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Sat Jan 23, 2016, 07:29 AM

My Young Son Should Dream, Not Have Testing Nightmares [View all]


It was past 10 on a Sunday night and my 4-year old couldn’t sleep. He sat up in bed, whispering, “One plus one is two … two plus two is four … one plus two is three.”

My son had never shown any symptoms of anxiety. Happiness radiates from him. And he’s outgoing to the point of hilarity: He once walked up to a hotel bar and asked if they could give him some milk.

Because he’s an only child, his father and I decided to enroll him in preschool so he could play with other children. We opted for the VPK program at his public school, purportedly one of the state’s best K-8 centers.

But now, half the year in, we were faced with a child so anxious that he couldn’t sleep.

“We have testing Monday and Tuesday,” he told me when I asked why he was counting. “And math is hard.”

My heart broke. Neither my husband nor I, both in our 40s, ever went to preschool. I don’t think I even knew what a “test” or “math” was when I was his age.

I had wished to expand his little world. And now I held a little boy who couldn’t fall asleep with worry.

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Reply My Young Son Should Dream, Not Have Testing Nightmares [View all]
eridani Jan 2016 OP
Mass Jan 2016 #1
Person 2713 Jan 2016 #2