Friday, May 16, 2008

All growed up

We got big news at our house this week, five years of worrying has been put to rest (yes, I was worrying about this before she was even born!). Boobah was born on September 3. The year she was born the state declared they were moving the age for starting school back from the end of December to Sept. 1 with the phase in of full-day Kindergarten. After months of filling out forms, testing and waiting (mostly waiting) we got word that she has been accepted to Kindergarten!

I think she is so ready to go to school and she is a really tall girl so I had visions of her being a head taller than her classmates if she had to wait another year to go to school. She is a kid who gets bored and finds something to keep herself occupied and it isn't always what others would want her to be doing--learning to pee standing up for instance. There is also the small issue of money, we are now spending a boatload of money to send her to the World's Second Most Expensive Preschool (BuilderMama has us beat with THE most expensive). I love the place and she has really flourished there but another year of a tuition bill for preschool equal to what my parents paid for a year of private college makes my stomach churn just a bit.

On the other hand I have what I would guess is typically mommy doubt--are we pushing her into something because it saves us money, we are convinced she is brilliant and are sure she can handle being with kids who are generally older than she is? My friends have been reassuring that they think we'd be crazy not to have her tested. A few people with kids who are a few weeks or months younger than she is are a little surprised we would have her tested because they want their kids to be the oldest, biggest, smartest in the class and see waiting as an advantage (or course most of them also have the luxury of a parent at home full time). Oh The Joys had a post about the trend to "red-shirt" Kindergartners--hold them out if they have a birthday in the summer and send them to school when they are six rather than five. Her post generated a lot of discussion (144 comments!) among her loyal fans. If you Google red-shirt and Kindergarten there are articles from the New York Times to TIME magazine on the subject of the "right" age to go to Kindergarten so at least I don't feel alone. But I do feel confused and maybe even a bit guilty.

The questions, oh the questions. Am I making the right decision? IS there a right decision? Am I disadvantaging my child by sending her to Kindergarten and making her among the youngest, if not the youngest child in her class? Will any of this matter two years from now? If I waited would she be on the fast track to Harvard?

My gut says this is the right decision for this child at this time. The system says yes, this child is ready to go. The child says, yes Mommy I am ready to go to Kindergarten. The only part that nags me now is the little part of my heart that is releasing my baby to the wonders of public school and giving up yet a little more control to her and other adults.
In other news, the Think Thin Thursday Update is minus 3.2 pounds for a grand total of 18 pounds in five weeks. Honestly I am stunned but certainly not unhappy! I got to go shopping in my own closet yesterday for clothes that hadn't fit in awhile. Training continues to go well, need more time on the bike outside if I can get the weather to cooperate!


Tree said...

Congratulations, Boobah!!!

Honestly, I believe only you and your dh know what is best for your child. Anyone else is trying to put them into a "type" and who wants that? We will be facing some similar decisions with J as she is a 9/6 baby. Fortunately, the decision is not imminent.

No freaking way! That's phenomenal progress, MM! Do you feel lighter and taller when you bike and run? Good job.

Esmerelda said...

BOOBAH NEEDS TO GO TO SCHOOL. But you knew this was my opinion.

I started school when I was 4, and I WAS STILL BORED.

She was ready to take on the world when she started talking. Seriously.

If it's a disaster, you could always pull her out and into the preschool. It's not like this isn't undoable.

mothergoosemouse said...

Eh, there's no right age. Totally depends on the child. But from what you've described, I think you certainly made the right decision for Boobah.

Gretchen said...

For what it's worth - you're doing right by her.

Congrats! Big step indeed, turning her over to public school!

And think of no more tuition! Whoot!