Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Big Decisions!


Tuesday was officially the end of our Spring Break. After I found out about my Subchorionic Hemmorage (SCH) and got the doctor's orders to take it easy, it put a damper on a lot of the big plans we had for the Break. No biggie. We still had fun!

Monday we had over some friends for a little playdate (Karalyn and her baby boy). Then in the afternoon, we were coming up short with ideas of what to do, and Paprika decided she wanted to create her own recipe and bake a big cake for her butterfly.

So, I got out a bunch of ingredients we hardly ever use (some of them expired!) and let her and Ginger have a grand time putting together a big mess of things into an enormous bowl. I think they went through half of the pots and pans in the house creating this thing before it was all said and done.


Then, Paprika decided to add oatmeal, and I had about a gallon of it stored high in the cabinet from way back when I thought I should eat oatmeal - but of course, never quite got around to it! ;-)

Ginger accidentally spilled the whole one gallon bag on the floor, and the rest is history. The girls decided to have a snowball fight and an indoor "blizzard" with it. I probably should have stopped them, but they were having the time of their lives.


It really was so much fun!


This week, Paprika had her evaluations for kindergarten readiness. Here we have two programs - one is Kindergarten and one is called Developmental Kindergarten (DK). The DK class is basically an extra year of Pre-K, and then kids go the next year into regular Kindergarten.

Paprika has an August birthday, so she is near the cut-off, and so we decided to get her tested. Her current preschool teacher tested her yesterday, and then today she had her evaluation at the elementary school she'll attend next year.

I am pretty sure she aced her evaluation at the elementary school (the teacher talked to me afterwards). But her preschool teacher thinks maybe we should hold her back and put her in DK next year. Paprika doesn't like big crowds of people or noise, and so her teacher thinks she might have a hard time jumping into Kindergarten. She thinks academically Paprika is really advanced, but maybe she should be held back for social reasons.

Paprika is a dreamer, and has a huge imagination. She will pay attention, but if something is boring her, she would much rather retreat to the dreamland in her head than focus on the material being presented. I guess her preschool teacher thinks that an extra year would allow some more time to mature...but I wonder if she's in DK, will she be so bored that she will retreat into her head futher? She is already reading, for goodness sakes!


Who knew that being a parent would be so tough? We're mulling it over and waiting to get the official recommendation of her elementary school and then go from there.

I have talked to many other parents about it, and even discussed it with my BFF, who is an Occupational Therapist and knows a lot about the emotional/sensory development of kids. They all say she is ready for kindergarten, and that holding her back will do more harm than good.

But what about her preschool teacher's recommendation? Do I just cast that aside?

Hrmmmmm. I know we have a lot to ponder on this. It's hard knowing what the best course of action is for your child, and we just want to do the right thing. Hopefully we'll figure it out and not totally mess it up! I am sure by the time Ginger goes to kindergarten, I will know what I'm doing a little better. For now, it feels like I am jumping into this whole new world blindly, and praying I am doing the right thing...



Sarah said...

It certainly IS hard knowing if you're doing the right thing, isn't it? I had NO idea Ann was an OT. We are going to take Zane to an OT evaluation in a couple weeks based on the recommendations of his pre-school teacher. What does Ann say? If you get a chance, email me! I'd love to talk more... :)

Susanne said...

As an educator (with a doctorate in education) and someone with a Fall birthday I would wait. I have made this recommendation to many families over the last 10 years and they have all been glad they waited. It is important to remember school is more than academics and more than just being ready for Kindergarten. Students who are younger tend to struggle with the social elements (sometimes it does not happen until later in their schooling). If you look at most other countries they do not start formal education until 6 or 7 and they have much higher academic success rates. I would wonder if you have the ability to forgo Kindergarten if you feel at the end of DK she is ready for first grade. I love your blog and she seems like a brilliant young lady so I am sure her academic skills are beyond where they need to be! Best of luck deciding what is best for her and your family!

m&msmommy said...

I absolutely LOVE that you allowed them to make that huge mess! I wish I would let my OCD (self diagnosed! ;) go sometimes and just let my kids be kids! I was smiling so much looking at those pictures and how happy your girls were. I need to let loose and let my children have that sort of fun! :)

I'm in a similar predicament...even though my son has a January birthday and will start Kindergarten in August, I'm worried if he's socially ready for it. (academically, I have no doubts that he is). Being a parent is really challenging, and I think your instinct is your best bet. Don't cast aside the recommendation of her preschool teacher, but ultimately go with your gut. Good luck! :)

EVE-O-LUTION said...

Love reading your posts :)

Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog for almost two years now (since Ginger was born) but this is the first time I have commented. First.....I love, love, love the way you dress your little girls. I love the old fashioned dresses with pretty little girl shoes. When my girls (who are 23 and 17) were little I dressed them in very similar fashions and it is so refreshing in this day of little, little girls dressing like teenagers to see little girls dressed like....well.....little girls. Also, just curious. What does Mr. Mustard do on Dancing with the is a favorite in our home and every time the show comes on, I wonder if I might see Mr. Mustard on the air at all?

Sheila said...

Hahahaha! :)

As far as the school goes...
Can you go observe these 2 classrooms before you'd have to make a decision? Paprika likes to stay up late and sleep in. You'll have a toddler and big belly by fall. I sent my angel baby girl on to kindergarten at 4. She has a December birthday. Her teachers thought she could handle a full day till 3p.m. I felt she might get lost in the "babyland" at our house and needed playmates on her age level. She was reading when she started kindergarten.
Given Paprika's tender nature you might ask her. Will she feel as if she's being SENT OFF to school instead of being allowed to be home with Ginger and Baby Dear?
If these are 1/2 day programs I wouldn't be worrying over it. If they are full day programs, you'll have to judge for yourself how she does with a full day of structure not of her own making. Academically she's probably way ahead of the group entering kindergarten. Paprika just seems to be more of a Montessori pupil.
My bohemian did well in school but I did have more than one teacher tell me they felt they were letting her down. She'd have 1/2 her head in class and the other 1/2was daydreaming in her own more interesting world. This continued through 5th grade and she still lapses into it. It's what dreamers do. Her teacher referred to her as an "absent minded professor".She was fully versed in the subject matter and able to tap into when called upon but chose to spend her time in her thoughts.
Just to make the cheese more binding, her brother has an October birthday. I sent him on where I'd have both the boys in the same school and schedule. I should have waited the year with him. He was more than able academically. Socially and emotionally I think he'd have done better waiting. There goes that 20/20 stuff again.
I ended up holding him back in 5th grade which is harder on the kid. It was obvious at that point that he needed more "time" regardless of his grades.
One more thought... Ginger might just need Paprika to go off to school because she will definitely need more "Me" time from you. It's gonna start to rock and roll for you this fall big time. I don't think there is anything wrong with making decisions based on what works best for your family and the schedules you and Mr. Mustard are going to have. Kids Adapt!

Lauren said...

I say this and think this all the time, but you are the coolest mom! That is so great that you can sit back and let the girls toss ingredients around your kitchen and just let them have fun. I hope I am laid back enough to do that, but I fear I'd be worried about the mess the whole time.

I'm sure you guys will make the right decision about Paprika's school. I'm sure she will thrive in either class you end up putting her in. She is a very smart and creative girl.

The Campbells said...

Everyone's suggestions sound great. The only thing that I have to add is that as a teacher and a mother - YOU are the only one who knows what is best for your child. Pray on it, get all the information you can and go with your gut. And remember it doesn't have to be an all or nothing. You could start Kindergarten and if it is too much put her in a developmental Kindergarten or preschool. It will come to you as to what is best.

Also I am praying for the newest addition. I know it is scary and all I can say is there are great people there in your life to surround you with their love.

Anonymous said...

I totally forgot to comment on the school issue when I left my last comment. Our youngest is also a late summer birthday and we struggled with whether or not to hold him back for a long time. We finally decided to put him in regular kindergarten and if his teacher felt he wasn't ready to move onto first grade, we would just put him in another kindergarten class. At the end of the year, she felt he was ready to move on so we went agead and put him in first grade. At that time, as the youngest of four, he was both academically and socially ready. He is now a freshman in high school and we are wishing we had held him back for two reasons. Now we are struggling with maturity issues (big difference between 14 and 15 year old boys) and also he is in sports and is MUCH smaller than all the others on his team because he is, in many cases a year younger.

Tracy said...

I'm a little late to the game here. We have been discussing Kindergarten for my 4 yo Sam for years. He was 3 mos early, and he's a boy, so I've had several people suggested waiting a year solely for that reason. His birthday is in January. I think it is best to evaluate him on his current level rather than his past development. Anyway, I don't have any advice. I just wanted to say that I get it. ((hugs))