Friday, February 11, 2011

The Kindergarten Mulligan

In golf, there are do overs, called mulligans. In life, there are rarely these opportunities, unless you can talk your spouse into an annulment. The concept of starting over or doing something again, without penalty is lost in the real world.

Jeff and I have decided, with the help of the professionals at the CHANEL school, to give our triplets a kindergarten mulligan. In other words, we have chosen to hold them back from first grade, and give them another year of kindergarten. This choice is made for their ultimate benefit.

As parents we make choices with our childrens' best interests in mind. We knew going into this school year that this might be our option. The thought of them doing another year of preschool did not make sense, and they thrived with the added challenge that they got every day in Kindergarten.

I can honestly say that I had reservations about them being the youngest in their class by over 18 months. Here in Ohio, most kindergarten students are five and six when they begin the school year, some turn seven while in kindergarten. For us, we had to look ahead toward middle school and realize that at our current enrollment the triplets would be 18 months younger than their peers. We all know how maturity and puberty can reek havoc on teens, so imagine them 11 when their fellow classmates are 13 or older. Shudder.

Of course we worry about stigmas and stereotypes, but the reality is this: Now is the time to fine tune their basic fine motor skills and get a back to basics foundation for the future. Repeating kindergarten is no big whoop, whereas repeating 4th grade is embarrassing.

If ever you get a chance to master techniques and repeat the learning process, kindergarten is the time. This is our definition of a kindergarten mulligan. Play on.....FORE!


Cate said...

Can I just say, that as a teacher, you have made one of the best choices you could have made.
Especially considering the age gaps between them and some of the other kids.
You're right in saying that kindergarten is where they'll learn a lot - and it's stuff vital to the following years.
It won't hurt them to repeat.... it'll give them a huge advantage further down the line.

A lot of parents don't feel comfortable making this choice, and often don't because they think that their kids will feel like they're being left behind.
Well done for being forward thinking enough to make the decision!!!

The Wright Trips said...

This post couldn't have come at a better time! I am struggling, BIG TIME, with my kids going to K next year. They will be 5 July 1. I, too, feel like another year of pre-school is nuts. They have already been 2 years.

So, DH & I have been discussing doing the same thing you just said. We will go ahead & send them this fall & then hold them back another year. Do your kiddos go full day? I'm struggling with that as well. Will my babies be okay going for 7 hours!? Sheesh. I hate these decisions & this one has been eating me alive!

Thanks for this post.

jessica said...

My sister started my niece(at a private Christian school) 2 months after she turned 5. Within months she was telling me how much she regretted it. They already had in their curriculum a program called T-1. The step up program for those who just might not be ready to move on to 1st grade. She has never regretted that additional year of the basics!

Helene Eichenwald Slutsky said...

Mamalove, they'll love it. Ours are full day and it's half day English and half Hebrew. We will both have triplets in kindergarten next year.

Anonymous said...

This post could not have read this post at a better time. My trio were born at 28 weeks and will be attending K in the Fall. It made no sense to me holding them back in pre-k. If need be, they will be repeating kindergarden also. Great minds think alike! Lynda

Anonymous said...

I could not have read, lol

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