Getting Ready For Kindergarten :: My Perspective

The start of any year always brings on new changes and beginnings.  I have been going through the process of Kindergarten enrollment for the past few months (*gasp – I can’t even believe that I said that!), and it’s astonishing.

Yes my friends, it’s still a half of a year out until the next school-year starts, but parents of incoming kindergartners are already planning for next year. 

Kindergarten appears to be much more than learning the alphabet, colors, and numbers, as I remember.  How do you know when your kid is ready?! Yes, I have googled “when is your child ready” more times than I care to admit, but so much goes into play; emotional, physical, and intellectual readiness.  My daughter was born 6 weeks early, so her true due date would have been after October 1st, which is the cut-off in our district, but she was born in August. Do I red-shirt her or have her be the baby of the class?

And let’s please discuss the non-education component that some may (or may not) want to discuss; growth and physical appearance.  At the pace that my daughter is growing, she will be NBA star height come 3rd grade.  She is already up to my mother in law’s shoulders (granted, she’s only 5’3”, but you get the jest).  Is she going to be bullied? Or will kids just be too astonished by her height?  Or, here is a third option, is this at all relevant?!   

Oh, and let’s just throw out there the fact that I remember Kindergarten, which I still carry with me.  I hated Kindergarten, and as far as I know, I may be the only one.  I was quiet (like wouldn’t talk to anyone, ever, quiet), and socially awkward until later.  Much later.  It wasn’t until high school, or maybe even college, when I finally started to build meaningful friendships and relationships.  Although sometimes I still turn a bright shade of red when in a socially awkward situation (or even just typing this now!). 

Finally, let’s discuss open enrollment, alternatively known as the option for mom’s who maybe aren’t ready to decide (at least for a few of us.)  Just a few days ago, I had an enlightening conversation with a mom who told me her ups and downs of open enrollment.  There are more choices now than ever before, I feel like.  In my close circle of friends, their kiddos go to a grand total of 6 different schools. When I was growing up, just about every kid went to our neighborhood school.  Today, we have resources at the click of a button with google, which was most definitely not around when I was a kid (thank goodness!).  We also live in an empowering society that allows us to make choices that fit our lifestyle and family needs.  There are charter schools, Montessori schools, magnet schools, public schools, public schools that you can choose to open-enroll in, home school options, and private schools.

At the end of the day, we’re just doing what we think is best for our families. I’m really looking to the sky above for some clarity and answers; to see where the wind blows us this year.  With the political climate that we’re in, now is the time to do your homework more than ever, and make the choice that is best for your family.  I’m very grateful to live near a great elementary school and have so many people that I can bounce my ideas off of.  Enrolling in school seems like a roller coaster of a ride, and I cannot wait to see where this journey takes us.

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