Monday, December 01, 2014

Crazy Fall and Update on Twins

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.

1 comment:

Carroll McNeill said...

Preaching to the choir, I know, but you are SO making the right decision, Anita! It's a priceless gift of time, wrapped in love, with a bow of happiness tide all around it (ack -- color me touched by seasonal insanity with that analogy!) You know what I mean. Had I known from the start what I learned later on in the process, I would absolutely have kept our first-born out of school for an extra year. At his eventual request, and with the blessing of his wonderful teachers, he ended up repeating 3rd, skipping 5th and moving on to middle school with the rest of his original Kindergarten class. they bloom when they are ready; it never fails :-)

Also, all good thoughts to your sweet mom! Sheesh, what a worry!