BRAT - (noun)

Brat- (noun)

1.A child, especially a spoiled or ill-mannered one.

2.A child of a career military person.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Needing some advice!

I would love to have some of my blogger friends weigh in on this one! We have to decide soon if we are going to send Michelle to kindergarten next year or not.

PROS - I think in many, many ways she is ready - she is doing well in preschool, her speech is coming along and while not perfect, she is certainly understandable to everyone. She is curious and loves to learn. She knows all her letters and numbers, can "sound out" some simple words, do sequencing and patterns. She plays well (most of the time) with her peers.

Next year, she ages out of homebased speech therapy, so regardless of if we send her or not, she will have to go to the elementary school to receive speech therapy.

And, from a family dynamic, I would like to see her go. I have a second child graduating from high school next year. I will be 43 years old next year when she starts K5, and I will be a whole lot older than that when she graduates from high school!!! I know by today's standards that not really that old, but I have been a mom for a long time, and I'll admit, there is a part of me that doesn't want to still be doing this in my "golden years". Also, we think we will stay her in the D.C. metro area for a while longer, but as long as my hubby is still in the Army, there is a chance we could move again. I would like for Michelle to not have to face a move plus starting school all at the same time. And, I have always seen a big leap in her developmentally each year towards the end of the summer, so even with some my concerns I'm fairly confidant she might make another big leap before next school year.

CONS - She is not at the bottom of the class socially, but she is not at the top either. She is not as socially savvy as some of her peers - she is tall for her age, but still in many ways seems younger than some of her peers. She doesn't always sit still, sometimes she seems really hyper. She does very well now going potty at school, but I wouldn't say she is always 100 %. (more like 97%)

Because she was adopted at 2 years and 4 months, I know she missed out on a lot the first 2 and half years of her life. I get that maybe she could use a little more mommy/home time. I don't want to push her ahead and later regret it if she struggles in school just because I wanted a little more free time.

So, I would love to hear from some of you mom's who have faced this same issue.


  1. Midge - given that she was adopted and missed out on a lot of the mommy time, I'd definitely think keeping her home would be good. See if you could find a good Pre-K that will help keep the academics going, but not to many hours a week. Allow for the wonder of exploration.

  2. Such a tough decision. We've already been contemplating what we'll do when it's Alex's turn. Two and a half more years of half-day preschool feels excessive, especially given that it means that each of us gives up 2.5 hours of work time each day. But, in the end, we'll probably keep him home the extra year. Owen is among the oldest in his class and, although he's bored at times, I think it was the right choice.

  3. From South Yarmouth
    Hi, Midge!

    I have heard so much about Michelle from her grandmother. I am not a parent, but I was for decades an educator who dealt with children whose learning needs differed from the generic profile. That included some children who were adopted, some who had had much surgery at an early age, and some who needed specialized services that could be delivered at home or at school.

    I can give you my best opinion, which may differ from a parent’s perspective or that of a school system. (I often found that no one agreed with me in planning sessions, but sometimes I had good insights.) In general, it is seldom a wise to withhold from children experiences that benefit their age peers. Children thrive on appropriate challenge.

    That said, you should learn about the school and the Kindergarten class she would attend. You will want to feel assured that the school culture, and the specific teacher, will be flexible and not over-taxed by numbers; you’d want that for any child. But if you feel your daughter would be especially vulnerable to an over-structured or overwhelming situation, you could try to set up a tailored program. There may well be alternatives that lie between a standard school day and more pre-school. It’s not often a good idea to keep a child in the company of younger classmates when she’s ready to progress. Unless you are certain she can’t handle it, I would let her try.

    Best wishes from your cousin,

    Louise Cole