Sunday, August 31, 2014

Holding Addy back...

As most of you know, Addy turned 5 in July. She is technically kindergarten age and could have started with lots of her friends last week. We decided that for Addy the best situation would be to have her in preschool at our church one more year. We thought long and hard about it and based it on many different things. These are some of the factors that we considered when making this decision for Addy.

1) Her size: Let's just throw this one out there first. Most people assume that this is our reasoning for holding her back. This had very little weight on our decision, although it did work in our favor. We are hoping that Addy will be much closer in size to her classmates being held back a year. :)

2) Her imagination: Addy lives in a pretend world. She is a dreamer and a creator. Addy is crafting, dressing up, playing princess, or being a mommy nearly all day long. I read a book in college called Bad Guys Don't Have Birthdays. She explains how much kids learn about emotions, problem solving, and fears through their play. They are better able to cope with life because they have role played it and worked through their insecurities through pretending. Unfortunately, so much of this has been taken out of the kindergartens classrooms. Center time has dwindled to very little, if any, of the schedules in our public schools anymore. I want Addy to have one more year to work through her imagination. I know she can't always play all day that she is a mommy with twins that is a princess too that has to throw a tea party in the next hour...but for Addy, one more year would be beneficial.

3) Her perfectionism: My goal for this year is for Addy to have one more year to just get to LOVE learning! She would have thrived if we sent her to kinder this year. However, she is a people pleaser. She wants to have the right answer and is very hard on herself when she doesn't know. I think that kindergarten this year would have brought a lot of stress for her to be right or correct all the time. It would have been a year of discouragement, I fear. I want her to have one more year under her belt that is stress free. This year I want her focused on friendships, playing, and loving to explore. I don't care if she doesn't learn to read or write this year. Those things will come eventually.

4) Her Christian walk: This is a huge part of our decision. We wanted to have one more year to help Addy to grow and learn in a Christian environment. We are still really praying about what next year holds for her, but for this year...she gets to at our church twice a week with teachers that I know are praying for her and with her. She gets one more year to build on a Christian foundation before taking that to an environment that may not be.

5) First born: I think birth order plays a huge difference in readiness too. If Addy had an older sibling it would have probably been much harder to hold her back. She would understand big school and be much more prepared to go. Addy is dying to go to kindergarten, but she really has no grasp of all day, every day. She hasn't seen homework done each evening. She is blissfully unaware and that has made this decision much easier as well.

Although unaware of the details of school, Addy is very aware of the fact that she's been held back. Since she was a wee one playing in my room she was always told that she would go to 'big school' when she turned 5. Now that she has and we are telling her she has to wait until she's 6, she's had a hard time swallowing that pill. She often reminds me that she really wants to go right now and her friends are going. It's a little bit of a heart wrenching as a mother, but a lesson in patience and prayer too. One other plus is that now Addy and Elli will get to have one year of high school together. There will only be three grade years between them instead of four.

We are very sure of our decision and feel that it is best for our family. I will admit that I was really second guessing myself for a bit when all of Addy's buds starting kinder last week. There were so many of my mama friends that have been along side me as Addy has grown and it felt weird not to join them in the ranks of tears as public schools started last week. I have dodged the bullet one more year! :)

Here's to one more year of treasuring Addy as a preschooler!

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