Monday, 8 November 2010

On decisions made and confirmed.

We as parents make decisions about our children and their futures every single day. Some are just more important than others.This is one of those big ones.

The Princess turns 6 early in January - in South Africa's school system children go to grade one in the year that they turn 7 as our school year runs with the calender year. But children like her, that are on the edge of that barrier has the option to start school early (or late in the other direction). At her present school she has surged ahead and will be graduating in a few days from grade 0 - practically a year ahead of schedule. She has also been declared school ready and can do basic sums and spell, all in English, not her mother tongue. She can therefore go to grade 1 next year.

We as parents have however decided to hold her back and let her start school in the intended year. That will mean that she will be doing grade 0 again. The difference is that it will be in Afrikaans and not in English, and at the pre-school of the primary school that she will be attending. Her current teacher agrees that although academically she is school ready, she can do with a bit of emotional growth and is in agreement with our choice.Possibly the opinion of our pediatrician is what enforced it in our minds - they may be fine starting early, but as teenagers that one year earlier impacts heavily on an already stressful period of life.

On Saturday we went to the orientation day of her new school, the teacher spent an hour with the kids in the class without the parents and after that we had a chance each to talk to her. I was delighted that she is more than pleased to have a kid in her class that could be a bit ahead of the pack and she has out of her own accord promised to stimulate her when needed. She will also go ahead with teaching her to spell in Afrikaans. Possibly we can move to reading at home as the school is not allowed to do that officially.

So our Princess is going to play for another year -  the stress of school uniforms and homework will wait a while and mom has another year to breathe a bit easier.

Resting assured that we made the right decision, the best one for our child, makes my Monday.
Playing along with Cheryl.


  1. Awesome!!! We have decided to {once they are old enough to attend} to keep our two back an additional year. Like you, they will probably be smart enough for school, but I worry about everything, and feel that the additional year of maturity is worth it!
    Have a great week!

  2. Thats so cool, my sister is a Grade one teacher, and she sees it all the time, kids that are ready academically, but emotionally they are not. Good for you!

    I love that she is going to redo the year in Afrikaans!

  3. I kept my oldest back, he was no where near ready to start school the year before, didn't have to make choices with the younger two though. I'm absolutely with you on the effect of being young at the end of your time at school, that's got to be hard both academically and socially.

  4. Good on you for making this wise decision.

    We are currently facing a similiar one - except Olivia is only due to go to Gr R in 2012 - and academically is more than ready to go next year. So we have decided to send her to a private, independantly run 'farm school', just down the road from us. Here she will be more than stimulated, but will also have loads of fun and play time, whilst learning (and not be stuck in a classroom).
    A teacher that I spoke to also pointed out, that if we send our girls (Jan babies) by the time they hit Gr 2, there may be some children that have been kept back for another year in Gr 2, but are Dec babies, so they will in fact be 2 yrs older than our Jan babies. Which is a big gap and definately allows for bullying.

    So i hear youloud and clear. Let them be kids for as long as possible!

  5. Mom knows best. Good for you for going with your gut!

  6. Good for you for making the right decision for your child!

  7. There is no doubt in my mind that you made the right choice for her! I'm so proud of you! I know it wasn't easy but you did a good thing here!

  8. No one knows your child better than you do. Besides, I think kids need the opportunity to be kids for as long as possible.

    Nicola's a December baby and if I don't think she's ready when the time comes I would do the same as you.

  9. It seems to me also the best decision. I was a kid that went to school at age 5, and although I never struggled academically,I was emotionally behind my fellow classmates!
    Much better to be ready in all areas. I am also going to keep Mieka behind for another year!

  10. I absolutely agree with your decision (not that you asked :))

    Life these days is so hard for kids (I shudder at the thought!) that I really think if there's ever a choice I will keep them "my babies" for as long as possible :)

    Mine are July though so they should be fine.

    P.S. I was 5 when I went to school, turned 6 in August and I was top of the class right up but it was hard being a teenager younger than everyone else, couldn't go get driving licence, etc, etc. Terrible!

  11. There are so many things to conside and you know A best, so I am sure you are making the right call!

  12. Oh Cat.....I have been there. My opinion will always be that parents know their children better than anybody else. Making you the best person to decide what is good for your children.

  13. Cat, we made the VERY same decision with our twosome with similarly reasoned intent.

    NEVER have we regretted the choice even once. :)

    Know you know your Little Miss best, and that she will flourish...

    YOU Make My Monday!

  14. Well done on your decision. I started when I was 5 and although fine thoughout school it was a problem when I finished and had to decided what to study when I was only 17. I think that extra year might have given me a bit more maturity to cope at varsity.

  15. We kept my daughter back as well. Her birthday at the end of Oct. School said it was the best decision. I didn't want her struggling to catch up for the first six months of every school year.

  16. Ek dink dit is die regte besluit! 'n kind (wat eendag 'n grootmens gaan word) se emosionele groei is by verre belangriker!

  17. There is so much pressure on our children these days that you made a very, very wise decision...they can handle it but emotionally they aren't ready.

  18. We've already given thought to the same issue with our two. Dec. 1 is the cut off in our state and their birthday is Nov. 25...just days before. They COULD go when they were just 4 but they would be THE youngest kids in their class. We plan to wait until they are 5.5 before they begin kindergarten and feel very comfortable with our decision!


So what's on your mind?