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To Send or Not to Send: Additional Pre-K or Kindergarten

pre-kRecently my wife and I had a tough decision to make concerning our son. He was born right near the cut-off date for how our school district determines grade placement and we had an option – we could either send him to Kindergarten or keep him in Pre-K.

We had so much information to consider – his Pre-K teachers had their recommendation (he should stay for another year), the school district weighed in, all the information available on the Internet and in the library, and of course advice from family & friends.

My wife and I debated it for what felt like 2 months, as we talked about it often and tried to consider all the factors (and there were many).  We talked about:

  • The psychological – how will he adjust to new friends, what will his old friends think?
  • The physical – is it better to be one of the oldest in your class compared to being one of the youngest?
  • The financial – would we be able to afford another year of Pre-K?  (we also have a daughter in Pre-K)

We read books – surprisingly Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell had an influence on our decision (I won’t spoil the book for you by telling you which part).

By the time we needed to make our decision, the choice was clear. We decided to keep him in Pre-K for the extra year – we wanted him to be one of the oldest in his class rather than one of the youngest.

The lesson for my wife and I during this experience was by communicating and listening to each other and laying out the factors and possible consequences of our actions, coming to a mutual decision wasn’t a terribly hard thing to do. I knew that my wife and I had the best interest of our son at heart, we were engaged in trying to make the best decision possible. Supporting each other turned what could have been a hard decision into an easy one. I also learned that sometimes we – as parents – may over-think things and underestimate the resilience of our children.

The results - Our son just started Pre-K a few weeks ago so it is too soon to tell if we made the right decision, but so far it is looking good – he is being challenged, loving school, making new friends while we still keep in touch with his friends that went off to Kindergarten.

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