School Hunting for my 4-year Old

I never thought it would be a challenge to register a kid into Kindergarten, until recently, my 4 year-old daughter attended an assessment day at a school which name I will not mention on this blog. In case you find that strange, yes, I am talking about 4-year old kids going to be assessed whether they can get a seat next school year or not.

I was worried when we got there because not only the reception area was filled with Moms and Dads waiting for their kids to be called to enter the rooms, my daughter (who is a very sensitive child) has now asked to leave the school. I know that look on her face when she is uncomfortable. The atmosphere in the waiting area didn’t help calm my child. Parents were talking to their little kids to be in their best behavior in class. My daughter on the other hand, is on her best behavior most of the time. The challenge is, she does not let go of me that easily especially to go to a Teacher whom she will just meet for the first time.

I have a lot of things in my head while waiting. No other school accepts registration at this time, we paid a non-refundable 500 AED assessment fee 5 months ago, it was the only school that responded to us, there aren’t that many schools in the area that have a good KHDA rating with tuition fees that didn’t cost an arm and leg – She better do well!

We asked her if she can just sit, play and answer questions in class for 5 minutes. We promised we will just sit outside and that she can have a happy meal after the assessment. Parents have now dropped their kids at the door. One-by-one kids entered the room and parents left. As for me, no pep-talk and bribery worked for my kid. I looked at one of the teachers and gave her a hint that my daughter is not letting go of my leg. She nodded and pointed to a table at the corner where we can sit together. I sat down and waited for my daughter to feel comfortable. She picked up a marker and a whiteboard then sat beside me. She wrote her name quietly. Erased it. Wrote it again. Then looked around and asked me, “Can I play there?” pointing to a girl playing with a supermarket toy. She stood up when I said yes and she went and played. That’s when I left.

We waited outside. A few minutes later, a teacher walked out of the room with my sweetheart. “She cried but she already wiped her tears!”, she said. I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed. I read so many posts online about moms venting out their frustration about the fact that most schools prefer kids that didn’t cry when left in school. And there I was, devastated that my kid could not put on a happy face for 5 minutes. After several months of waiting, sending emails and all, I already knew she won’t get a seat.

Photo of my kid before the assessment. I will be called a bad mom if I shared her photo post-assessment when I told her she won’t be coming back to the school because they only take kids who can say bye to their mommies without crying.

Two weeks later, we received an email saying our daughter passed the assessment however, the school is now in full capacity and my daughter has been put on a waiting list. I thought, what a nice way to tell us to look for plan B. I just do not understand why the school take on more kids than the school’s capacity to do a paid assessment?

Now thinking, what other options do we have? We were told by pretty much all the schools in the area that they are full and won’t be taking anymore students.

to be continued…

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