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    Thoughts on Redshirting

    Over the summer, at a birthday party and talking with other moms, I realized a couple were not going onto Pre-K but doing the pre-pre-k again.  The whole leader not a follower thing got to me.  I was also sad because I’d miss those moms, and their children!  It got in my head though.  I emailed the teacher.  Should he stay behind another year?  They had a conference with a few teachers and the principal, and said he should go on to Pre-K.  But “it was great I was open to it”.

    Yesterday was our first (real) parent teacher conference. We had them before with tuck when he was younger, but I’d always do something fun with the boys and let JB go to them. Because he was just in their pre-pre K program, and like they had said, you would already know if your child was having trouble. Yesterday I went alone because JB had a meeting during that time. It was amazing seeing how much he has progressed in just a short amount of time. He went from holding the crayon with some crazy death grip to near perfect. Throughout the summer we would do a page of this every day, but I’m not some early childhood development wiz.  In my mind, my job is to discipline and make memories with them right now.  It may sound crazy, but I didn’t even go to preschool.   Due to my dad playing baseball, my mother having a bachelor in early childhood development, and traveling – I just didn’t have that.  I also much preferred being with my mom and baby sister.  I didn’t feel like I struggled in school either, and I went onto get my masters (even though it currently collects dust).  But the demands for children are different these days.  Or rather, I too easily let them be different by going with the tide of a challenging school.  Anyway, it was really incredible to see how much he has improved, how much he is learning and enjoying school.  I’m one of only two parents who picks up their kid from Pre-K at noon.  I had a ton of guilt about that, and so off I went enrolling him in too many extracurriculars.  But he is FOUR.  And I am crazy.  His main trouble is stamina.  At noon, he is done.  He still naps at least twice a week.  And he goes to bed at 7.  And so I broached the question for the teacher about possibly repeating Pre-K.  She ultimately said it would be up to me.  But that it’s something he may be able to benefit from.  This is all so personal, and I struggle to write it here… but I feel so lucky to reach out to all of you who may have been through these trenches before.  For me, selfishly, I get my son another year at home.  The boys will just be one year a part in school and I think that could be very special.  And it gives him an extra year to mature and develop.  He is a social butterfly, and tries to connect and encourage anyone.  So the other aspect is his little heart.  He is ridiculously kind.  The teacher said after every show and tell he will raise his hand and say  “great job!  I love you____”.  His heart is so very tender.  He will literally give you anything he has in a heartbeat.  I asked my aunt, who was a principal of a very competitive uptown new orleans school, her take on it…. and I loved what she said.

     

    Just remember you want esp your boys to be oldest because emotionally, socially, physically and intellectually- you want them strong & well developed  to excel. They will be competing in all areas their whole life! With many of the ones in their class. I️ made a lot of these recommendations to parents.
    Plus you have the added benefit of having he and Wes closer and in same schools, teams, etc together.
    It’s all in the rate of development. Some mature early, BUT that does not mean they are smartest. A child that starts with later development may overtake in everything by 3rd grade usually. Someone couldn’t cut w scissors forever. Fine motor, which is physical dev , got perfect in 2nd gd- just a common example. Reading is so variable too. First reader at 3, may not be as good as later reader in 2nd grade (comprehension, etc) Look at each of 4 kinds of developments and rate your own kiddo and if it looks developed, send him on. If not, give him the gift of time! It’s just time- time for all the kinds of development to take place.
    Also- ask about yours and JB’s development. There is a hereditary component.
    At pk & k they are not harmed by holding.
    Just a gift!
    Call me tonight if you want to have a conversation. I’ll be home 6 your time. Call me anytime after that.
    I️ can give you many examples and answer questions.
    Look up The Gisell Institute of Child Development. They’ll give you developmental guide lines on every age. The books are old but you can get them I’m sure- “ Your 3 Year Old” (example), by age or whole book. Good guide.
    My whole theory is you set them up in every way to be Happy first! Self Confidence and self- esteem are Key!

    I’ve seen a lot of really bright kids not be especially successful socially because they can’t connect on same level as the more mature or developed child. Also emotional immaturity will result in social issues w other kids too.

    Each child truly is unique even down to the last cell!!!!
    Most people think all the different kinds of development are together, at same rate.
    No, all separate and it’s usually up and down not even!
    It’s what makes everybody different.

    Very wise food for thought.  We still have time to think about it all.  But I know many of you are right there with me, and may have some sage advice.  or maybe this helped you in some way?!   Or did you or your husband hold back, what did you or he think about it?  I’m off to check out the books she mentioned!

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