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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Waiting for Kindergarten

Nora is doing well this fall and I'm so glad I didn't put her in kindergarten. I would be lying if I said I haven't had any small moments of during dance class when Nora is the only 5 year old not in kindergarten taking the 5 year old dance. But in the bigger picture, she wasn't ready. He speech therapist didn't think she was ready. And I didn't think she was ready. I really understand how being ready for kindergarten has little to do with age and more to do with speech, behavior, attention span, developmental milestones etc. That said, kindergarten teachers are incredible and work with kids at all different levels.

Nora turned 5 at the very end of the summer, and after talking to a LOT of people about it, the consensus was there was no reason to push kindergarten. What I heard from many parents was that the ones who put their kids on the early end regretted it in 4th and 5th grade. In fact, many folks I spoke to said they had to have their child repeat a grade later, which was hard. Especially with boys. And the ones who waited extra time and started their young ones late were really glad they did. THey talked about how their child felt more like a leader of the class, instead of at the bottom.

I think Patrick and I have put extra thought into it, as he had to repeat kindergarten as a youngster. Yes-a little known fact about my husband. (He talks about this publicly, so I hope I won't be in trouble about putting this on our blog. I guess we'll find out when he comes home from hunting...)

And I'll see where Nora is at in the spring, summer and fall to decide what would be right for her learning and social development...kindergarten or homeschooling. There is SO MUCH to do in Kodiak with other kids that she would have lots of great social opportunities homschooling. And from what home schooling parents say, at the K-1 level, it takes several hours a week to get the academic work done and the rest of the time can be spent playing, exploring, going to the beach, etc.

I think a big part of the decision will be class sizes, as I'd like for her kindergarten experience to be a small class. RIght now I believe the school whos' zone we're in has 20+ kids in each kindergarten room, which would be a lot for Nora. But maybe by the fall she'd be up for that.



Marnie said...

Everyone is different, and I wish "age" was a guideline, not a rule. At this young age it seems arbitrary to say "ok, you're 5, you have to be in Kindergarten", or "you're only 4.5, you're too young".
I am trying to mentally prepare myself for the battle I will probably face when Abby becomes of "school-age". Because of her birth date, they will hold her back.

Molly O said...

Every kid is different! I have a July birthday and I started kindergarten just after turning 5. My brother also has a July birthday, but my parents held him back a year because they just didn't think he was ready. I think it was definitely the right decision for each of us.
Even if it seems like Nora is the only one now, there will definitely be kids in her grade that are in the same boat. There will also be lots of kids with late Aug., Sept. and Oct. birthdays who are just barely younger than her. Eleven years down the road she will be the cool kid when she gets her license before everyone else in her grade! You will also get to have her at home for an extra year before she goes to college. =)

Zoya, Patrick, Nora and Stuart said...

Molly, Good point about her getting her license first! I never thought of that.
Someone else did remind me of the advantage of having her at home for 1 extra year! Its re-assuring to know that there will be other kids in her situation.

I've been really pleased with our fall routine and Nora has been taking on cute arts and crafts projects at home-many of them resemble things that teachers would do in kindergarten. And she is seeming more and more curious about letters and spelling. Kids really do learn when they are ready.


Amy said...

As you might remember, we held Rachel (born Aug 20th) back in Pre-school and have never regretted it. She loves her grade and can't imagine being in the grade above. I wish we had done the same with Brian who is repeating 2nd grade this year. He has a huge transition and some peer difficulties that Rachel never had. I like the fact that I have just delayed my empty-nesthood for a year!