Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Red-Shirt year

A few weeks back we wrote about the right of passage into Kindergarten. Its a huge step for your kid, but what if your little angel is right on the cusp of heading into kindergarten or being held back a year? Well, we were forced with a decision this year that possibly could make or break our oldest daughter's future in school. As you can see by the witty title of this post, we are deciding on holding our kid back a year, but want to get some perspective from other parents on what they've done.

While the above paragraph is wonderfully written, its not enough for a full blog post so I'll go into our decision on holding our daughter back. My oldest has always been a girly girl since she decided to have a personality. Also like many first-born's (so I've heard) she has been very cautious, shy, and critical of situations before jumping in head first. We have never had to worry about her at a pool and just heading for the water. At times she can be kind of needy, but perhaps she is a bit more than most kids. She constantly seeks reassurance and needs a lot of pushing when it comes to trying new things. Its how she's wired. We love her personality and can think of 1000's of situations that would be way worse than our kid being a tad timid.

As this school year was coming up we knew we had a decision to make. We had already decided that our kids will go to the local private school* for grade school, but we just weren't sure that Hannah was fully ready for kindergarten. So the alternative would be sending her to the Public School for kindergarten for this year and then having her do a victory lap of kindergarten next year at the private school. After some thinking, debating, and just going back and forth on the subject, we decided on the "victory lap" theory and will send her to the private school to do kindergarten again next year. We have thought long and hard on this decision and after talking with a lot of parents we never once heard them say that they regretted holding their kid back. On the contrary we ran into a lot of situations where people wished they would have been held back.

So with that, we'd like to hear your opinion what you think or stories about the decisions you made as parents.

*Disclaimer: Before you pass judgement on the whole public/private decision, please know a few things. 1) St. Louis is weird and a ton of people go to private Catholic schools. 2) We live in an awesome school district that is rated very high and we are big fans of our Public School. My wife is actually an Occupational Therapist in our district. 3) I am not rich by any stretch of the word. Our Catholic school is about $2k LESS a year than day care.

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