It has been an extremely stressful fall. Dave's father passed. A very good friend of mine's father unexpectedly passed way too young. A good friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Another good friend's marriage hit a very rocky spot. Another good friend's daughter is dealing with a serious health crisis. My mom's blood pressure is jumping all over the place. Add in a couple of dead gerbils, murdered by the family cat, and it's been a bit rough around here this fall.
And then we have the twins.
The twins are fine. Christopher has had a bit of an on-going cough, but they are both quite healthy and doing well.
Still, Kindergarten has been a bit more of a difficult transition than we thought and we have decided to hold them back next year. Yes, I realize that it's early to pull the trigger on that decision. But what we see is not just whether they are mastering what they are supposed in Kindergarten, but 1) they are young for kindergarten, 2) we would have held them back if we'd had the money to pay for Transition-to-Kindergarten, 3) we held Conor back (same due date as twins) and it was the best decision we've ever made, 4) despite Dave and I being as old as dirt, we are a young (i.e., not wanting to grow up quickly) family, and 5) they *are* having to work a bit hard(er) to master basic kindergarten objectives like writing their letters and learning the alphabet.
Dave and I see this as an opportunity to give the kids one more year of youth and also the best opportunity for them to do as well as they can in school. Academically, we know the kids are above average. Developmentally, though, they are young for Kindergarten. They are June birthdays, but were 6 weeks preemie and have had serious health issues. Why *not* let them have another year to really build their foundational skills and mature before the real work starts? Why not give them every opportunity in the world?
It's ironic, isn't it? We see our decision as being very ambitious for them. It's not what most families would choose as "ambitious" but it seems to us like the best opportunity for them.
We have the support of their wonderful teacher, the school counselor, and the zillions of our successful friends who were held back by their parents when they were in school. We're "announcing" it to help normalize it to other families. As a college prof, I have had lot of students struggle to get their degree as quickly as they can so they can get out and start working. I point out that going slower will likely help them get more out of their degree and that, really, what is the difference of working 49 compared to 50 more years before they retire. (That one always gets them)
So there you go. We're positioning this to the kids that they are going to be "Teacher's Helpers" next year. We thought we'd throw it out to the Internets so folks aren't surprised when the transition to Kindergarten starts up again next fall.