My youngest will turn 5 at the end of May.
Old enough to go to kindergarten.
But we’re not getting ready for kindergarten.
Because we’re going to wait to send him.
He just brought home the “I’m five” poem to practice for the end of the year preschool program. And it made me smile, remembering his brother performing that same poem two years ago. (Serious cuteness overload- watch the “I’m Five” poem).
How those two years have flown by.
Just wait, those experienced moms tell us, time will fly.
And it really has.
And I remember what a teacher at my older boys’ school said. That if any parent has any doubts if their child is ready for kindergarten, to wait.
That it’s pretty much one of the only times in their lives when we can give our kids the gift of time.
Add in that our child would be one of the youngest and smallest in his class if he started in the fall and the new crazy standards that kids have to meet in kindergarten…
And the conversations Hubs and I have had that we don’t think it will hurt our youngest if we wait to send him and it might actually help him, we’re going to wait another year to start him in kindergarten- and send him to kindergarten prep next fall.
Back in my hometown, this isn’t an uncommon practice. In fact, one of my nephews, whose birthday is just days before my youngest’s, is also being sent to kingergarten prep next fall.
But around here, people look at me like I suddenly sprouted three heads when I mention that we’re waiting. Or they assume incorrectly that my little dude has some sort of learning delay.
When I first talked to the principal at the elementary school about it, I was cringing, waiting for her response- I love her to pieces but she’s blunt and while I usually adore this about her, I wasn’t sure where she’d stand on this issue and what she’d bluntly tell us. But she smiled and said that she was glad we were doing it and that she wished more parents of young 5’s would but that it’s not very common around here simply because kindergarten is free and kindergarten prep is not, so parents go with the free option and often end up asking her to hold their children back in kindergarten for reasons of being too immature to move on- but that’s not something she can do if they are academically doing well enough to pass to first grade. She also said that her high school son’s two best buddies were both started late but he wasn’t- and he wishes his parents had waited. So, she’s totally supportive of our choice.
I don’t think there’s a blanket rule for if you should send your child to kindergarten on time or if you should wait. But for our family, it feels like the right decision to wait. So we’re going to.
And so we’ll wait a year to start getting ready for kindergarten and enjoy still having a preschooler for just a little while longer.
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