This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

This is the second story of my son’s journey through kindergarten this year. Make sure to check out Part 1 here.

Anxiety…I think that’s probably a good word to describe how my wife and I were feeling about my son’s first day of kindergarten this year. We spent a lot of time thinking and agonizing over the right thing to do for him. Was he ready? Should we try to figure out homeschool? Will he feel lost and overwhelmed in the classroom? After KinderCamp in early August we were feeling a little more confident and comfortable and he really enjoyed his first experience of school. But would he feel the same when he saw all of the older kids and was staying for 6 hours a day 5 days a week?

Well, the answer we’ve found so far is a resounding “Yes!” He loves his teacher and really enjoys all of the classroom “jobs” and stations they have. He has a very small, select group of friends as he’s naturally shy, but he plays with them every day and really seems to enjoy and trust them. As he’s learning to master the alphabet letters and sounds his teacher is also teaching him American Sign Language. In fact, his teacher invites each student to attempt the “ABC Challenge” where they sing a song that includes each letter of the alphabet, its sound, sign, and a word (like an animal or food) that starts with that letter. After weeks of preparation and debating about whether he was ready…he proudly came home one day announcing that he had passed the challenge, and a week later we saw the awesome certificate with his name as proof!

His handwriting, coloring, and number recognition have all noticeably improved as has his confidence and social skills. Our little boy who had a hard time attending a friend’s birthday party if there were kids there he didn’t know is now politely saying goodbye to each of his classmates as he walks to our car when we pick him. However, the most special thing we’ve seen so far we just witnessed in the past couple of nights…reading…on his own! Seeing your son look at letters and words on a page and make the sound of the letter while using his hands to make its sign and putting it all together to say the word correctly is a pretty incredible sight to see…and something I won’t soon forget. We are so grateful to his teacher and all of the staff at his school that have made his experience a great one so far!

How is school going for your little one so far? Please share your stories with us in the comments below or by emailing

This is fatherhood…