Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Little Boy is Off to Preschool???

Nicholas is in the unfortunate position of having a September 4 birthday. The cutoff for Portland schools is September 1, so that means that he will be one of the oldest children in his class when he starts public school. Chris was in the same situation (August 23), but it was different because he was such a tiny preemie and had some gross and fine motor delays. He would never have been ready for kindergarten at age 5.

In the OLD days (the 1960s), the cutoff was in November...so as an October birthday girl, I was only 4 years old when I started kindergarten! (Kindergarten was only offered in private institutions back then, though, not in public schools.) I did okay being one of the youngest kids in my class, but I was always petite (okay, short!) and at an athletic disadvantage. In some ways, it might have been better for me to have started later. Perhaps I would have done better in Physics during the fall of my junior year of high school if I'd been 16 instead of 15! I went off to college at age 17.

When Nicholas reaches preschool age, he will attend the same wonderful preschool Kieran attended. But this fall, we are going to enroll him in a preschool near our house that takes 2-1/2-year-olds. It's only 1-1/2 hours a day, two days a week, but it will be a good transition for him as a 3-year-old.

I am teasing Mike about this, because as I said on my other blog this evening, if I want Mike to consider something, I have to plant the seed and wait for it to grow. His first reaction does not always predict his ultimate feeling about something. For example, when I first suggested JOKINGLY that we hyphenate our names, I never thought he'd ever go for it. Then he surprised me several years later by announcing that he wanted to do it!

So back to the preschool. I remember commenting to Mike that we might want to look into the 2-1/2-year preschool when Nicholas comes of age, because the socialization with his peer group and a break for Mike might be a good thing. Mike reacted with disdain, saying that another year at home with him would be for the best! So now he's changed his tune.

We have Nicholas in his first "class" right now...it's a gymnastics class for toddlers. The teacher said that the only goal of the class is to get the kids to follow directions.

I do think that some more exposure to his peer group could be a good thing. I've noticed that he's more aggressive with other children than our other boys were. He has learned he has to protect his possessions from Kieran! He's the classic littlest brother. "Mine!"

So this will be another year of transitions for us. One child becoming a teenager, one going into first grade, and one starting preschool (gulp!).

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