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Since Marlowe started preschool at two, I get a lot of questions about why I chose to keep Major home this year, and what our plans are for him with preschool. And they’re good questions! Education is super important to me, and one of the things I’ve realized about education and parenting is that they aren’t one-size-fits-all models. Today I thought I would share our preschool plan for Major so you can hear about what’s been working for us. Each family is different though, so take it all with a grain of salt!
In our area, the public school cutoff is January 1st for each grade which is pretty late. With a late October birthday, it’s always made me nervous the idea of him starting kindergarten at 4 years old– and continuing through the school system young for his age. Growing up, my brothers always had late cutoff birthdays. To this day, my Mom always says that not “holding them back” was one of her biggest regrets. Or as Marlowe’s teacher this year was telling me, “You shouldn’t be wondering if he will be prepared enough for Kindergarten, you should be wondering if he will be prepared to be one of the youngest when he’s in Middle School…”. OMG. Excellent point. I don’t think I love the idea of Major starting college at 17 years old.
Then, a year ago we found the PERFECT nanny. She’s so loving, smart, organized, responsible, and totally runs the household which is exactly what I needed. Plus, my kids absolutely adore her. When it came to sign Major up for preschool in a two’s program, I just thought to myself “Why?” I decided to keep him at home with our nanny, and to sign them up for a few classes so he can make friends– but to my utter delight she has been teaching him so much! In fact, he now knows more of his alphabet than Marlowe does. She does numbers with him, too, and speaks with him in Spanish. Overall, I feel that he is getting just as much learning and recreation time as any Two’s program.
We decided that in Fall 2019 we will have him start preschool in a Three’s class, 3 days per week. His school has longer days, so I think this will be a great way to start him in the program. Then we plan on continuing him in the Fours, and then having him do a T-K program. In our school, this is basically an extra year of preschool that a lot of parents choose for children with late birthdays or children that need a bit more time before Kindergarten. He will now be starting Kindergarten at 5 years old like everyone else, instead of 4!
I feel really good about our decision, even if it does add one more year of “private school” to our budget than we were expecting. Knowing Major and what a sensitive little guy he is, I wouldn’t want to push him to grow up too fast. His sister on the other hand…she was born ready! LOL.
I’m curious how many of you have children with late birthdays, and if you delayed their entrance to kindergarten? I’ve heard it’s more common with boys than with girls. Please share your experience in the comments below!
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Photographs by Julia Dags.