Making the Tough Decisions

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Elijah is our 3rd son and the only one of our kids to be born in the summer months.  Isaac and Gabriel were both fall babies and Karlena is my Christmas girl.

Elijah has been going to this wonderful preschool for the past year and 1/2. This year they had 2 full days and a 1/2 day of school. He LOVES school. He seems to be outgrowing the daycare setting and I felt like he really should go to kindergarten next year since he turns 5 in May.

Dominic also has a May birthday and he did go to school as a young 5 year old.  He was always the youngest and the smallest. He remembers not being able to get his Presidential Fitness Patch because he was too young, even though he had passed all of the tests. Not getting his driver’s license when all his friends were able to….

Dominic had pretty strong feelings about keeping him back a year, based on his experience.  I had pretty strong feelings about moving him forward, and if I am honest it was mostly because my sister’s daughter is the same age (they were born 10 days apart) and I know she will be moving forward this fall and I have been worried about the fact that they will celebrate the same birthday’s but at some point will recognize that they are in different grades.

I had e-mailed his teachers a few weeks ago asking them if they felt he was ready for kindergarten next year. And today we had conferences today at Elijah’s preschool.

Academically they think he would probably be just fine if he moved ahead. But being a boy, and an active one who really needs to be able to play and move around, they felt he might get frustrated in the super structured environment of kindergarten. Apparently they are getting down to some serious business there these days.  🙂

Both teachers have children of their own that went through similar circumstances. Both held one back and not another…and both recognized that later in their schooling careers the ones they didn’t hold back probably would have benefitted from it if they had.

Then we found out that there were going to be full time classes available M/W and T/Th, along with the fun Friday 1/2 day.  By signing him up for both he will be introduced to some new curriculum in the M/W class, where he will be one of the oldest kids, and then will do some repeat learning in the T/Th class with kids his same age.

I  hadn’t considered this as an option going into the meeting but as we talked about it I felt such a peace about it.

While it may always bother me a bit that my niece is in the grade above him…I am guessing based on who Elijah is, he won’t be bothered a bit! 🙂

Ultimately we needed to make the decision that is best for Elijah. This also means that he and Karlena will likely be only a year apart in school going forward since she is a December birthday!

Decisions like this are difficult and as parents we may make mistakes. I have learned that I need to be open to the opinions of others and willing to give up my selfish reasons for making a decision and choose what is best for my family.

Have you had to make a similar decision? I’d love to hear how you worked through it and what you learned!

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