Future Decisions

I read a blog post recently where a mom was trying to figure out whether her 5 year old son would benefit from a delayed kindergarten start and it got me thinking.  The Florida kindergarten statute says that in order for a child to enroll in kindergarten, the child must have attained the age of 5 on or before September 1st.  For Reagan, with a December birthday, she will be 5 years and roughly 9 months old when she starts kindergarten - so almost 6.  At first I was upset by this because, after all, she is (in my completely unbiased opinion) brilliant and certainly doesn't need an extra almost year! :-)  After a while though, I became glad that the decision was out of my hands - meaning that I simply am not allowed to send her during the calendar year she turns 5 so by default she will be older and more mature when she starts school and therefore less likely to struggle due to maturity issues.  And if she ever whines that she is older than almost everyone in her class I can tell her to blame the state lawmakers instead of me.  LOL

Well the next logical thought is uh-oh, baby #2 is going to have a May birthday and is going to be a boy and boys seem to struggle more than girls with the maturity required to sit and learn and now what am I going to do?!?!  Per the statutes, he could start kindergarten the calendar year he turns 5 - at around 5 years and 2-3 months.  That scares me.  I don't want him to go just to go and while I may think he is ready he quite likely might not be.  And if he isn't and I have him repeat kindergarten how might that effect his self-esteem?  He's not even born yet and I am already seriously considering just waiting and having him start kindergarten at 6 years and 2-3 months when I know for sure he'll be ready.  It is times like these when I wish they had staggered start programs.  Say an August school year start for some kids and a January start for others.  I'm sure the logistics of that, along with the cost, would be a nightmare but a girl can wish.  But, I suppose it could be worse, he could have a June, July or August birthday to make my decision even harder. 

I know we will cross this bridge when we come to it but I spend a lot of time mulling around ideas to best set my child(ren) up for success and trying hard to consider future ramifications of decisions that appear as simple as 'you are 5, go to school'.  I guess I'll just stay open to both options for now and go from there.


Rachel said…
Speaking from experience...I had this same issue. My son, has an August Birthday...I started him when he was 4 years and 12 months...he turned 5 the 2nd week of school. At first, it was great...he breezed through...then, came 1st grade. Oh my, testing, all of the kids turning 7 and him barely 6...he was short...and not getting things quickly. So, we decided to hold him back. I can say, it so far has not hurt his self esteem at all!! I think you as a parent have to make that decision. I think we all see great qualities in our children but, they already grow up too fast...and well, one year won't hurt anything :)

Can't wait to see pictures of him!! I love reading your blog!!

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