Perhaps, rather than jotting down every detail of our lives, it might be more interesting to post some random thoughts. As I’m usually thinking about things that are going on in our lives, I think it will still be applicable, so here goes:
Reese…starting to think about when would be a good time to start her in kindergarten. She’s right on the cusp of the age cut off and would end up being one of the youngest in her class if we start her in two years. New research is showing that kids do better if they start later, but I’d like to take a good hard look at that research before I make any rash decisions. The questions I have are…How involved are the parents in the kid’s education? What exactly do they mean by “do better”? What are the demographics of these kids, ie small towns or big cities, at home parents, time spent in daycare, etc?
I have an August birthday and was the youngest in my class. While I wasn’t the star athlete in our class, I did okay and I did excel academically. Socially, I did not cave to peer pressure and to this day, I am good friends with many of my classmates. So, my personal experience leads me to believe that she’d be okay. Jeff on the other hand, is a late September baby and had to have nap time instated in the 1st grade because he couldn’t stay awake all day. While he did excel athletically, he is inclined to think that he might have done better academically if he’d started school a year later. All that being said, I think he turned out just fine!
The research is also showing that girls who start earlier are more likely to be successful than boys who start earlier and since I’m sort of leaning toward starting her early, this does give me some comfort.
The hang ups that I’ve got with starting her early are these. First, you don’t know that you’ve made a mistake until years later. There is a big social jump between 7 and 8 years old and an early starter might find herself a bit immature compared to her classmates. There’s another jump at puberty that can be even more significant. Second, when Jeff and I went to kindergarten, it was only 1/2 day. We will not have a choice – regardless of when we start Reese, she will have to go to full day kindergarten. Even if she is academically and socially ready, I worry that 5 days a week in a little desk will be a lot.
So, I’ve got 2 years to figure all of this out, which probably means that I’ve got 2 years to fret about it and watch each little milestone as a gauge of whether or not I will be confident that she’s “ready”. Stay tuned…
All this is coming about because we’re in the process of switching Reese from her current daycare/preschool to an in home daycare with our good friend Annie Fitzgerald (Kate’s Mom) and the preschool in town. The Beartooth Children’s center has a new director and thus a new direction that we’re really excited about, but we also looked at another preschool that will not even take her this year because they believe that she should be 3 years out from kindergarten instead of 2; thus, I started really thinking about it – yikes!