My last baby is coming up on being ready for the Big “K” and of course, she is ready right?!? She is my second child to have a late summer birthday. In fact, there is a ten year and one day gap between my second and third kiddo. This should clearly give me years of experience and miles of wisdom to know she is ready to waltz into her class (in a few short months) reciting her home address and tying her shoes like a pro.
Nope! I am having all the same hesitations, reservations, and anxieties I did over sending my older daughter. Please note, older daughter is now a freshman in high school keeping up well with honors classes and is more mature than her 18-year-old brother. Therefore, no brainer, the baby will be just fine taking on Kindergarten as one of the youngest in her class.
This is what I keep telling myself as I think about her fine motor skills, attention span and inability to go more than two hours without some type of meltdown. I think of the pressure we place on kids, even kindergartners, to master skills before they have even set foot in the classroom and I long for my own kindergarten days. You know, when it was only a half a day, and most of that was recess and playtime! The best part being snack time followed up by show and tell. With all of my back and forth banter, there are still some very good guidelines I am using.
Pre-K :: Every school that offers a pre-k class is pretty much designed to help little ones get ready for kindergarten. I ask about my concerns and try to come up with fun ways to help her improve her skills at home. Also, they are assessing her needs all the time and helping her succeed.
Let Go of Perfect :: It’s okay if she keeps making her letter “g” backwards. I am really confident she will figure that out eventually. I know she will be ahead in some things and behind in some things–.always, and that is okay too.
Knowing My Kid :: The Mama instinct is a powerful source. I know my kid better than anyone else and will know what’s right for her. I just need to be sure my Mama vision is not clouded with comparisons or false expectations.
Back-Up Plan :: I did this with my older daughter. I told myself that if she was miserable in kindergarten, couldn’t keep up with the work, or adjust socially I would find another alternative for a year until she was ready. I didn’t have to pull her out of kindergarten, but I did research other schools and felt equipped in the event that I was wrong about her being kindergarten ready.
Kindergarten will be filled with joy, laughter, excitement, tears, tantrums, projects, snacks and hopefully even a little recess and show and tell. Trying to figure out if my youngest is ready for kindergarten will probably be filled with those very same things, but in the end, the decision will be made with love and the best of intentions.