Wednesday, April 30, 2008

To Go or Not To Go -

Let me take you back about nine years. Poor little Keaton was just entering 1st Grade, and no matter how hard we tried, he simply could not read. We tried flash cards, we read to him, we sounded the letters out together and it just wasn't happening. A typical dialogue with little Keeter would go something like this ...

Me: "OK let's sound this color out ... BL - ACK."
Keaton: "ORANGE!"

I was absolutely stumped. This was my first experience with any type of slower learning. Then came the dreaded conversation with his teacher. It was going to be best to hold him back and repeat Kindergarten. It was as if I saw his entire future ending right there only to be able to contribute to society if it involved a bottle of Elmer's glue. I seriously remember cradling him in my arms one night and just sobbing as he slept.

Now let's fast forward and get a reality check. Shortly after Keaton started 1st Grade for the second time, he took off with the reading and everything else. He has been an above average student ever since and I have never had to worry for a single minute about his academic ability. Keaton is a summer baby, born in July. I had heard that it might be best to hold those summer boys back a year, but I didn't listen and I should have. I am so glad that we eventually listened to the advice of our school and I am thrilled with the outcome.

This year, the same scenario is happening to my sister's little boy. He is also a summer baby and they have decided to hold him back this year instead of advancing. I see them experiencing the trauma that I experienced first hand and I have one question. If this is as common as it seems and many children are truly not ready to start school in August as they have summer birthdays, then why don't we change the age requirements?

I think I'm going to give the Governor a call and I'll get back with you.


Cyn said...

I have 2 brothers who have September/October birthdays. (Things were different way back then) My parents sent the older one early and he struggled GREATLY. He was always the smallest, shy, and had a hard time socially. The younger one was sent late and always excelled, being in student council every year possible and did very well in school. They both turned out to be great men...eventually, but it was a huge example to me when it was time to decide whether to send "B" or not with his August birthday. Sure glad I decided to keep him in preschool one more year! Good luck to your sis...and good luck to you with the governor! I have a feeling you'll need it!!!

Tina said...

Oh, man! I had forgotten that about Keaton... He is so happy and solid now... good choice!

Chris Shill said...

Willie and Zac had b-day in May and August but i had them repeat kinder- twice just because i knew that boys were slower learners and it help them later in sports to be the bigger ones of their grade! And I'm really glad I did, not to mention that right after they graduated they went straight on there Missions, had no time to play or get into trouble!! ha

Becky said...

My friend is going through this, too. I referred her to your post. Well said (er written...)

Malissa said...

I had to make that decision with Ty this year...I opted for Pre-K this year and Kindergarten next year...another reason for my decision was that I wanted him to graduate high school and only have a few months between that and his mossion, instead of a whole year! It's a big decision!!