I have had a lot of people asking me this over the summer and even more so now that Alan's birthday is coming up (4 more days). So I figured rather then repeat myself a billion and two times (like I have done thus far), I would just write about it on here. If you have been a follower of this blog for years, you probably already know why but this is for those new-comers who have just joined us!
Why are we not putting Alan in Kindergarten this year??????
Well, for several reasons actually…
#1- Our school district's cutoff is September 10th, just five short days before Alan's birthday. By all technicality he could attend Kindergarten this year but personally I feel that is too close for him to succeed in school. He would be four years old for the first week and a half of school, and that scares me. I feel that the district cutoff date should be on the day that school starts but I do understand that doing so would mean that the district would have to change the cutoff date every. single. year. I can guess that they would not be down for that. So I can accept that fact myself, either suck it up and still put him in school or we can wait until next year when he is five years old for the first week of Kindergarten and six years old for the rest of the year. We chose the latter of the two, to give Alan every chance at success that we can.
#2- We still have yet to find our own place to live and are still living with our parents. Alan does not get the ample time spent with his father because of this. We usually only see Lon for maybe three hours a day, usually split up into one hour increments. I feel like this has also taken a toll on our sweet boy. He doesn't have much to go off of for a male role model and I have just had to teach him several "boy things" like how to care for his little man parts and keep them clean in the tub. Lon can't be there to teach him too much, his main role in our current situation is earning money for us to save up for a new house. Its been hard on all of us and I personally feel that because of all of this, Alan is not ready to go to Kindergarten. He would be bringing all of that with him to the classroom everyday of school, which could cause problems with him, with the teacher and with his other classmates. I can't do that to any of them.
#3- The simple fact that last year, Alan only attended a two day a week, three hours a day preschool course. If I were just to put him straight into Kindergarten, he would probably hate it. They go five days a week, all day long in our school district. It would be far too much of a change for him and I can guess that he would probably not respond well to it.
#4- We have not decided how we will continue Alan's education just yet. With Common Core and standardized testing and No Child Left Behind these days, public schooling has been made to sound like quite a bit of a joke in the press lately. I do not agree with Common Core one bit, but let me get this straight before I have my mom on my back lol, I do fully support all the public school teachers. Teaching kids is not an easy job, especially not when you have 30 rambunctious five year olds who don't even know how to use scissors properly yet. I have a lot of friends who teach, most teach children under the ages of seven too. They have shared a lot with me this last year. I feel like public school has forced teachers and children to focus only on testing and being the best. Being a perfect student, who never struggles, who always listens and always follow directions. Carbon copies… I do not agree with that. My children are their own people, with their own feelings, opinions and personalities. I don't think that I can force my amazing, unique children into such structured molds. I have been reading into homeschooling and more importantly unschooling lately. We may try that out with Alan at first. I am still convincing Lon, he grew up in small-town Utah in the 90's and was basically a guinea pig for ADHD medication. He is very anti-public schooling but also not too sure about homeschooling. So the way I look at it, if he goes into preschool one more year, we have that time to hash out the details and make a proper decision for him.
Alan is his own person. Even if some kids that are his age are ready for Kindergarten, I feel that he isn't yet. And I am only thinking about him with this decision, not what's best for Lon and I. I want him to succeed and grow into the best person he can be. I want him to love to read and write, not just know how to do it. I want him to be inspired by science and mathematics, not just be able to prove things right or wrong. I want him to have the best education he can get, because he deserves it.
And if that means that he is in Kindergarten a year after most of his buddies are, then that's the best thing for him.