Monday, February 13, 2017

Tell me your thoughts. I'll send you cookies!

You know how you sometimes think of that perfect (as it gets) blog topic that you naturally forget because you don't write it down when you think of it?  That's my style, 'bout every day. 

I'll share this thought today, the latest in my stress worrying.  The Younger is turning five this summer, which makes her old enough for Kindergarten in the fall.  We're (mostly me) considering not sending her to K-garten but rather keeping her in a 5-year program at her pre-school and then just skipping K altogether.  It's not required in the state, so this should be an option that the school can't fight us on.

Prior to the Elder's Kindergarten experience, we debated a few options, including half-day Kindergarten, which we're both much bigger fans of, but ultimately decided that we need to suck it up and support the system that we teach in figuratively as well as literally.  So, we I packed her little lunches, tucked her folder in her backpack each day, and sent her on her way.

And she was bored.  And it set a kinda negative tone about school that we're still hearing 3 years later.

I'm fully aware the the Younger is a different little person than her older sister, but for all intents and purposes academically, they're very similar at this point.  In other words, I'm anticipating more of the same, and I'm weighing our options again because we can make a decision.  What a blessing.

I've talked with the pre-school director and the Elder's first-grade teacher, getting a bit of insight from both school perspectives.  Later this week, I'll be picking the brain of her current pre-school teacher.  And folks, I'm still all here and there and every which way about it.  Another blessing is that we don't technically have to commit for about another 2 months yet.  We also live out of district of the school system that we chose for our kids, so a small part of me wonders if this would be a reason that they wouldn't accept the Younger in another year for 1st grade. 

But Kindergarten is not required in this state.  She has had 3 years of a formal schooling experience.  She's learned to socialize with her peers and to follow instructions.  She doesn't need to practice colors ad naseum.  And, she'll get about 9 weeks of a refresher at the beginning of 1st grade that, frankly, makes me think that she'll just pick up whatever she might have not mastered in her alternate-Kindergarten experience. 

I know some that stop by to read my ramblings are likely to have some perspective on this.  I'm very open for thoughts on this, knowing that you all don't really know my child all that well (or at all).  I'll be frank here, though - homeschooling isn't so much an option (though we'll happily supplement if we do choose the 5-year old class, pre-school option).  But please, share some insight!  I'll gladly offer you some thoughts about how the upcoming season is looking for my boys (baseball, my friend, baseball).  Or, I'll send you some cookies.  Your choice.


Crystal said...

Ooh! Did someone say cookies? :) I just now, at 30 weeks along, called in a 'but I'm Craving it!' grocery favor this week for some cookies from the hubby on his way home from work.
Anywho...I think you should totally try the 5 year old class at pre-school. It sounds like you know that'll fit your child and your family the best of all your options. She's a smart cookie, she'll sail right along in 1st grade, no problem.

Mariah said...

Oh, making parenting decisions is so fun. (Not.) You two know your kids and should decide what you think is right for your family. Personally, I'd probably choose kindergarten. I know that A had a temporary contract teacher/maternity leave situation for kindergarten, so that may have been part of her experience not being ideal. And I think personality makes a big difference. I could read chapter books before I started kindergarten, but I was never bored in school. Davis entered K well beyond his peers academically, but he loves school and is never bored. He picks up on learning little extra things, she tries to do enrichment with him, and I'm actually surprised by the rigor of the K curriculum. No learning colors here. So I would consider whether my child really had the personality to become bored, or is more goes with the flow and takes things as they are. With all the talk about expanding statewide PreK, and the fact that kindergarten not yet being mandatory is a side discussion to that, I would be a little concerned about what would happen if somehow the state mandated kindergarten within the next year. That's probably a stretch but something I would consider, along with the fact that you're out of district, as you mentioned. It sounds like the 5 yo class is labeled as PreK/Kinderskills still. If it was actually labeled as kindergarten, I might feel differently. I'm sure she will do great whatever you choose. Good luck! ��

Mariah said...

I should also add that I'm one who likes a late kindergarten start, so if my kid had a summer birthday, I would do 5 yr PreK next year, then kindergarten after that at age 6, but that is obviously not an option you are considering, and I get that. However, I think that makes it additionally risky that if you skipped kindergarten and tried to enroll her in first grade after turning 6, the public school would say no and place her in kindergarten, because that would still be an age appropriate grade level for her. That is clearly the exact opposite of what you wnat for her. It could be hard to fight that with a district in which you don't live. (Or maybe not, who knows.) Just too many variables for me. I'm a planner and like to know what's going to happen for sure.

Amy said...

Oh, I like your perspective. We're actually ditching the girls tonight and hitting the town all on our own 2 selves. This is #1 on my list of things that we're going to talk about. I also appreciate the way you break down personalities as those who would likely get bored v. those who go with the flow. The Younger is way more go with the flow.

Amy said...

Crys - Thanks for chipping in, too!

Mariah said...

Lucky! Hope you had a nice date night and good conversation. I'm sure it will work out great whatever you decide, I just like to overthink things!