Braylens Second Year of Preschool

I can’t even believe it, but my very first baby is in his SECOND year of Preschool! How did that even happen? He is now going to school four days a week, and so far is loving it, and exhausted at the end of each day!

I snapped some photos of him on our way to his meet the teacher day, and of course Winston had to join in on the fun. But first, can we all just cry about how much he has changed from last year to this year {or maybe it will just be me crying!}. And please help me out on some advice at the end of this post- because we will need it!

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He was super in to showing that he is now four in all of the photos, and I don’t blame him:) And then of course Winston wanted to show how old he is too, but couldn’t quite get the hang of holding up two fingers.

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His first week so far has been great. He still cries for a minute or two every day at drop off, but I am expecting that to be over by next week.

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And this little man misses his brother so much while hes gone! So far we have been spending time at the gym, and running errands with just ONE kid while I can. Not much longer till theres a little baby in the mix!!

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Basically, I am a weepy mess over Bray being gone four days a week for school, but I am SO dang proud of him. This year I feel like will be very pivitol for him. We are deciding on if we do a year of Pre-K after this, or do Kindergarten. I feel like the amount of actual education that is on the syllabus for this year is way more than last, and the fact that he’s going two more days than last, will be very different.

A fun little rundown of questions for him resulted in this:

-This year I want to: learn how to ride a bike without training wheels

-I am excited about: to go to school with all of your friends

-Favorite color: blue and red

-I want to be a: police officer like Uncle Chris

-Favorite animal: elephant because their trunks are super long and they can reach high branches

-Favorite food: Cheesy eggs

Tell me, if you had a boy with a May birthday, would you hold them back to where they are the oldest in the class, or push them ahead to where they would most likely be the youngest??

Comments

  1. Erin says

    The holding back question is a biggie! My son was born at the end of October, and in our town the cutoff is Dec 31. We debated long and hard and ultimately decided to send him early, so he started kindergarten at 4 and is most definitely one of the younger kids in his class. He’s 8 now and just entered 4th grade, so here’s my 2 cents:

    Academically we knew he was ready. His preschool had a pretty thorough curriculum and even a tiny bit of “homework,” which was a perfect test. He never struggled with the work, and in our gut we knew he could handle the kindergarten work. He is not super organized, which might be just his nature or his age, but we’ve worked with his teachers over the years to help him improve in that area. It’s a minor challenge, but still something to consider. We use checklists and reminders periodically to give him those organization skills and we’ve seen him steadily improve.

    Socially we knew he could handle it too. He already played a lot with kids a year older than him just because of who was in his mixed-age daycare, and he didn’t have any notable behavioral or discipline issues that might have been a problem. He’s never had trouble with finding friends or feeling younger than any of the other students.

    The biggest struggle for us was his physical size. He was a smaller kid and was never very athletic by nature. From day one we knew sports might be a little more challenging for him and that he most likely would not be the star of the team. We’re more creative-types, so it seems somewhat trivial now, but it has been an issue we’ve faced on various sports fields continuously, particularly since our town skews sporty. We make lemonade as much as possible and use his sports experiences as a way to emphasize the importance of competing only with yourself and not comparing yourself to others. It doesn’t come easy for him, and in the end those life lessons are incredibly invaluable. Plus, we’ve found activities he thrives at, like TaeKwonDo, which help build up his self esteem.

    In the end, I don’t regret our decision to send him when we did – usually. He’s younger and that means he might work harder in some areas than other kids, but if he had waited a year he’d have different challenges to overcome. When I see him struggling on the soccer field I do sometimes wonder if he’d be a better athlete if we’d waited a year, but that’s 100% Monday-morning quarterbacking (sports pun!). In the end, you know your kid better than most and the only answer is that one that you and your hubby feel in your hearts.

    Sorry for such a long reply! This topic is near and dear to my heart.

  2. says

    I have two May babies. A boy and a girl. My girl is now 9 and my boy is 6. I had heard of red-shirting summer birthdays and didn’t think it would apply to us until the kids went to preschool and everyone was asking me what I was going to do. I suddenly felt like we were on this slippery slope. If “everyone” was having their June babies wait a year then maybe the May babies should wait and if the May babies were waiting then so should the April babies. See what I mean? It never ends.

    That said, I think it is truly a case by case basis.

    I did end up listening (probably too much so) to the preschool teachers. They thought my daughter was immature because, in part, she still sucked her thumb. I laugh at that now because all kids are immature and my daughter stopped sucking her thumb on her own. Anyway, I had my daughter start Pre-K instead of advancing her to Kindergarten. The curriculum is usually quite similar. By the end of pre-K it was pretty clear that going to kindergarten would be WAY too boring for her. So we told her that the Pre-K year was like kindergarten and advanced her to 1st grade. In our state, neither of those two grades was/is required, so you have a lot of flexibility.

    With my son, I had learned so much and understood the academic landscape better. He had long since stopped napping and was ready for a longer day of kindergarten. He was on track with reading and writing. Socially, he was just fine too.

    There are some things to do to ease your mind. First, see how preschool goes. A lot of growth and development is going to happen this year. Second, later in the year, go visit your elementary school. Schedule a visit with the principal or counselor and take your child with you. They will give you valuable input. Third, your May child is not going to be the very youngest if your school’s cut-off date is August or September. There are plenty of kids who will be the same age or younger. Yes, in the beginning you can see some developmental differences, but by 3rd grade or so, the kids even out in their growth and development.

    You are going to get so many opinions thrown your way. So many. My advice is to trust your gut. Our parental gut is rarely wrong. And trust your kid too. Mine often surprise me with their ability to rise to the occasion.

  3. Brooke Buckingham says

    I’m in the same boat! My little guys just turned 4 on Aug. 1st. He’s still very “attached” to me. There are definitely tears when I drop him off at preschool and he’s exhausted when he comes home! (he goes four days a week for 3 hours a day) Right now, I can’t imagine him handling all-day kindergarten, but I know a lot can change in a year. If I had to make the decision TODAY, I put him in a more structured “Pre-K” next year (he’s in a play-based preschool right now) and delay Kindergarten until he’s freshly 6. Buuut, I’m also 6 months pregnant, so I don’t know how much of that is ME not being ready for him to start Kindergarten. 🙂 It’s such a tough call! Right now my plan is to sign him up for Pre-K AND Kindergarten, so I can decide after my hormones calm down a bit (does that ever happen though?) I’m really hoping his preschool teacher can help steer me in the right direction during parent/teacher conferences in February.

  4. Hannah says

    Came across your blog and thought I’d share some input:) I’m a late September birthday who was put in early, and I never had any problems. I’m a high school senior, so I’m actually looking forward to graduating young to give me more room to maybe take a gap year. My brother is a late May birthday who was held back, and that seemed to suit him really well because he was more independent and loved getting to drive and have more freedom sooner. Ultimately it depends on the kid, but he’ll probably be fine either way:)

  5. Vanessa Bailey says

    Our youngest, now 14, is an August 29th baby and that put him right before the school cut off. He is going to graduate HS when he’s 17 (same as I did) whereas his older brother will be 18 and a half. I honestly did not consider whether I should have held him back at the time but as he was in private school, I might have made the financial decision to save a year’s tuition. There were times when I heard complaints from the teachers and, yes, he always had “ants in his pants” but whenever I looked at the kids in the grade lower, I wondered who would have been his friend as they always looked so young to me. As for sports, Little League (baseball) is set up by age, not grade, so red-shirting wouldn’t make a difference until you get into school sports. At that point, yes, I think you will see a big difference. Are you and Jeremy big sports people?

  6. Jen says

    I think it absolutely depends on the kid, and you know them best!
    I got special permission to start Kinder half way through the year, once I turned 5 (after Christmas break) so I could stay with all of my friends. I could already read and write, so my folks knew that making me wait an extra year and not being able to stay with the kids I had grown up with would be a mistake, so they pushed for me to start early.
    I didn’t have any trouble being the youngest, and in fact I didn’t really think of it much until I started college at 17 and everyone thought that was so weird.

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