Tuesday, March 20, 2012

my girl, school, and funny things

molly is 3.5 years old this month and is growing and changing so quickly.
i feel like i say that in every post, but she really is!
she is technically eligible to start pre-k this fall
but with her late (9/19) bday she would be the youngest in the class
 there are many factors to consider when deciding when to place kids with late summer bdays in kindergarten (or prek)
and it's not an easy decision.
although i don't feel like my choice is going to be a horrible, life altering one for her
i still put great thought into it.
 first of all (like all parents) i think she is very bright
her vocabulary is excellent
and she's been speaking in 6+ word sentences for over a year now.
her reasoning and problems solving skills are good
and, her imagination and ability to pretend play is excellent.
she LOVES to read and is most content to be sitting on my lap reading stories.
she is a really good story teller herself, often times mimicking stories mama maze tells her and adding her own details stolen from familiar fairy tales.
 however, since she has been the only child at home and with mama maze most recently i am not 100% sure how she'll cope with a classroom setting.
she does well in sunday school  at church, but that is only for an hour each week.
so, i knew i wanted to gradually ease her into prek and kindergarten when the time came.
 the bottom line is i don't want to rush her into anything.
i want to preserve her childhood for as long as possible!
i've never heard anyone say, "i wish i would have started them to kindergarten a year earlier"
but, have often times heard parents regret sending kids too early.
being an educator, i know that the closer a student is to 6 years old, the better.
but, for girls we often times make exceptions because they do frequently have the verbal & social skills to move on.
 but, for us the right decision is to wait.
i kept picturing high school...the teenage years...and thought that i don't want her to be the youngest of her group of friends.  the time when peer pressure is at it's worst and often times our ability to reason is challenged to the max.  i want her to have maturity on her side and i hope (and pray) a level head!
(you know what i mean, for a teenager)
i didn't want her to graduate from high school and start college at 17 years old!
that is way too young!
ok... yes, maybe i over thought this! ha! 
 of course, my other considerations were for her physical abilities.  
again, i think she does great and does not appear to let her hands and feet stop her from anything.
but i wanted to get an expert opinion to make sure she didn't need any kind of accommodations or therapy for school purposes.
so, this week we went to a screening process in our early childhood program through the public schools
and she did great!
the teachers and therapists laughed at me and said she would be fine!
ha!  overprotective mom here!
but, i just wanted to make sure.
they had to question her and work with her individually, even though i didn't refer her for cognitive concerns
part of the test requires them to move on with their questions until the child exhibits frustration or confusion
well, with molly, they were asking her 1st grade questions and she was comprehending them and answering them excellently.
they couldn't believe her verbal skills!

then, the occupational therapist watched her run, skip, hop, jump, use her hands, color, draw, use scissors, etc.
and gave her a thumbs up!
everything is perfect, and the best part is that when something is difficult for her she QUICKLY compensates and finds a way to do it on her own.
nothing slows her down!
a couple funny things from this screening that i don't want to forget:
all of the adults came out saying, "she's very opinionated, isn't she?"
they all came over laughing and smiling about what she had said or done.
one teacher asked what a shape was (it was a star and molly identified it), she asked if she knew a song about a star and the lady started to sing it...molly said, "no, no, no, no, i'll sing it in 2 minutes!"

then, this week i was showing her a picture of a circus and pointed to an acrobat and asked her if she knew what that person was called...she said, "a strong man"!  

also, this week we were playing together and i was laughing at her for many reasons.  she wanted me to pretend to go to sleep, and she said, "stop laughing mom, concentrate!"

and finally, at the park this week my mom was telling molly and madison about 'stranger danger'.  telling them if a stranger came up to them to always tell an adult, never to go up to a strange car, etc. madison said, "can we stop talking about this because i'm scared", and then molly said, "i'm not scared, i'll beat them up"!!!!!!!!!  no lie!  we just cracked up laughing at this little spit fire!

so finally, back to the school thing...
molly will start a pre-k 3 year old program this fall at a small private school close to home  and where i teach.  i'm really excited about it and it is also my alma matter, so i think it will be great.  this is the first year they've had a 3 year old program.  i think it will be the perfect amount of preparation, play, and fun to get molly ready for pre-k and the rest of her school career.


Love for Lilly Yin said...

I think you made a perfect choice! My older son has a 10-9 BD and we waited, My daughter is 4-20, and we still waited, and my youngest son is 9-11, and we waited again. The only one I did not wait on was my oldest, 4-1 BD, but honestly, although she is very bright, she was not ready to go away to school for college, and ended up coming home after a year.....
I certainly would have made the same choice for Molly....

Cheryl said...

I to think that's a good decision.
My youngest sister is super smart and started early also. Then she skipped the 7th grade. That was a big big mistake to allow it. Every one in high school was much older than her and not allowing her to go to functions and parties with friends was a nightmare.

jj frog's mom said...

Just curious, what is the cut off date for Kindergarten in TN? In IL, it's 5 by 9/1 for K and 6 by 9/1 for 1st grade.

jj frog's mom said...

Just curious, what's the cut off in TN? In IL, it's 9/1.

Tricia said...

That decision was hard, I know! I have made the same decision for Maggie. She starts 4 yr old pre-K this August and I am going to have her take it twice. She is still so small that I think physically and emotionally she could use another year. After her testing two weeks ago, we found that she was progressing well - still a little behind with speech but she is still seeing a speech therapist - but her problem solving skills need some work. It is hard to make these big decisions for them but I know you weighed the pros and cons and are coming from such an educational background. I hope you guys are doing well. We are coming to NSH for a week - for me to work - in May. I will let you know so maybe we can get the girls together. I would love to see you and meet Molly. My mom is coming with me so I am not gone from Maggie a whole week. take care

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