Are they ready?

Our latest family conundrum is the time honored, fate-of-the-free-world-depends-on-it question of whether or not our children are ready for kindergarten.

It’s even more terror inducing than deciding on paper or plastic.

We’re not concerned whether or not J and A are academically ready (shoot, their preschool teacher from last year said they were academically ready then).  No, we’re worried about whether or not they are socially ready.  Mostly because they tend not to enjoy new environments.  As in they tend to cower in fear.

OK, maybe not cower.  But they don’t really enjoy new situations a whole lot.

Of course, neither do I.

We’ve talked to friends, teachers, coworkers, etc., looking for some sage advice that would assuage our concerns.  And, without exception, they have all said the same thing:

It depends.

Thanks for that.  Actually, I was looking for something a tiny bit more definitive.

But I get it.  No two kids (even twins) are the same.  And we know them better than anybody else, so we can’t expect somebody to tell us what we should should do.  So we’ll continue to discuss it while scouring the area for kindergarten open-houses.

Of course, there was one positive that came directly out of our discussions.  Last night, K and I went to their preschool to hear some kindergarten teachers describe their classes and take questions from a room full of type-A parents who are concerned that making the wrong decision about kindergarten will cause their children to be utter failures and end up at Stanford instead of Harvard.  As the teachers were describing some of the typical kindergarten activities, K got a little emotional, thinking of the kids growing up so fast, already having to do things like carrying their own lunch trays around a cafeteria. One teacher said they even start working on the concept of money.

At this point, I believe my somewhat inappropriate comment was something like “What, is it really necessary for my 5 year old to know how to make change at 7-11?”

K stopped holding back tears and started holding back laughter.  And then she leaned over and whispered in my ear:

“I don’t deserve you.”

I think I’m going to put that on a t-shirt for her.

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5 Comments on “Are they ready?”

  1. vivienne Says:

    Having children who went to neither Stanford or Harvard, it seems to me that children are really pushed hard, and really fast today !!! What happened to letting children be children ? You know, playing ? well enough on that. Hey when you get K that shirt, be sure to get one for yourself too !!! Love this blog !!!

  2. carpoolqueen Says:

    Having agonized over my own decision, I’ll not weigh in on yours.

    I will, however, laugh along with K.

  3. gretchen Says:

    I’m sure I was wrong. With both of mine. But they’re 11.5 and 13.5, and we’re saving for weddings or therapy. They can have one on us, but not the other.

  4. Sandy Says:

    Being the “older woman” I almost always advise holding back rather than pushing ahead. I’ve had many younger parents tell me later that they were SO glad they took that advice. I wish I had held both of mine back, but that many years ago there weren’t too many options. And since the pre-school teachers thought my child was brilliant & NEEDED to start kindergarten, who was I to know any better? THE PARENT, that’s who! But I followed their advice… and she did fine, but I think lots of things would have been easier if I had followed my instincts. The plus (for us as parents…) was that she wasn’t dating when her friends were because she wasn’t 16 yet… I know, archaic! With #2, his birthday was in the summer, so surely he was ready to start in the fall… Should have followed my instincts on that one too!
    But YOU are the parents of these 2, so it is up to you (after you get much advice you don’t even want & some that is helpful), to make the choice for your own children. Asking God to give you wise discernment!

  5. quotation marks Says:

    We’ll see you on Sunday. 5 in January…hmmm. I wish I had the answer for you. Apparently more complicated than it was in your day, or way back in my day.


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