As expected, I am ready for the school holidays to be over. It's a two step process, since Charlie goes back to pre-school tomorrow but Ben's teachers need a day to get their heads around the fact that they signed up to teach infants school, so he doesn't go back until Tuesday. It doesn't bother me much - it's Charlie I need to get back to pre-school.
I knew pre-school had been good for Charlie, but these holidays have really highlighted how much he needs that structured environment. By the first Tuesday of the holidays he was already starting to be unhappy, and take that out on the rest of us. We have had two weeks of shouting, stomping, throwing things and, consequently, time-outs. Tonight he was telling me he doesn't like the end of the day (a very standard complaint), and I told him that the end of the day made it much closer to time for pre-school. He was much, much calmer after that.
And so I start another round of "what am I going to do with him next year?". It would take a evolutionary change to make him ready to start school, but I really think he's going to need five days of structure. We can't get five days of pre-school (and we couldn't afford it anyway), family day care is not cutting it for Charlie, and so it looks like I am going to have to look at long day care.
Has anyone else had a similar experience with a kid who turned five in June/July and needed a more formal environment but wasn't ready for school at four and a half? Does a long day care/pre-school combo work well or cause confusion? I love the pre-school he goes to, and wouldn't like to have to abandon it completely, but it is 3 days max, and even then it isn't a good 3 days for us work-wise.