Saturday, January 16, 2010

The difference of 3 days

Bryce was born on 8/29/05 which is 3 days before the school year age cut off. (Although I know if you're born within the first 2 weeks of September you can apply for a waiver.) Anyway, because he was born before 9/1, he would be eligible for kindergarten THIS year thereby making Caroline and Bryce only 1 year apart in school. I'm pretty much 95% decided that even though he qualifies for kindergarten this year, we're going to wait until next year to start him and try to get him into the school's preschool half day program. (He'll likely be on a waitlist since preschool in the county system isn't mandated and the spots go first to children with delays and lower socioeconomic status. But I know several people in our neighborhood that got their kid in after being on a wait list so I have a good reason to believe he would too.)

So instead of being pretty much the absolute youngest kid in his class, he would likely be the oldest. Right now as it stands, Caroline is one of the older kids in her class with an early December birthday. Bryce would only be 3 months older starting kindergarten than Caroline was and really, 3 months isn't that much of a difference. He's a sharp little kid but I think if he started kindergarten this fall he'd be really behind. He's been in the older kid class at preschool/daycare since September and while he's improved on letters and writing, he's not where Caroline was after a few months of doing the same thing (he is 9 months younger than she was when she started in the older class) - so I think another year will really benefit him. Plus, I remember being the youngest kid in my class and how hard that was socially sometimes. I did fine academically and was doing advanced math/reading early on, but I HATED how much younger I was than everyone else. I was last to reach all the age milestones and often just felt a lot younger than others. Add that to the fact that boys typically mature later than girls, and you have my case.

Of course there is that 5% of me that wavers. Like what if I'm holding him back unnecessarily and he ends up bored in class. I know my parents almost held me back and at the last minute didn't because of a snafu with preschool they weren't anticipating (non-academic reason) and decided since I was so eager to go to school they would just send me to kindergarten since I was old enough. That decision changed the rest of my life in so many ways! (Jason was in my class from 6th grade on, if that tells you anything!) Of course I have no way of predicting the future of what route either role will take. And I would really like to have C and B 2 years apart in school as a purely selfish reason, but one that is lowest on my reasons of waiting. And I keep reminding myself that his 8/29 birthday was an induced birthday at 39 weeks because he was getting so big and had I waited to go into labor myself, he would have been born after 9/1 and this guesswork would be completely taken away from me.

So we're planning on getting Bryce on the waitlist for preschool at Caroline's school for fall and hope he gets in. If he doesn't, I will probably just have him go 5 days a week at the same place he goes right now since I think he needs a 5 day a week program again (he only goes 3 mornings now).


Katie said...

I feel like Emily is bored at preK now b/c she is one of the older kids. Academically, I think she will be bored being the oldest, but that is not my main concern. I am mainly concerned about her physical and emotional development and that is where I want her to be older. I know I suffered in those areas by being the youngest in my grade. I say better to hold him back. I would do the same. It'll all work out by high school.

Heather said...

My two cents...wait. Take it from someone with 10+ years experience in education...put him in a 5-day/week preschool program and give him the gift of time. I am going to wait until Gretchen is 6 to start her in Kindergarten purely based on my experiences in education. Another way to look at it, there will be another kid in his class born a whole YEAR earlier on 8/ there could feasibly be an entire year difference between Bryce and some of the other students. That's a lot of time...and boys need more time to mature than girls. You'd be giving him a huge gift by waiting.

Anonymous said...

Send me a message and let me know where he is going now..... I need a place for the girls to go next year since our school is closing at the end of this school year. And I'm having issues.

~ V

Bracken said...

Sydney could have started this year but is similar to Bryce in the cut off out here so we waited. Intellectually I think she would have been fine but I am happy we held her. We held her for other reasons you know too but her emotionally side was the biggest reason.

Erika said...

Bracken - I guess where you are in CA it must be a January 1 deadline b/c if she was back in MD she would go this fall. (Wanna come back?)

I'm fine with waiting - it's just that if he had been born 3 days later I wouldn't even have to think about it.

K - yeah, you and I definitely know how hard it is to be the youngest in the class. I'm taking that experience as a big part of why I'm holding him back!

Unknown said...

Go with your gut. :) As for the county preschool, I heard there were TONS of open spots in them this year for some reason. A bunch of kids in our neighborhood who didn't qualify financially or developmentally got into PGE's. So you might get lucky!

My neighbor is wrestling with this too... her older son could test in for next year (bday 9/7) but she has chosen to keep him in preschool another year. Then she has another son who has a July bday who could go on time in 2012 and they'd only be a year apart in school... she may even hold the younger one back a year!

I'm not looking forward to weighing these options in six years when our new August addition is born... with spring babies, there's really no question...

Erika said...

I thought about Piper and that issue too - although girls generally mature faster than boys so we'll see. I'm hoping NOT to hold her back - by then I'll want all 3 kids in school!

Anonymous said...

We live in NYC, and the cutoff for going to Kindergarten is Dec 31, and because my daughter was born late Dec (2004), she just entered Kindergarten. She is the youngest in her class, but has no social or academic issues whatsoever.
I myself was the youngest in my class (Sept birthday, different system) and I was always proud to be the youngest.

Good luck with whatever you decide for Bryce. He is having a good family support, and that's what matters.