Monday, June 04, 2007

Kindergarten, Part 1

I'd been meaning to write about some kindergarten stuff, and then came the New York Times article about red-shirting (holding kids back from kindergarten for a year).

If you're looking for a thoughtful analysis of the article, check out this post. As you could guess, a discussion of the greater socioeconomic implications of redshirting or anything else for that matter won't be going on here.

I'm not concerned about Sean's readiness for kindergarten. He turned 5 in March, so he will be around the median age group for his class. He seems both academically and emotionally mature enough for kindergarten.

Allie is the one whose birthday has caused me angst. Ever since I realized she will be missing the kindergarten cutoff in our district (October 1) by one day (and in a district that is not flexible about that date), I've obsessed over how to handle her educational path. Here's how it will shake out: Allie is starting preschool in the fall; she'll have two years of preschool and then will start kindergarten. She will be one of the oldest kids in her class, but given my experience with Sean's class, I don't imagine she'll be the oldest. Several of Sean's friends from preschool are going to transitional kindergarten in the fall instead of regular kindergarten because of their late-summer birthdays. They'll be 6 when they start kindergarten.

I'm pretty comfortable with this decision now -- given Allie's temperament and emotional immaturity I think that waiting was a good idea. (Our alternatives weren't especially palatable---she could have started preschool last year, had a second year of preschool this year, attended transitional kindergarten the next year, and THEN started kindergarten; I feared that by that point she would have been really bored. We also could have tried a private kindergarten for that third year, but even so the cutoff date for the public school would still have applied for first grade! A conundrum indeed.)

Though I think Sean is ready for kindergarten, a few areas of concern have cropped up. Since this is already long and my children are erupting in increasingly loud spats over who gets to play with the truck that plays "YMCA," I'll address those concerns in a separate post.