Saturday, March 7, 2009

catching up

Has it been three weeks? Really? Since I last posted? Good grief. So a quick wrap up.

I started my new job this week. Here’s what I know – after a year of not working regularly out of the house, my feet are not used to work shoes. I am limping.

We are spending all of our spare time thinking about school choices for our daughter, who can go to pre-k next year. She has a late September birthday, and our city has a September 30 cut off date for going to school. So she will be the youngest in her class, and I am freaking out. Should we send her? Hold her back? How do you know what to do?

Then there’s school choice. We are in the public school realm. We live in a large urban city, with terrible and ok schools. How do we get into an OK school? By going to endless rounds of open houses and putting in applications for schools outside our neighborhood. And praying we get accepted. This is a part-time job, figuring this out. And you know, it’s only her entire life we’re talking about here. So no stress involved at all, right?

The little man is doing well. Right after I accepted the job, his sleeping regressed and I was back up two times a night with him. But this week he’s been cooperating beautifully, and I’ve only shed a few tears at handing him over to the nanny. Part-time work is nice, I have still had a lot of time with him during the week.

I just found out a friend’s father just passed away. He was 4 years older than my father and was diagnosed with cancer 8 months ago. I want to drive to my hometown and attend the services next week, but it’s not practical (3.5 hours away, infant, etc). But my heart is heavy for my friend.

Marriage has had its ups and downs, but we’re still coasting along.

Nothing from in-laws.

And that sums up my past few weeks. Nothing too terribly exciting. Just life. I’ve barely had time to click around the blogosphere. What’s been going on with you?


Antigone said...

I was thinking about you today. Time just keeps slipping by. I had to pack up P's newborn clothing today. I'm not sure where the last two months went but I'm awfully afraid the next two years will slip by just as fast.

I can't wait to hear more about the job.

Anonymous said...

Just to play devil's advocate on the preschool thing... you'll be asking your child to socialize and compete academically with kids that will be a full year older than her. Then when she's a little older, some of the kids who have been held back a grade will be nearly 2 years older than her. Suppose you keep her from starting for one more year. She will still graduate at 18 years old, so she won't be freakishly older than the other kids. If you choose not to hold her back, fast forward to high school. She will not have her driver's license but the other SCARY CRAZY kids in her class will. She will want to ride with said kids.

My mother was the youngest in her class (she went to Catholic school until 8th grade, and they did not offer kindergarten, just first grade. So she started first grade at age 5 and didn't turn 6 until November.) She was the perfect candidate for being the youngest because she was more mature. My older sister, on the other hand, was the youngest in her class (cut off date here is August 30, her birthday is August 25) and she was MISERABLE all through school. She hung out with kids that were a grade level below her because she couldn't identify with kids in her own grade.

It all comes down to how you feel your child will handle being the youngest. If she's a very young acting child, I personally would wait another year. If she's a mature child, you can give it a go and see how it works out. Good luck on the decision making!

Tash said...

Here's my PK/K assvice:

Try to get her now into a preK/K program that either has an older PK room or a TK (transitional K) room. That way if you decide to wait another year, you have the option already there, with kids making the same decision.

That said: the director of our PK program said when it's borderline, with boys she always says to wait the year, and with girls it's case by case. If you're on the fence, wait the year. It's always to their advantage, and if your kid is a social/academic genius, you can always skip a grade later. These years kinda matter socially.

Bella is a late summer, she's physcially tall, socially fine, very verbal. Her teachers said it was a no brainer to send her to K next year even though her friend in her class is almost a year ahead of her. A lot of K programs ask to meet your child -- they'll also have a good idea whether or not she's ready.

Her teachers next year will also have a v. good idea. They've done this a million times, and know how your kid handles a room full of other kids on a daily basis.

I feel for you. This last fall/winter has been a major stress-out over the issue, and I'm so glad it's done and settled.

suz said...

2 opinions on the school thing. My mom is an elementary teacher and she says wait. If a kid goes too early it's a huge deal and causes lots of problems, not so on the other end.

Here's an interesting study on this topic, essentially shows that waiting could give your daughter an advantage that will last her entire scholastic career.

My daughter is in the same boat, early summer birthday. We have a few years to decide but I'm almost positive we'll wait and send her to a montessori school for the year that she's 5.

Claire said...

My DD is the youngest in 2nd grade with an Aug Bday. But at 2 years old she knew all her ABC's so I could not see how holding her back would benefit her. One person put it this way, let them go to Kindergarten at their "right" time based on age, and then if they need to repeat Kinder or 1st, they can. It's better to repeat something you are learning, instead of repeating Pre-K when it's just reviewing letters, etc. Made sense to me. And my DD has not had to repeat anything at all!! I say send her and let the Kinder teachers give you their evaluation. As a previous poster said, they ahve done this lots more than you have!

Astarte said...

What we did with Patrick was send him to a Montissori preschool, which mixed kids from age 3 to Kindergardeners. It ended up being perfect, because M programs are based on ability rather than age, so he got to be with kids his own age while still doing things that were appropriate for his level (he started reading at 3, so he was ready for more than regular preschool would have offered). If there's not a program like that available, I would take her to visit wherever the program is you are considering and let the teachers see her, and also watch the other students to see what they're doing and whether she seems comfortable.

I'm glad you're back. I was a little worried that things had gone completely haywire over there.

niobe said...

I hear you on the school choice thing. We live in an urban area with lots of not-so-good public schools and school choice. Despite our rounds of visits and applications, Gray was assigned to what people say is the worst school in the system, all the way on the other side of town.

Just bad luck, but, though we could have sent him there and applied for a transfer, we decided to send him to private school. Which, except for the huge hole in our bank accounts, worked out very, very well.

Here's hoping your experience with school choice is a good one.