Kindergarten?

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He looks like he’s up to no-good in this picture… probably because it eventually involves scissors and a glue stick.

Bo’s teacher suggested in February that he may be ready for Kindergarten next year instead of participating in another year of preschool. I’ve been stressing about the topic since then.  While Bo does have all of the skills a kindergartener needs I worry about him being the youngest in his class.  He does not turn 5 until November 20 and all of the other kids in his class would be at least 4 months older than him. 

One of my first questions to Ms. Vicki was if she thought Bo was socially ready.  She laughed.  Bo is definitely outgoing and very social at school.  He seems to know all of the teachers and many of the “big” kids so that really wasn’t a concern.  Academically, he’s on track.  He can write, cut, count, etc.  While he isn’t reading yet, it’s close and he has all of the beginning reader skills.

Honestly, I think he probably is ready for Kindergarten now and would do just fine – but will he be ready for college at 17?  Will he be upset to be the last one to drive in his class?  Will there be other emotional issues that result from being younger?  What if he ends up being scrawny? 

I went over and over the situation in my mind and finally put in in the hands of his much-loved teacher.  She is with him in a school setting – and while I’m a teacher myself, college teaching is a LONG way from preschool.  What I do is very different.  While I can judge Bo as a parent, I felt and hoped that Ms. Vicki would have a more objective approach and would do what was best for Bo from an educational perspective.

Last Friday, Mike and I met with Ms. Vicki for Bo’s parent teacher conference.  Bo is doing very well and his only real issue is his Oscar-worthy theatrics.  Let’s just say you definitely know when Bo isn’t pleased – which is mostly related to his age, but is still an area where we need to help him learn to control his very loud and expressionistic reactions.   After discussing Bo’s progress with Ms. Vicki, it was decided that Bo will go to Kindergarten for reading and literacy activities while staying in preschool the rest of the day I’m not sure what we’ll do for reading/literacy when he’s in Kindergarten, but I guess I’ll worry about that next year…).  He’ll have the safety of his well-known preschool classroom filled with play and other learning activities while still being challenged.  All three of my kiddos will be going to preschool full days next year, which will be a transition for all of us, but I think it will end up being a positive. Clara and Anna will be in his preschool class as well, which I can see many pros and cons too…

Overall, I’m happy with the conclusion that was reached and I feel confident that Bo has teachers that care enough that he will continue to be challenged and enjoy preschool for another year.  

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5 Responses to Kindergarten?

  1. Ellen K. says:

    Great choice and great parenting. : ) I think I’ve mentioned that D. was the youngest and smallest boy of his class due to his birthdate, which has had a lifelong impact on his self-esteem, but he was also at the top of his class and was academically able to keep up. He would have liked a decision such as you’ve made.

  2. JM says:

    Good luck! I skipped first grade, so I didn’t experience being the youngest in kindergarten but did for the remainder of my schooling. My birthday is in March, so I was a good 5 months younger than anyone else in my class. I know it’s different when you’re a girl, but the only thing that ever bothered me was not having boobs as soon as everyone else ;) I was never teased because of my age though- pretty much always ended up in the top of the class anyways (grades and size- I’m tall!) These decisions are never easy, and I’m sure with you and Mike, Bo will thrive with whatever decision is made!

  3. I think that’s a great compromise. I wonder about these things with Abby, though she’s only 2.5 because they already tell us that she’s doing way more than the other kids in her class. They are thinking of moving her to early preschool soon….just need to get the potty training thing 100%…though we are on our way. Can’t wait to follow along to see how Bo does next year :)

  4. Rebecca S. says:

    When I was in school the cut off date was the end of December (now it is September 1st). I was a November baby too and wasn’t quite the youngest in the class, there were a few people younger than me, some of them being boys. I can safely say that myself and the other younger kids all did very well. I was fine going to college at 17, especially since it wasn’t long before I turned 18.

  5. hopefulmother says:

    We are doing the same thing for our boys – they are October 1. The cutoff in CA is changing, but they would still have been allowed to enroll in K this year if we had wanted. With Al.ex’s special needs, the extra year is truly “the gift of time” so we are happy with this decision.

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