Wednesday, June 17, 2009

to school or not to school that is the question

I need all of your help out there. I feel quite torn to a big step the will be comng into my life.
Next year, we are talking 2010 school year. Rocco will be of the ever tender age to be entering the world of kindergarten. Here in the great state of Cali,the deadline to enter kindergarten is Dec 1st. This means you have to turn 5 by Dec to go to that school year. Now,this means that there will be lots of kids who are still 4 years old that will be in kindergarten. Rocco's b-day is August 22nd,so as you can see, he will meet the deadline. But, this is where I' don't know what I want to do. Arizona's cutoff is September 1st. So,I wouldn't put Roc's in kindergarten if we lived in Az ,because he would totally be the youngest. So,if I wouldn't put him in in Az ,why would I in Cali. He won't be able to drive till he is a jr and then he will have a year between graduation and a mission. But,if I don't put him in he will never be in the same grade as his church buddies,he makes the deadline by,4 months, and I know he will be too ready if he has to do 2 more years of preschool. The boy is very smart,has a killer memory and he is excited about learning. He has a desire for it,so I don't want him to be bored while waiting to start kindergarten when he 6.
I need some opinonions on the matter and reasons why you think the way you do,so that I can make some well informed decisions for my son's future, no pressure,huh! what I decide in kindergarten will impact him for the rest of his life.Not to mention,I have had a mild panic attack about my boy leaving ,never to be home with me again. This is a roller coaster of emotions!
Help me !


julz said...

Well here is my opinion. Michael has a Nov. birthday so here in Az I could not send him and was glad I couldn't. He was also a really smart kid but it worked in high school cause he was also lazy and being an older kid worked. Now Craig was a July birthday and also smart and I started him in the Sept year and he turned out just fine. Part of me wished I would have waited cause of the whole mission thing being closer to when he graduated but I don't think it would have changed the fact that he probably won't go on one. But I never thought Michael would go either. I just feel safer if they don't have a year of free time before they go but it also can be a year to earn money. guess I am no help....

Eliza said...

Oh Mandy, I feel your pain. I too have this dilemma with Colby since his birthday is Aug. 28th. I have pretty much settled on waiting to put him in a year later. For boys I do think it is better to let them be a little older. Kris b-day is July 24 and he did hate not being able to drive and date until after all his friends. Gracie is Aug. 8 and there was no way I could hold her back- for one thing she is super tall but also very smart, and a girl, so it's a little easier for her to be on the younger end. I also worry about the year before the mission thing and don't really want them to have that. Rex' b-day is in June and he is very small for his age and so I'm really worried about him and not sure if I want to hold him back maybe I will wait until he is a little closer. It's a tough dilemma with church, school, mission, size, age, friends, etc. all playing into it. All in all, for me, I think letting boys be older is the way to go. Unfortunately, you have that CA cutoff also playing into your decision, good luck!

Lyle and Jaime said...

I feel ya here. My oldest two are Nov babies and it doesn't effect them however, my third is July 22nd. She wouldn't date til her Jr year which here means two years of High School before she could date(they do Freshman year at the H.S.) and then would graduate at 17 and have months before she is 18. I think we may hold her back a year then baby #4 and her will be 1 year apart in school. I can't really give you any advise except that you know your son best and you need to make this decision based on his specific needs now as a 4/5 year old and also as a teenager faced with temptations for a full year after High School before his mission. it's a hard decision to make. I truly don't know. Good luck! Do you plan on staying in Cali? or moving back to AZ some day? That too is something that could factor into the decision. Sorry No help here. I just could tell you what we are doing with our little girl.

Alli said...

This is a hard decision and we will have to make it with Easton boy. We always said when he was in my womb that we would hold him back so that he would be older. But now I just don't know cause if he is just super smart and wants to go to school I don't know what we will do. But I agree with Eliza. Usually with boys its better to be older. He will be able to have more fun in high school. and I think that with boys age doesn't matter and he can still hang out with his church buddies. Plus if you start him earlier that means you can't travel to see us that much earlier. Okay now that last one was selfish but we miss you guys. I know I have the perfect solution, MOVE BACK HOME!!! what a briliant plan! :) just kidding, ok maybe i'm not but we love you guys and miss you just pray about it, you'll know what to do.

Jill said...

Hi Mandi!

Ugh! You are forcing me to contemplate my decision AGAIN...:) I have had such a hard time with this one!!!! Why couldn't he be born in April or something? I should of planned better! :)
Sam is the youngest in his class. His b-day is July 15th. He is smart as a wip but currently he fights me with practicing penmanship and reading but he fights me on everything, it's just part of our relationship right now I guess. I think emotionally he could do another year of kindergarten but he is too much ahead academically. I love the idea of him being older and going right into his mission three months after his senior year. The AZ schools are already behind. But being older would give him more confidence and more of a leader personality possibly. Marcus doesn't see the need for him to be older. I don't agree. What does mike think?

I think because he wouldn't go to Kindergarten is AZ until the following year. Hold him at home kiss him another year love on him. Put him in some hip hop classes or something fun like that. I had sam in Preschool since he was 3 and honestly I think he is a little burned out! Then rocko will be older, the big man on campus!!! I think you should wait till he's 6! My opinion!

Love ya

Hey, I somewhat updated my blog. 1 and a 1/2months to go!

Niki {A*Lovely*Lifestyle} said...

Sounds like to me there are more pros than cons in waiting til he's older to start school.

Like Alli said, you just need to pray about it.

I can't believe you are already at this point in life! My little buddy is growing up too fast!

Tara said...

Oh the dilema! It is really a difficult one. I know you will make the right choice for Rocco.

Wes is a July birthday and Bev sent him to Kindergarten as scheduled. But, then she decided to hold him back in 1st grade, mostly for maturity levels. And can I tell you for Wes it was the best decision EVER. For so many reasons. The whole church and friends thing worked out for Wes. He was able to make double the friends and then by the time young mens hit it was combined with his school friends. So that part worked itself out. His maturity level really did need that extra year in school, and it didn't hurt for playing sports either. :)Honestly, it was so important for Wes to go straight on his mission. I can't imagine what he would have done for that whole year, I mean even Vaughn had about a year to wait and all he did was get bad grades and mess around. {I'm sure Vaughn appreciates me saying that right now.}

It is a tough decision, but I thought I'd share our personal stories with ya. Pray about it and see how it goes.

Jen Olson Brown said...

I think you know the answer but are timid like me and don't want to let them go. (I didn't read the other comments yet as to not be influenced yet.) He is ready. He will be over-indulged in Preschool if he doesn't go in. He should be in the same group with church friends and school friends or he'll never fell completely IN with either of them. Plus, if the driving thing is the biggest factor, it shouldn't be. He will do great, and you just need to find out all the possible absences he can do, and take advantage of them by having special one-on-one days! You are a great mom and whatever you choose (because only you can decide what is REALLY the best thing) will be wonderful!

Vaughn said...

Wow, I created an identity. Just found out that I can get on at work. Lunch hour commenting here I come...
On the mission thing, I just have 2 points which if I offend anyone I am very sorry...

1. The missionaries that came right out of high school had ALOT of maturing to do in the mission field that detracted from their mission. So ask yourself how prepared do you want your child to be when he goes and serves the Lord? This is fairly stereotypical but I am pretty sure that any missionary that keeps themselves worthy enough to go on their mission a year after high school would benefit from it.

Which brings me to my 2nd point. Where is the faith? Granted, a lot of kids do get in trouble with temptations before their mission (it isn't like going on a mission immediately shelters you from temptations though). If we do not have faith that our kids will do the right thing as they grow up or atleast know how to repent if they do make a mistake then should they even be trusted with being the lord's representative?

All I am trying to say is that the mission should not be the basis for your decision, it should purely be based on how he will do in school.

And coming from a guy who had a May birthday and couldn't date or drive until he was a junior, yeah it was crappy but hey life is crappy sometimes and it is good to know deal with the crappy stuff because man life can sometimes be CRAPPY but not as crappy if you know how deal with crap.

And just for clarification, yes I did get bad grades the year before my mission but because I was working a ton and not because I was messing around {thanks Tara...}

How was that for a firt time commenter???

Kindra said...

Vaughn told me to read what he wrote so I thought I would leave my own thoughts too.

I agree with vaughn as far as not thinking so much about the will just stress yourself out about things that are to far away and out of your control.

I truly belive that the first six years are the most important years in the formation of a child. (That is my Montessori training) And my spiritual knoweldge leads my to think that we can take that two years more to the age of eight. Sure kids are going to learn and grow after that but the foundation is set.

From a mothers side I will say that I will always side with keeping them home as long as you can. when kids have a good home life they are learning things that they dont learn at school that are just as important (if not sometimes more).

From the teachers side (I taught kindergarten for 5yrs) I will say that we talked many a parent into keeping their child back for a second year of kindergarten because the parents had forced the child in early and we really felt like the childs whole schooling career would be better with a stronger foundation. I am a fan of preschool a couple of days a week and I think if its the right program the child wont be bored. I think its good for mom and child anxiety.

No matter what you choose I think the most important part is finding a school and teacher that fit Rocco. Dont be afraid to ask to sit in and observe and be extra involved.

**Shameless plug for Montessori**
I know there are lots of montessori schools in cali and they love observers. Call around and check some out. See if there are many charter ones incase money is an issue beause they can be expensive. But charter Montessori's are becoming more and more popular here.

Hope this helps a little. Its a tough choice. I have already been worried about what to do with Macie for about two years now. But I mostly worry about her life after Montessori (third grade).

Good Luck!

Alexa Mae said...

scary scary huh!! bronson starts school next year too. his bday is in april though. chellis' bday is august 29th and he was the youngest in his grade. he has never said that he hated it or wished he was the oldest. he did drive later but also like it because he watched his best friend who was the oldest, have to taxi everyone around.i think when you are in the same grade as someone you all feel the same age. i would say if he was on the smaller side (for sports or whatever he deems necessary), or not so eager to learn, i would probably wait another year. but he's a tall boy and very smart. also, the year gap before his mission he can get a year to a year and a half of college in before he goes, and not many boys can do that. whatever year you decide to put him in, he's not going to know the difference. it is weird though how it can impact him...i think if was born a couple months later i would be a grade younger and not have all the many wonderful friends i have now. i think by january or so you will know what is best...and i am with you. i am so so sad they are already going to be going to school, sitting at a little desk, and having recess. not cool!

word verification: siesta (which is what i need right now)

Mike and Shan said...

What if you talked to the school, to see how the kids have reacted to kindergarden when they are 4? That is a hard decission! I don't look forward to Chase going either. He will be starting Kindergarden when he is 5 going on 6, becuase he misses the deadline. So he will have 2 years of pre-school. My sister-in-law is worried about my neice also, because she has a August birthday too. She was told that it is easier for a girl to adjust at an earlier age, than it is a boy. I sounds like people around here are holding their boys back one more year.
Good Luck!! Keep us posted on what you decide!!!

Lindsay Jones said...

one thing that a friend told me when trying to decide what to do with Livvy was she said that being a little older they might not struggle so much and if school is not too hard that may enjoy being there a little more. I do think kids need to be challenged, but they have their whole school career for that. If they start out their school experience loving it then to me that sets up their whole foundation of what schools is.

Clarissa Wilstead said...

I don't have any boys (nor will I :) but I'd see how preschool goes. It also depends on where you send him to preschool, he could be very mature and VERY ready to go if you have him in preschool for a full year. Kaela will be older by the time she goes, but at least she'll have a year and a half of active learning before going to kindergarten.

Suz said...

Here is my two sence... with one thing in mind... You the mom. You have inspiration for your kids that no teacher will ever possess. That being said, HOLD HIM HOME FOR ONE MORE YEAR! Boy howdy... kids are out in the world for so long. To keep him under your influence for as long as you can is going to be more education than he can get no matter how smart he is! I'm telling you... there is more education out there than just 2+2 and with a head start from home he will not only do better in school all around but I totally believe he will have a head start on the education that only the love of a mother can grant one. This would be easy for me because I experienced it. I was the child that my mother held back an extra year... and I never regretted it and neither did she. And what could be better than one more year of your oldest baby at home... You'll never get it back! I know I'm a little selfish with my little ones... I know. Enjoy those angels while you can...

Todd and Jacy Skouson said...

Hi Mandi,

I just got updated on your blog. I love all the cute pics and all the fun stuff you guys are doing!

About your decision with Rocco entering kindergarten- oh, I don't want that day to come for Jack. I know it will come oh to soon. I was just thinking about all that when he will leave me. (Even the thought of going to nursery kinda makes me sad. I know that sounds crazy but, it just means that my baby boy is be growing up too fast).
Well I think that you should have him older for his class. I agree with Jill and the other comments. Keep your boy home while you can and love on him. I think that it is better for boys to be older in school. In the end, it could be better for him socially and emotionally. He will be able to leave right away on his mission, after he graduates from H.S. and all that other stuff... And the part about him being more emotionally ready, I've heard and read that if you start a child too early for school that they may not be ready. Going to school for a little person can be very stressful if it is introduced too early. At this age they still need time at home.
Well that is a little of what I think. I know that you will make the right decision, if you haven't already.
Love ya tons
I need to call ya.