You know, it’s sort of funny because last spring and summer when we were dealing with the enormous burden of deciding whether or not to remove Austin’s kidney — and even back into the previous fall and winter when we were dealing with the same enormous burden — I kept saying how I wished I only had “normal” parenting decisions to make. Normal, average everyday dilemmas to mull.
Well, now I have one and you know it’s stressing me out! Ha, be careful what you wish for, right?
Austin will turn five on September 21. Our school district’s deadline for enrolling children in kindergarten is September 30. My natural inclination is to send him when it’s officially his time, which this coming fall would be. I definitely don’t believe in holding him back for any personal gain — so he’ll be bigger or stronger or smarter than his classmates. That’s just not my perogative as a parent — I lean much more towards that happy middle ground for my kids.
So there’s a big part of me that wants to send him, because I feel it’s the “right” thing to do. But, I do worry that it could add an unnecessary strain to his schooling years. He would always always be the youngest and might always feel like he was playing catch-up. Because so many other parents are holding their kids back these days — not just those with September birthdays, but with birthdays as far back as June and July — Austin could be as many as fifteen months younger than his classmates. That’s a really big difference, especially when you’re only four and your classmates are already six.
So I find myself super torn, back and forth, back and forth (just like with that other big decision). It wouldn’t be hard to wait — Austin has another year of preschool he can easily do since he’s not enrolled in the pre-K class this year, so that’s not a factor.
I’m certainly not expecting anyone else to make this decision for us, but would love to hear about your experiences either as parents or as teachers or as the youngest or oldest student you may once have been. Any insight is welcome.
And believe me, I know that if this is my biggest parenting concern right now, I am very lucky indeed.