Once upon a time, in a far away land, lived a slightly crazy, often loud but still pretty alright family. There was a Daddy, a Mama, a daughter, and two sons. And, SQUEE!!! Mama had a baby in her belly.
The whole family was excited because it was time for the daughter, Miss Jo, to go to Kindergarten. They talked about Kindergarten. They shopped about Kindergarten. They visited Kindergarten. They blah, blah, blah, etc. and etc., about Kindergarten.
And then Kindergarten began. Grandparents came from far and wide to watch Jo get on the bus for her FIRST! BIG! DAY! of KINDERGARTEN!!! Cookies were made to celebrate the end of the FIRST!!! BIG!!! DAY!!!
And Kindergarten was totally awesome for one whole week, which really means three days, because in this far away land, the first week of school is three days long. Jo's best friend was in her class. All of her preschool classmates were in her class. Jo's teacher came highly recommended, and was someone with whom the slightly crazy, often loud family was well acquainted.
Success was predetermined.
Miss Jo started behaving really badly at home. And "really badly" means the complete opposite of any behavior that was ever permitted or encouraged by the Daddy and the Mama. There were tears and tantrums, refusal to eat or go to bed or bathe or use the proper, ummm, place (ahem). And that was just after school. Before school was terrible, too. Miss Jo was so tired from school the previous day and not eating proper meals and refusing to go to bed, and she had a miserable time getting up in the morning. It probably didn't help her that both her Daddy and her Mama were not morning people either.
Miss Jo's grandmother started coming over before school every day to lend a hand. Miss Jo's Mama was getting pregnanter and pregnanter and the two little brothers and Miss Jo's tantrums were too much.
Mama called the school and Miss Jo's teacher and talked to the school psychologist (who refused to see Miss Jo because Daddy once did sound for her brother's band ~ hand to God that is the truth) and then talked to the school social worker who began to see Miss Jo on a regular basis and when she would get around to returning phone calls and reporting back to the Daddy and Mama would say that Miss Jo responded in a totally age-appropriate manner for every activity. Everyone at the school seemed dumbfounded by the Daddy's and Mama's concern about Miss Jo, because she did perfectly well at school. Perfect. They all said perfect.
This was somewhat of a relief to the Daddy and the Mama, to know that there was *actually* a time when Miss Jo responded appropriately, but still they were baffled.
Miss Jo's teacher tried very hard to work with Miss Jo during school (and even after school) to help convince Miss Jo to behave better at home. Teacher was a trooper. But nothing helped.
Day after day, Mama and grandmother would exhaust themselves getting Miss Jo on the bus for school. When the bus pulled away from the driveway, the Mama and grandmother would collapse on the sofa, regroup, and plan how to do it better the next day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
And it never got better. Never. The entire school year was misery and battle and struggle and stress and crying and punishment and sanctions and grrrrr. And that is not how the slightly crazy, often loud family wanted to live.
The Daddy and the Mama didn't send Miss Jo back to public school for first grade. They sent her to a play therapist instead, and learned SO MANY THINGS about their child. First and foremost, Miss Jo had some really serious anxiety problems that were magnified by being forced away from the safety of her home. The play therapist told the Mama at every visit that keeping Miss Jo home was the right choice for Miss Jo. And at the end of the first grade year, the play therapist recommended keeping Miss Jo home for second grade.
And so they did.