Monday, January 30, 2012

kindergarten>kindergarten : weighing some options

ok, i am getting way ahead of myself - but this week, we are registering rowan for her pre-k class at our beloved preschool and it has me thinking about registration the next year...

(pre-k? as in rowan only has a year of school left before kindergarten, or "people" school as she calls it. wait, when did this happen? #denial)

we have the opportunity to continue our relationship with bethlehem christian school, into kindergarten - they offer half and full day options at a very reasonable cost and let's be honest, we love this school - pajama day? yes! multiple productions put on by fidgety, nose picking 4 y/o's? um, sure! field trips and whacky wednesday? sign us up!

then there is the bottom line, this is a religion based education with class sizes in the fifteens - zoe, goes to public school where there is almost thirty kids in her class, this knots my stomach and makes me think - how can these kids possibly be getting the attention and time they need from their teachers at this age?

here is where i am torn down the middle though - do kids this age form important bonds the first year of elementary school? am i robbing rowan of an important step in making friends if she starts at public school a year later then the kids she will be with till high school? (she goes to preschool a city over, where virtually none of the kids there will go to her public school) or are they still so young that it isn't important?

this all being said - rowan is a very vibrant, heart on her sleeve gal who has no problem approaching kids and welcoming them into her life.

i would love to hear you weigh in on this - have you gone through a similar choice? pros? cons?

9 comments:

melissa rohr said...

I met my very best friend in kindergartan! We went through kinder, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th (break between 5th-6th grade b/c I was in a different class) and then 7th and 8th grade together... then we went to the same high school, and we both went to the same college together! We lost touch sometime in our 3rd year of college, but we are still really good friends... Honestly though, she's the only one... my other best friends I met in high school. Your daughter is so young that she will make tons of friends regardless. Also, once she goes to high school later on, she will make new friends all over again. The thing is she's too young for it to be decided that she is "XYZ" kind of person, and she will grow, and her group of friends will grow/change as she does. So why not keep her there for a while longer, and build her LOVE for school and worry about the friendship stuff later! :) Just my advice. If anything, right now is the best time for her to fall in love with school and learning, kids make friends so easily, it's as simple as "wanna be friends?" for them! LOL, now if it were only that easy as an adult...

melissa rohr said...

thanks! that is what i suspected :)

melissa rohr said...

My parents moved between kindergarten and frist grade. I was in a new town with all new kids. I don't even remember any kindergarten people. Also, I went to the Catholic school that only offered up until 6th grade and then you'd have to transfer to public school. I decided to transfer in 5th grade so I could get to know the new kids before we joined with ANOTHER school for middle-high school. (from a small town so the school situation is crazy)

ANYWHO, I was fine. Both times. She sounds like a pretty outgoing, resilient kid. 

melissa rohr said...

The schooling struggle was, and still is, one of my biggest difficulties as a parent thus far.

After looking at charter schools, private schools, and public school, we chose to put Braedon in public school for now. I don't know how you feel about diversity, but it's been my observation that public schools offer a better mix of what the US has to offer in that area. I like the idea of my kids going to school with the kids they will meet "in real life" for the rest of their life. Class size made me nervous too, but if you can find it in your schedule to volunteer once a week, that really helped with me. It makes it easier to keep tabs with the teacher, see where your kid might be falling behind, and supplement at home.

All of the scenarios have pros and cons, and I think the best option varies even between kid to kid. Good luck!

melissa rohr said...

this is really great advice! i already plan to be as involved in school as possible - but i hadn't thought of it that way.
i agree with your outlook on it! either way, if we kept her at this school it would only be for kindergarten then to public school.

melissa rohr said...

it sounds like this is the general consensus, and is making me feel good no matter what decision we make! thanks :)

melissa rohr said...

I changed elementary schools three times in six years because of a special program I was in.  In middle school I was finally back to my local school, where I knew just a few people from K-2nd grade, then went on to my local high school.  The friends I still stay in touch with (in the real world, not just on FB) are from middle school, none are from elementary.  My husband had the opposite experience, staying in the same schools as his classmates from grades 1-12, and he has fond memories of having his friends from school all living in the same close-knit neighborhood.  He doesn't stay in touch with them now though, except on FB.    I think I missed out by not having friends to play with in my neighborhood, but then again I was perfectly happy just being inside reading books, so it didn't bother me too much. Once I was in middle school/high school, I am glad I went to a local school, made it much easier to meet up with people after school for sports, rollerblading, etc.

For now though, I would keep her in the Christian school.  The low class sizes will surely benefit her.  Plus, since she is so outgoing she shouldn't have any trouble making new friends when she moves to your local school. 

melissa rohr said...

I know nothing about schooling yet but will also have to deal with this during the next 2-3 years. All I do know is that I always went to public school....we never moved and many of my kindergarden friends are still my friends today. :)

melissa rohr said...

My absolute best friend is from Kindergarten. She's moved three different times, and we still keep in contact.

That being said, I would say Christian School is the way to go these days so as long as you can keep her in that setting, the better. All of my other close friends are from middle/high school so I don't think she'd miss much.

Go with your gut, though, and you'll make the right decision. We are saving as much as we can to hopefully keep Logan in Christian schools all the way through high school and thankfully, my in-laws are matching what we put in as well.