Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pretty for Bedtime and a Question for You...

Here is Emerson after her bath with about 45 minutes to go before bedtime.  This girl is a girly-girl.  Since she was two it's been a struggle to get her to put on anything but a dress, she loves her hair done and nails painted, and loves pink, princesses, and fairies.  And I LOVE it.

So, after bath last night, I was asked to put her hair into a pretty ponytail with a purple (though you can't see it) scrunchy (are those still in?) and a purple headband to match her pajamas.  Yep, that's my girl!

Oh, and in the picture, that's Jon putting earrings in her ears.  He'll do anything for this girl!

And now onto a more serious topic.  To wait a year or not?

My Braeden is 4.  He'll turn 5 at the end of August, just as kindergarten is starting.  He is a smarty pants, very creative, and his vocabulary is, at least to me, pretty darn amazing.  He knows his colors, letters, and very basic math.  He  attends preschool four mornings a week and according to his teacher does really well (he's at home with me the rest of the time).  He loves that time with his friends and jumps right in when I drop him off.

BUT, he is a boy, and his social skills, while very good, are not where Emerson's were when she began school (and he's definitely just a different kid than her anyway).  He's very active and it's hard for me, at this point, to see him sitting in school all day (darn that all-day kindergarten!) with a little homework to do in the evening, though I know a lot could change in the next 5 or so months.

Jon and I have been going back and forth and have talked to a few other parents about starting kindergarten.  I am leaning more towards waiting a year to start whereas Jon is leaning more toward starting him now.   We have to make a decision pretty quickly  because he'll be attending the charter school where my daughter attends and they require a lottery to get in (unless you already have a sibling in the school), so we'll need to give them our decision soon.

At this point, if we had to make a decision right now,  I think we'd say wait, but I'd like to get some more opinions from other moms and dads or even just others with an outside opinion.  Any teachers out there?  I know many of you may not know my Braeden, but I'd love to hear your thoughts in general. 

Wait or not?


Shell said...

My middle son turns 5 in May and I'm going through the same thing.

Right now, I *think* we are going to wait. I think the extra year will do him good. But, he's also had some developmental delays.

My oldest has a December birthday and he would have been ready to go when he was 4 (turning 5 in December) if they would have let him go.

It's such an individual decision.

GriffithsGang said...

I would wait...I was one of the youngest kids in my class, and I HATED it. I think even though my parents thought I was socially ready when I began kindergarten, I struggled later with maturity levels and it stunk to be the last one to be able to drive, to do anything. I also worked as a para in a kindergarten, and the youngest boys (the ones that barely turned 5 before school started) were the ones who struggled the most with the year. And yes, darn you all day kindergarten!

Life As I Know It said...

I don't know - it's a tough call, mostly because Kindergarten is not what it used to be. Our school has a pre-1st option for those not ready for 1st grade after Kindergarten, which I think is a good solution.

Good luck! No matter what you decide, things will work out :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is an easy one.
As a mom of 2 boys, and a teacher, I can give you a list a million miles long of reasons to wait. Really, too many to list here, but if you want to call me, I will talk. I'm really passionate about this one!
The only reason not to wait? Your sanity. Braeden is in a safe, loving home where his physical and emotional needs are met, so there is no reason to push it.

J.Hamilton said...

I honestly don't think waiting is a bad idea. I've never heard any parent (especially of a boy) regret having waited. I think K might be really frustrating for Braeden, just knowing him as we do. Have you considered sending him to the Open School for their kindergarten program? It would be a different setting, a different curriculum and they have morning and/or afternoon attendance options. You could try full day like 3 days a week just to get him ready. Semira did that last year, Erika knew she wasn't ready for K at SRA. I know you hate to pay for another year of preschool, but better to not have him (and subsequently, you all) miserable all year. Of course, another option--if you do send him and it's really rough, he can always repeat. But I think that might be more of a challenge than just holding him back a year.

The Ennists said...

We went through the same thing last year. Tyler turned 5 in July before school started. He has always been very smart and very social and I think he would have done fine, however, everyone we talked to, teachers and moms alike advised us to wait. I have not talked to a single person who kept their kid home, especially boys, for an extra year and regreted it. However, I have talked to several who regretted sending their little boys when they could have kept them home. So we waited. We decided it wouldn't hurt him to wait, and it would only give him an advantage. Plus I had him at home with me another year before sending him off on his own all day. A win win situation if you ask me!

Gina said...

If you are at all hesitant- wait. Look at your possible outcomes:

Door #1-A: He goes this year, all is well. No worries.

Door #1-B: He goes to school this year, things don't go well, he struggles, is unhappy, you are unhappy. He gets held back- a stigma that a lot of kids have a hard time overcoming (possible, but why do it if you don't have to?)

Door #2-A: You wait. Next year, he does well. No worries.

Door #2-B: You wait. Next year, he does exceptionally well. If he continues to excel, he'll either be skipped a grade or put into honors programs- positives that he doesn't have to "overcome" at any point.

Door #2 has no real down side. Door #1 has a real and difficult downside. Why push?

(I want to be clear that I think there is NOTHING wrong with a child being held back a grade- or more- if necessary. BUT, kids are mean, and I don't see any reason to give mean kids ammunition to tease my kid if it's easily avoided.)

The Sharp's said...

I'm glad you posted this because I have been trying to make the same decision. My son turns 5 on 5/31. He hasn't been to preschool but has been going to a babysitter since he was a baby. She works with them some but not like preschool would. I have finally made a decision to wait and I am at peace with it since he will head to preschool. The preschool teacher thought it was a better idea as well even though he is socially ready for school. Good luck in your decision.

Jami said...

Wait, wait, wait. Please wait. No cons to waiting. And several cons to not waiting. My brother was in this boat years ago--he's 27 now--and my parents waited a year. He still struggled in school a bit. Can't imagine how hard if a time he would have had in school has they not waited. Also, I taught for years before becoming a SAHM. I could always point out the boys with late bdays on behavior/maturiy alone.

adrienzgirl said...

This is a hard one for me. Really hard. My daughter who is now 19 had a September birthday and had to wait an extra year to start. She was BORED to death, which is terrible for gifted children.

My son who is in 3rd grade now has an early birthday, end of June. He was little. He has ADHD which means he can't sit still for more than 5 seconds, even on medication. However, he's brilliant. He's in the gifted program and his gifted teacher has added additional curriculum in his regular classroom for the last three years to keep him challenged because he gets bored so quickly. We considered waiting with him because he was socially awkward and unable to sit still. It would have been a terrible mistake.

I think that part of Kindergarten is the social aspect. They learn that more than anything else in Kindergarten, along with following the rules associated with a classroom setting. Those rules are much more lax in preschool.

It's a tough choice, but I would strongly consider letting him go. Children are far more adaptable than we give them credit for at these tender ages.

Mommy Lisa said...

This is tough - my friend had a son with an August Birthday, but she KNEW by now last year that he was NOT ready for Kindergarten. He will start this year.

The fact your son is so bright and enjoys pre-k I am sure makes the choice tough.

I kind of lean toward waiting because why pressure him? But my dad started kindergarten at age THREE, turned 4 in October and he is pretty

Wow. Tough call.

Mich said...

I'm in the same boat. Sarah Beth will still be 4 when she is supposed to start. In Kentucky, the cutoff is October 1st. If you are not 5 by October 1st, then you have to wait another year. Sarah's bday is in August. And it's right around the time school starts.

Chances are she'll still be 4 when it's time for her to go. Here's my dilemma. There is no doubt in my mind she'll be ready. She's the youngest of 3, the only girl and she LOVES preschool. But I'm thinking about the future. I keep thinking if we wait a year, then she'll be the OLDEST in her class, instead of the YOUNGEST. And I really like that idea. I don't think any of my kids will ever be leaders, although if any of them would be, it would definitely be her! ;) But I keep thinking if she's the youngest, and more immature, she may be more likely to be a FOLLOWER, and I don't really want that either.

It's a tough decision to make. And in the end, it's YOUR decision to make. My only advice to you is this, when you make your decision, be confident in that decision, and don't let anyone else tell that it's right or wrong. He's YOUR child. No one else's. It's YOUR decision to make. And as long as you don't second guess yourself every year, then it will be the RIGHT decision.

Just my two cents.

Adrienne said...

Beautiful kids! This is tough question. It depends so much on the child. I think an extra year(especially for boys) is a huge plus. My son has a late birthday and started kindergarten late because of it.

This is why it's so tough. Because it sounds like your son is academically ready, but lacks maturity and social skills. So, it could go either way for him.

If you wait the year and he's more mature, he is then even more academically advanced than he is now, and you risk boredom and some behavioral issues still.

If you go ahead and send him now, you may be jumping the gun with social skills.

I know this isn't helping you...If I absolutely had to pick would be wait. I'll tell you why too. Because another year with a more flexible schedule, more time at home, and more time to grow socially can never be replaced. It allows a confidence that may be taken from him by sending him too soon. They're just babies. The world rushes them enough. We don't have to. having one more year at home gives them such a comfort.

Even though there's no definite answer on if your choice will be the right one, there is a definite benfit in keeping him home for one more year. He just gets that time!

More than anything-Prayer is always better than my advice, so I will be sure to lift a prayer up for you. I pray that God will give you and your husband wisdom to make the right choice for your family, and that you have peace over it!

Stopping by from Shell's place. :)

Cassie said...

As I understand it, it isn't that you think he couldn't handle the work but that the sitting still and paying attention for long periods may be difficult. If this is the case, I would go ahead and place him in school. For my son, being in school improved these skills. That being said, you're the mom and you know your son best. Whatever you think, will be fine I'm sure. Good Luck!

TerriG said...

There's no easy answer. I put my oldest in the day he turned 5 against all of the waiting advice. He was already reading and I feared school would be boring if I waited any longer. It was a good choice, but he was big for his age and extremely bright. In school, bored boys get in trouble. Another thing is they mature quickly at his point. He will be a different kid by September. I homeschool my boys now, so it's kinda of silly to offer my advice. Stopping by from Shell's.

Blue Moon Girl said...

Found you through a RT on Twitter.

Another blogger I read has a guest post today about readying your child for kindergarten. It's a really good article -

We are going to run into the same problem with our daughter. She's an end of August baby too. We've already had lots of pressure to wait a year from friends and family (she's 2 1/2 now).

I was the youngest in my class all through school and it was tough. I do often wish that I had waited a year. It would have been a lot easier. I was ready and did fine with everything, but socially I spent most of my time with the grade below mine.

I think you'll know when it comes time. Good luck!

Jon Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandra said...

Wow! Thank you all so much for taking the time to give me your thoughts! Jon and I have poured over them. I know ultimately it is what we think is best for Braeden personally, but it is so good to get other experiences and thoughts from other parents, teachers, and former younger/older students. It made us think about things that we may not have thought about before and gave us insight into how he may experience kindergarten.

Ultimately we are still going to pray through it, but many of your comments have validated what way we were already leaning.

Again, thank you so much for your words and encouragement!


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