June 28th, 2013 by ariana
Jasper’s will turn 5 in August, which is after the cutoff date for public school Kindergarten so everyone has been very surprised that we have decided to keep him back in Pre-K one more year. Now in Waldorf school (where I HOPE he will go next year??) the cutoff is much later and they routinely hold children back depending on if they show signs of readiness that have nothing to do with birth date so it’ seems natural to me. But I’ve gotten many raised eyebrows about it that I feel like explaining.
Mostly it’s that he tends to be a bit shy – I don’t want him also having the additional “handicap” of being one of the youngest boys in his class.
This hold back/ vs send early is actually something that we experienced in our family growing up as my sister and I are both early fall birthdays and I was not held back but she was. As a result, I was always one of the youngest in my class and she the oldest.
Now I didn’t struggle per se, but I was VERY conscious of age.. like I would think people wouldn’t want to be friends with me if they knew I was one of the youngest. For some reason it seemed like a huge stigma to me.
My sister on the other hand was such a leader in her class.. a total queen bee! So I’ve always known that if I had a choice, I’d rather give Jasper the confidence advantage that comes with age.
The problem with this decision is that nearly ALL the kids that have been his close friends in school (some since they were infants!) are now moving on, leaving him with just two of his close friends left in a classroom that now has some kids that are almost 2 years younger than him.
I could have had him switch schools to do his final year of Pre-K at the Waldorf school, but honestly I just am not quite ready to tackle early school day closings, multiple holidays, summers off, having him in a different school than his sisters and all the logistical gymnastics it would take for him to switch. So he’ll be doing one more year at his current daycare Pre-K where he will be the oldest child. Fingers crossed I don’t regret my decision!
So that’s the rather long preamble to the fact that last night was “graduation day” for almost all of friends.. many of whom are younger than Jasper!
Here is his crew of great friends, only two will remain next year:
And here is their whole class with some of the younger children as well:
Just as we were about to leave, I saw Jasper’s longtime crush (let’s call her “G”) looking very sad. I asked her mom what was wrong and she said that she was sad to be leaving Jasper. There is a whole long backstory here about G and Jasper, but lest just say he really worked for her affection! So it was so sweet to hear she’d be missing him too. When I asked her if she’d like a picture with him before she left she readily agreed:
It was hard for me to take these images because the twins were also there, but I’m SO glad I was able to capture these memories for Jasper (and ok, his overly sentimental mama!) of the early strong friendships that he made in daycare.
So Happy graduation to Jasper’s dear friends.. we will BOTH miss you terribly!
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