Last night I had Kindergarten orientation for my younger son. It was hard not to reflect back on my first time through this with B. I remember looking around the room at the information on the walls. I had that sinking feeling of “he’s not going to like this.” Not because he didn’t like to learn. It was quite the opposite. Based on the curriculum presented, he had already surpassed the “required” knowledge needed for that year.
But this time was different. T just turned 5 in June. There were thoughts of holding him back a year. There were discussions with teachers. There were tough internal questions to ask.
T was born on June 19th, 2007. He was 3 weeks early and weighed 5lbs 5 oz. He was like a little bird when he was born. He didn’t “unfold” himself until about his actual due date. Even at only 3 weeks early, you could just tell, he wasn’t done cooking. He let us know that he wasn’t done for the next 6 months with colic and a side of reflux.
Then, something changed. He went mute. Hearing the colic for the previous 6 months, I wasn’t sure if I should jump for joy, or if there was something more to this silence.
At his next well doctor visit, it was determined with the developmental delays in conjunction with the regression in speech, he would be evaluated for early intervention.
Without going into everything, because that’s like 5 posts in itself, I still decided in the end not to hold him back from attending kindergarten this year. Even though he’s only been in school for 3 days, the decision weighs on my mind constantly. At orientation last night, just hearing about the reading, writing, and journaling, my stomach sank again. This time for different reasons.
The main reasons people hold children back a year are: emotional, social, cognitive, or sports related.
My son had attended 2 years of preschool and is very social and has no issues separating from me. He is independent, friendly, social, and well behaved. I’m not concerned with the sports reason. He is of average height and weight and is much more coordinated than his older brother already. So the only reason left was his cognitive abilities.
I already had a child who went into school knowing “everything” he needed to. Let me tell you, that was no treat either.
If I had based my decision on the educational component alone, I would have held him back. Though, he has no diagnosed learning disability as of right now, I know that this year (and future years) of learning will be a challenge. He will have to work harder than his brother ever had to.
So should I have held him back and have him start next year with “less” to learn or do I offer him everything to learn this year.
I chose everything. I believe, school should be filled with exciting discovery and full of new information.
I hope I gave him that.
I’ll still debate it every day. That’s just what Mom’s do.
(Since I do have 2 kids, I will be writing anything education related to them here. My 2nd son is not gifted and this new chapter into his learning years will be a huge curve ball for me. Luckily, I have some athletic ability myself.)