It’s been interesting to see all the first day of school pics on Facebook over the past couple weeks. What’s struck me most is the distribution of kids M.’s age. Many are starting kindergarten this fall. Others are, like her, going through kindergarten for the second time. A smaller group is going on to the first grade.
This article doesn’t completely fit what we did but it still struck close to home. I don’t know that we agonized over our decision. We did put a lot of thought into it. But repeating kindergarten seemed like the best decision for M.’s happiness and comfortable development. It also seemed like what most parents we know around here with kids similarly aged were doing. In fact, we think every kid that was in her kindergarten class last year is repeating this year.
I occasionally have some qualms about our decision. I’m mostly worried about her being bored by repeating material from last year. It’s my hope being in a different environment with a different curriculum and a longer day will offer her enough challenges that the areas in which she is proficient, reading for instance, don’t become problematic as the class slows to bring along her classmates.
The two big takeaways, though, are: teaching is tough, especially at the younger ages where age differences of 18 months can make a huge difference in development. We ask a lot of our teachers. Second, it’s easy to become paralyzed as a parent. You can second-guess yourself endlessly about every decision you make concerning your kids. My best advice: do lots of research, ask lots of questions of other parents, then trust in what you believe to be the best path.
<a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/fashion/22Cultural.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss”>Cultural Studies – The Littlest Redshirts – Postponing Kindergarten</a>
What once seemed like an aberration — something that sparked fierce dinner party debates — has come to seem like the norm. But that doesn’t make it any easier for parents.