Making the decision about kindergarten for the twins has not been easy. We’ve gone back and forth with every scenario, talked it out with anyone who would listen, and finally made a decision for the Fall. Kindergarten is a huge milestone for kids, and it is going to be a giant adjustment for the twins.
So, why did we have so much trouble deciding? What were the choices? Do you ever really know if your child is ready? Does parenting ever get any easier?!?!
Today, I’m going to fill you in on the back story, and tell you what decision we made. I hope it will help anyone else struggling with a school decision.
As you know, the twins just turned 5 in May. This will make them a little young for their kindergarten class, but the cut-off date is September, so it’s not too close.
Unless, you go by the date they were supposed to be born…August 12th.
That’s where the situation got tricky for us. An August birthday is very close to the cut-off date. Many parents hold children back with an August birthday. Not only from a maturity standpoint, but also to give them more of a physical advantage when it comes to things like sports later in school life.
Kindergarten isn’t just playing and coloring anymore. It’s a lot more academic based, and it’s a full day, instead of a half-day, like most of us parents had.
Right now, the twins only go to preschool 2 days a week for a couple of hours. They also get speech, physical therapy, and occupational therapy twice a week for an hour. A full day of school will be a huge change for them. Plus, the twins are small. Little P has yet to make it on the regular growth chart for either height or weight.
So, with all of these odds stacked against them, it was looking like another year of preschool.
Another Road Block
Unfortunately, in our city, we don’t have a free 4k program. There is one put on by the school district, but it is very expensive. Especially, when you multiply that times two. It’s hard to justify paying over $7000 for a half-day of preschool when the boys are technically old enough for kindergarten.
It’s sad when money must play a part in a huge decision like this, but sometimes it has to.
So, even though they are young and little, we’ve decided to enroll them in kindergarten. However, we do have a plan in place to help them.
- They will be going to a kindergarten readiness program this summer. It is half days, but it is every day for 4 weeks. Mr. B did this program after only going to preschool twice a week, and it worked really well for him.
- We will continue to work on speech, PT, and OT during the summer. Their teachers will be giving us homework and exercises to practice.
- They will continue to get speech, PT, and OT in kindergarten through the school district, as they are right now.
- If a full-day is too much, I’ve talked with their pediatrician about picking them up halfway through the day. He is onboard, and I will make sure the school is too.
- They will be in the same classroom. Currently, they are separated in preschool, and this causes some stress for them. With this change, I want them to feel comfortable as possible.
- If they really struggle, we will have them repeat kindergarten next year. Even though the school district does not like to hold kids back, these are my boys. If I feel they need to repeat, they will. I will advocate and do what is best for them.
While I’m scared and anxious about this big change for them, really I know they will be fine. Remember those odds I talked about before? Well, they’ve beaten every one that’s been thrown at them so far. One doctor didn’t even think they’d be here. So, I have no doubt they will rock kindergarten.
How do you decide?
Whether it’s kindergarten or even preschool, how do you know if your child is ready? How do you know if you’re making the right decision?
Honestly, I don’t think you ever know for sure. Parenting is a lot of hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Sometimes, you just have to take a leap and trust your instincts. You may think you’ve looked over all the options and picked the best one, but life has a way of surprising you. Life also has a way of sometimes making those decisions for you.
We may be making a huge mistake sending them to kindergarten, but it’s not a decision that can’t be corrected. If the summer program doesn’t go well, there is time for reevaluation.
I think parenting is also about having a back-up plan.
The best advice I can give is to listen to your heart and to listen to your child. Of course there will be a period of adjustment with any big change, but pay attention to their signals and behavior. Really watch and see if a situation is too much for them. I know I will be watching mine closely.
The twins are very excited to be starting kindergarten, which makes me feel better. They can’t wait to ride the bus, and be in the same school as Mr. B.
I do know that it will be a big adjustment, including a huge adjustment for me. It’s hard to let go, but sometimes you have to. (Other times, like when they are wrestling in the living room, it is MUCH easier!)
Do you have kids starting kindergarten in the Fall? Are you ready, as a parent?
I can completely relate. My son has an August birthday and we decided when he was two we would rather him be the oldest in the class than the youngest. Best of luck!!
Shann Eva says
Thank you Julie!
Kim Airhart says
WOW! I can’t believe you have to pay that amount for preschool. Jake was special needs and in our state of Minnesota he received free preschool. If he didn’t have that free preschool, speech, OT and sensory therapy 4 days a week he would have never been ready. Early Intervention is so important. It is sad that not all states offer those free services.
As far as you and your hubby decision, they are your kids and only you know them and what is best for them. Like you said they can always repeat if needed. I thought a full day of kindergarten was going to be way too much for Jake and some days it was but he adjusted and did great. Good luck to you and yours. sending positive thoughts and vibes your way.
Shann Eva says
That’s good to hear about Jake handling the full-day. Thank you so much for the positive thoughts and vibes too 🙂
My sister ended up doing kindergarten twice – there were others in her class that did it too, and that was back in the early 1990’s so I think it’s fine if you they have to do kindergarten over again in the long run. But it’s good that they are going to try and they have a lot of support around them, and I’m so happy they are excited! 🙂
Shann Eva says
Thank you so much Lauren!
Beth Kondrick says
Such a tough decision, especially when you consider their original due date of August. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping things go well! I’m sure it helps big time that they are excited!
Shann Eva says
Thank you so much Beth!
Elna Cain says
My twins are four and they will be going to school this fall. Where I live we have pre-kindergarten called Junior Kindergarten and it’s part of the school system. I have them in the Catholic School board (also public and free) so I don’t have to pay for JK. I’m fortunate that my twins will be probably the oldest in JK since they are January babies. I couldn’t image them going to school last year. My daughter would have food in her hair and make a terrible mess every time she ate 🙂 My twins are super excited for school. I think the transition is more for me than them! I’m sure your little ones will excel and do great!
Penny @ pennyspassion.blogspot says
My son had a March birthday, so starting Kindergarten was a pretty easy decision. He wasn’t the oldest in his class, but not the youngest either. These parenting decisions are so hard!
Elaine @myRUNexperiment says
My daughter started kindergarten when she turned 5yrs in last August. She was one of the youngest in class but I knew in my heart she was ready for school. Had her in preschool 3 days a week beforehand. She is in 1st grade now and thriving so I’m happy with my decision. It is a tough call but like you said listen to your own instincts. You know your child best.
It is such a touch decision. My oldest just graduated Kindergarten, and I never truly questioned if she was ready. She did very well in PreK. Now my son has been registered for Kindergarten, and I’m a little anxious about him. He has a late birthday and not sure if he’s socially ready, but he is very ready academically. So it has been a tough decision. We decided to go a head with Kindergarten since he would be bored sitting in a PreK class and hopefully he will catch on socially after being surrounded by his peers 🙂
Gina Hill says
Oh my gosh! My daughter’s birthday is August 12 too! In our school district, she was not allowed to start Kindergarten unless she was 5 by August 1. So we went back and forth on the decision, but since she is the kind of kid who LIKES to sit and draw, write, color all day, we decided to work with our school district to see if they would allow her to attend kindergarten even though she missed the cut-off by 2 weeks. They gave her a quick “Readiness evaluation” (basically seeing if she new sounds, numbers and letters) and was allowed to go. She’s had a great year!
Audria Allred Smith says
I don’t have a child this age yet. But am sure its a crazy choice. Hopefully I will consider all the ins and outs like you did when its time. Good luck with your littles:)
I know how you feel though my daughter is a little younger then your boys, she has a birthday that fall between school years so either she will young kindergartener (if she gets accepted for early admissions) or she will be an older kindergartener. She loves learning and when we do the “Is your child ready for kindergarten” test online she completes about 85% of it already.
Ugh being a mom is hard. lol.
Shann Eva says
It really is! Let me know how she does.
My daughter is August born and she will go to FS1 this September. I am nervous!
Shann Eva says
I hope she does well! Please keep me updated!
Momma Addict says
Every year parents face this issue even without the added stress of children who are small or needing additional services. School is also about maturity, not just size and age. Some kids are born “old souls” with late birthdays and some kids with February birthdays are extremely immature and are held back. It is hard to repeat kindergarten and see your friends move on, so some schools have Pre-1st class which is halfway between kindergarten and 1st grade. To make matters more dramatic, some children with late September birthdays will be in class and they are practically a year older. Good luck!
Shann Eva says
Thank you! It definitely is a very difficult decision.
Bree Courtney says
I don’t think there is any way for them/you to fail because you have talked through and planned for everything! Good job! Our daughter just finished kindergarten and although she struggled at first because they were making words the second week (and she wasn’t there yet), she caught up by the end of the year and I was so impressed with her perseverance. It is good to be prepared for all the situations!
Shann Eva says
It’s good to hear about your experience Bree. I’m so glad that your daughter caught up and is doing well.
These are great tips! This is a hard decision, but it’s helpful to read your ideas!
Jennifer Corter says
These are great tips, I’ve been following your blog for a while now! I can’t believe they are ready for kindergarten already! Time sure does fly! My son was born very close to the cutoff date as well. He was due in September and came in August.
Shann Eva says
Did you send him or hold him back a year?