeting Fritz from Retirement Manifesto in the mountains of Georgia. The guys will be picking up litter while the wives drink some girly cocktail. In the fall we have a trip to Montana planned (and will also visit Ms. Montana from Montana Money Adventures). This weekend we’re visiting the folks for Father’s Day and taking in our cousin’s minor league baseball game at the Mudcats Stadium.

    Happy Fathers Day, Joe!

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:52 am

      Enjoy your trips! We’re heading out to the beach for Fathers day. Should be a lot of fun.

  • The Tepid Tamale June 15, 2017, 5:08 am

    School’s Out for Summer! My kid’s are really excited that school is done for the summer. I am sure it will be a big shift for you, but enjoy it as much as you can, they grow up very quickly, and you never get the good parts of this time back!

    We do have some plans. We are going to try something crazy over the 4th of July, backpacking for 2 nights, with all 5 kids. That should prove to be pretty interesting! (We do have a couple other more relaxing trips planned for the summer also.) We have a ton of fun planned, and most of it is pretty low cost.

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:53 am

      I’ll take it easy this summer and enjoy the time. Probably share more about fun stuff on the blog. 🙂
      Sounds like a great summer! Enjoy.

  • Budget on a Stick June 15, 2017, 5:30 am

    Sounds like a busy summer! Our summer will just be tending to the new baby. I forgot how awesome baby snuggles are.

    I am very excited for when the first born moves to public school. Super charged retirement accounts!!!!

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:53 am

      Congratulations! We spent one summer tending a baby too. It was an enjoyable experience, but I wouldn’t want to repeat it. 🙂

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher June 15, 2017, 5:57 am

    Aww, I’m so sorry that Junior doesn’t like school. 🙁 It makes me sad to hear that. Hopefully the summer will be good for him. Way to go with all of the fun summer activities too!

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:54 am

      I can’t understand that either. He has a lot of fun playing with friends in school. That’s a lot better than hanging out with me. Crazy kid. 🙂

  • Martin Stone June 15, 2017, 7:58 am

    The next 12 years will go by even quicker!

    Your son sounds like a highly intelligent young man and is probably bored with many of the activities at kindergarten – that should improve over time as real work kicks in.

    Interesting how he stopped hitting after he hit the teacher and saw the principal. His bad behavior may stop as he matures a little bit more, or he needs stronger words and follow through when he misbehaves.

    My wife is a preschool teacher – it can be brutal!

    Good luck for the summer.

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:56 am

      I hope he’ll be more engaged with more learning. They did a lot of stuff that he isn’t interested in this year.
      I think he finally got familiar with the new environment. It’s really hard for him to deal with new settings. Hopefully, he doesn’t regress next year…

  • Money Beagle June 15, 2017, 8:17 am

    Congrats. Our kids are finishing tomorrow, 2nd grade and kindergarten. As soon as the kids get off the bus, we’re heading out camping. My daughter is turning 6 today and we always go camping on the weekend closest to her birthday. She requests it now!

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:57 am

      Great! Enjoy your camping trip. It’s a bit too early here for camping. We usually wait until July. It’s still rains occasionally in June and Mrs. RB40 hates camping when it’s wet.

  • Lazy Man and Money June 15, 2017, 8:17 am

    I feel you. My oldest son has been out of school for two weeks and camp doesn’t start until next week. I’ve been on full-time childcare until the kids go to sleep. Then I have to catch up on other responsibilities. It’s been almost impossible to squeeze in the blog.

    He “challenged” his pre-school teacher as well. Seems like much of the same stuff… stubbornness of wanting to do what only what he wants to do. By the end of the year, it seems he had come around quite a bit. Maybe it’s just a phase that boys go through?

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2017, 9:59 am

      Just a few more days! You can do it.
      Boys seems to be more difficult to handle at this age. Girls behave so much better in general.
      Hopefully, he’ll settle down more next year.

  • Laura June 15, 2017, 11:48 am

    Your little guy sounds an awful lot like mine (he’s going on 14 now). Other camps for future years to look into that ours likes/liked include YMCA Sports Camps and Trackers. The park & rec service also has some outdoor day camps as well that are very affordable.

    Hope you have a great summer!

    • retirebyforty June 16, 2017, 5:01 pm

      The trackers camp sounds neat, but it is so expensive. I think $300/week. Kind of ridiculous.
      Park & rec is a lot more affordable.

  • Tim Kim @ Tub of Cash June 15, 2017, 3:01 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with your kid =) Not that you said there was anything wrong. But just wanted to add my two cents. I was very similar. Super hyper, active, 110% energy, and drove people wild. Ran around kicking people for no reason. Got into trouble quite a bit. Everyone’s different, and everyone has different interests. And at that age who really knows the development process and what route it’ll go. Boys are pretty wild too generally speaking. Girls are a lot more mellow. Or at least that’s what I’ve noticed among the kids of our friends. The girls are all so well behaved and the boys are just crazy. Thanks for sharing!

    • retirebyforty June 16, 2017, 5:02 pm

      Yeah, but hitting other kids aren’t tolerate these days. If he kept hitting other kids, there would have been a lot of repercussion. Luckily he stopped. Boys are so hyper… 🙂

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life June 15, 2017, 6:03 pm

    JuggerBaby isn’t old enough to be sent to the principal’s office but ze has had a similar experience with biting this year to RBJr’s hitting incidents. And the hitting, OMG, ze just smacked a kid right in the face this week. Oh and ze told me that ze pinched zir friend yesterday! I’d be worried but I was just as aggressive as a young child to perceived and actual slights, and woe betide the kid who tried to bully me. Ze is so aggressive I’m a little worried that ze will turn into a bully if this keeps up but from what I can see, this seems to be in line with this age group? And JuggerBaby’s ability to sit still during dinner is directly proportional to how entertaining we are. On a tired day, that’s less than 5 minutes! I wonder if you’d have more success if you invited a friend of his over for dinner, or a cousin if you have one conveniently nearby. JB sits through as long a dinner as you can ask for if there’s another kid to watch.

    I won’t comment on the gender part because ze is anonymous online but you’ve met zir so I’ll leave that to your data gathering 🙂

    This is why I don’t begrudge the daycare teachers’ annual gifts – they really earn them herding those masses of children every day!

    I hope he finds something to enjoy during his school days as he gets older, it’s hard for a kid to be stuck in school all day when you don’t enjoy it at all.

    • retirebyforty June 16, 2017, 5:04 pm

      Some kids did that at our school too. They grow out of it pretty quickly, though. I’m sure your kid will be fine. Our kid is terrible at sitting still. He never liked those high chairs and we stopped using them pretty quickly. He is getting a lot better now, though. He gets through about half the meal before running off…

  • Mr Crazy Kicks June 16, 2017, 5:18 am

    We are starting to remember what it’s like having school out for the summer. Mrs CK finished teaching a few weeks ago, and we just got back from a long trip to Spain. I’m looking forward to some relaxing barbeques at home now 🙂

    Nice job on the pull-ups! That’s really getting up there 🙂

    • retirebyforty June 16, 2017, 5:05 pm

      Nice! Enjoy your summer! It’s awesome when you don’t have to go into the office.

  • timeinthemarket June 16, 2017, 8:57 am

    Sounds like you have a lot of fun stuff planned to fill the summer with the kiddo.

    I still remember my summer breaks from school – some of the best times ever and I’m sure the kid will enjoy spending them with you.

  • [email protected] June 16, 2017, 10:11 am

    Back when I was in Kindergarten, there was learning but also nap time and playtime. I’ve been hearing that nowadays, it is much more intense (and no nap time). Shoot my kid in preschool is getting homework! I’m sure junior will enjoy his summer vacation!

    • retirebyforty June 16, 2017, 5:08 pm

      They have playtime, but no more nap. Our kid hasn’t napped since he was 2 so that’s not a big deal for him. We get a short reading assignment once in a while. I think that’s just about right for kindergarten. The school is actually evaluating homework now. Apparently, homework isn’t that helpful academically. I’ll have to do some research.

  • SMM June 16, 2017, 10:52 am

    Just saw a check clear for summer camp I signed my kid up for. Yup, after school those expenses including child care come back. But it’s better than him being home in the evenings and us trying to figure out what to teach him. We’d like him to learn more of our native language and improve his reading during the summer. Plus my wife is thinking about staring Kumon for him: https://www.kumon.com/

  • Dividend Diplomats June 17, 2017, 2:41 pm

    Sounds like a fun summer planned. Lots of time outside and working to keep your kids busy. I’m sure RB40 JR will continue to grow and adjust to future years in school. Maybe this summer will help him find something that really interests him at the zoo, camp, or on one of your trips. Its all about finding what clicks and where the passion is. Enjoy the beautiful weather up there!


  • Your First Million June 17, 2017, 4:33 pm

    Expenses going down is definitely a plus to kids starting school! Just like any business, there are two ways to increase cash flow and ultimately profit: 1) Increase income and 2) Decrease expenses! $3,000 per year is a good reduction! Looking forward to my son starting school in a few years!

  • Sam @ Financial Samurai June 21, 2017, 8:07 am

    Nice job on the pullups! You’re looking more jacked now haha!

    Did you have to pay and apply to kindergarten? What age did he start?

    I’m thinking of moving back to Hawaii when my son is 3 and enter him into kindergarten at a K-12 private school Obama went to. Much cheaper than SF schools!


    • retirebyforty June 21, 2017, 8:28 am

      Thanks! I told you I was going for 20. 🙂
      We did not have to apply for kindergarten because he is going to public school.
      I would love to live in Hawaii for a while so I think your idea is awesome. It’d be great for the grandparents too. And we can come visit, heh heh…

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