Is my big girl ready to start school? Well it’s decision time soon in our house and I’m sure for many of you too.
When it comes to the parenting decisions we’ve had to make so far, I have to say that this is the most difficult. With everything else, I’ve always been able to trust my gut.
This time, my gut just can’t seem to make up it’s mind. Or my heart. Or my head.
We’re definitely leaning towards her being ready but I do have moments of worrying that she might not be.
Is my Big Girl big enough for School?
Miss is a March baby you see, she’ll be one of the youngest. She might actually be the youngest – by a long way.
In the UK, where I’m from, there is no choice. If your child’s birthday falls between a set of dates, they go. You can’t ‘hold them back’ or ‘send them early’ – they just go when it’s time. You never have to ask yourself is my child ready for school. No choice either way.
Which means whether they’re ready or not, they’re going. It also means they’re with a bunch of other kids who might, or might not be, ready. So it’s kind of balanced.
But what if my child isn’t ready to start school yet?
What if we send her and it doesn’t work out? We would have lost her day care space and put her (and us) through unnecessary emotional upheaval.
And what if she is the youngest in the class? It doesn’t matter so much now but what about when she’s 15, 17 and 20 years old? Will she be envious that her 16, 18 and 21 year old friends are able to do more than she can, possibly for some time?
I mean, some will be a year older than her.
And are we depriving her of another year of ‘play’?
Does it even matter?
I can’t put myself in her shoes because I was one of the oldest in my year. I got to do everything first.
Emotionally and intellectually, we know she is ready. We don’t doubt that for a second and she’s been wanting to start school since she was two years old and watched that episode of Topsy and Tim when they went to big school.
She stares longingly into school playgrounds that we walk past and looks on in awe when a child in a uniform passes by.
She wants to go, desperately. We looked around her potential new school recently and she hasn’t stopped talking about it since.
Miss has been in the final class at day care for this year and is thriving. Her teachers commend her and tell us that she is ready to go to school.
We just do not want to regret our decision
And this is what it comes down to. What is we send her and regret it? What if we hold her back and regret it?
Perhaps the reason my gut instinct is failing me is that it doesn’t have a chance. There’s a lot riding on this decision and I have little experience to base it on.
For now, we are trusting what she wants, what the school advice and what our day care advises.
Of course there is a lot of time between now and February, when she would start school. We still have time before we have to commit to our final decision.
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How do you know if your child is ready to start school?