August 25th, 2008
by Terri Libenson
Ah, the start of school in the Cleveland suburbs. The charged atmosphere. The nervous kids. The relieved parents. The nerve-racked decision-making of whether or not to send a nearly 6-year-old to kindergarten or first grade. As youâ€™ve probably guessed, this series is based on our actual decision-making process.
To non-parents, this problem probably seems irrelevant, but to those with â€œfall babiesâ€ (kids who missed last yearâ€™s Kindergarten cut-off date), this is an agonizing, life-or-death situation (at least to neurotics like me).
Our child is academically ready for first grade. She can read, write, and knows preliminary math. She already conquered private kindergarten (which acts as a pre-K if necessary). But sociallyâ€¦ thatâ€™s another story.
My daughter loves to play the â€œbaby.â€ That is, she looks up to older kids and her maturity level is on par with preschoolers. Sheâ€™s also on the small side for her age and in group situations can have the attention span of a gnat.
Soâ€¦weâ€™re holding her back. Better to have a head start than fall behind, I think. My husband disagrees. He wants her to forge ahead and challenge herself. But he graciously took the backseat on this one. That is, until Kindergarten screening takes place and she beats the training pants off the other rugrats. Or so he thinks.
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