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?