Friday, January 9, 2009

A Belated Birthday Post

K turned four on December 28th! We celebrated with a party on the 27th. Three of her very best friends from school came and our christmas guests were still in residence so we had a nice crowd for snacks, games and cupcakes. K really had a blast. I think she enjoyed playing freeze dance the most. She is suddenly so much more grown up...articulate and imaginative...she is a great big sister to M and a loves to play pretend games with P. Her teachers say she is a "delight" and a friend to all in her class. She has developed an interest in the more traditional "girly" stuff in the past year...dolls, lip gloss, purses!!! (K's purse obsession is a whole separate post)...and her very best friends are girls. She isn't immune to drama...she cries at the sight of something I've cooked for dinner at least once a week.

According to New York State...she will be ready to attend Kindergarten next year. The cutoff is Dec. 31 so she would be the youngest in her class. Why, oh, why didn't she just wait a few days and enter the world in January? Through my semi-extensive research I have determined that NY and CT are the only two states (that I can find) that have that late cutoff. Most states have Sept. 1st as the date by which a child must be 5 to enter Kindergarten. I don't think the I would be so concerned if our school's K program wasn't so intense academically. K will be expected to be reading by December...really right at or before she even turns 5. Some european countries don't even teach reading until children are 7 years old. Additionally...Kindergartners only have recess 2x a week and full-day kindergarten is mandatory in New York City. Kindergartners have homework most nights.

I've been weighing the pros and cons for months and I have no answer. K is tall so she won't appear young if she does go. I have no idea if she is ready academically. She pretends like she can't count in my presence and then I hear her counting with her dolls...up to 20. She is loving pre-school but she only goes two days a week. She does have some anxieties about change and being away from me.

I think that some parents are perceived as wanting to give their child a leg up in school by holding them back. This is not my motivation. I just really want K to go to school when she is ready.

The boys did just fine in kindergarten but it was a big adjustment for C. He was stressed by the schedule and had a hard time focusing on another 1-2 hours of homework after 6 hours of school. He had no recess at all. P has really embraced every part of school...but he was also the oldest at the start...being 5.5 in September.

I am up way too late and I'm thinking that this post makes no sense! The kindergarten question will be there tomorrow.


MemaSteffi said...

K's pictures from birth to the present are precious. The kindergarten question is perplexing, but girls usually fare better in class at younger ages than the boys. Move to PA and you won't have to worry about it.

Mrs Furious said...

I just found your blog through another reader. I couldn't help jump over since we used to live in Brooklyn.

Just wanted to share that my older daughter has a 10/31 b'day. The year she turned 5 we were in MI and the cut off was of course 11/1. So I was in the exact same position. I held her back. For us it was the greatest decision we ever made. She's in K this year and is so much more confident and happy and ready for the challenges then she would have been last year.
We also ended up moving (unbeknownst to me at the time) to NC where the cutoff was earlier. If I hadn't held her back in MI she would have been almost 2 years younger then some classmates now.

Good luck with your decision.