Big P is a middle December baby boy. If born only a few weeks later he would be a 2006 baby. Doesn’t mean a lot for most things, but can mean a lot in terms of school. School years start and kids are categorized as far as what age they will be by the end of the year. In Canada we have junior kindergarten (JK) and senior kindergarten (SK) – kids who are four years old or will be turning four by the end of December – start JK.
Big P would have been three years old when he started school. My girls are early year babies so when it comes time for them to start school they would basically be getting an extra year – starting the September they are four turning five — not the September they are three turning four. Since kindergarten is not mandatory here in Ontario – we kept Big P home from junior kindergarten. Three was way too young for him.
Last year we enrolled him in school. A French Immersion program and he skipped JK and we put him right into SK – where his age group is according to our Ontario enrollment guidelines. He was ready and had achieved all the ‘is your kid ready for school’ goals. He loved school, had an amazing teacher but he was still falling behind. It was not that he wasn’t grasping French – it wasn’t that he didn’t want to follow directions or listen (he strives in strict routine) but he just didn’t seem to ‘get it’ like his classmates did.
We worked with him a lot. He learned quickly. He tried hard. The benefit to our kindergarten system is that classes are split – half JK and half SK to the class – so what this allowed us was to see that if we ‘compared’ where he should be to the SK’s he was at the bottom of the pack. When we ‘compared’ him to the JK’s he was near the top. Not only academically but also socially.
Something else happened though too. We learned that next year – school boundaries would be switching up for the French Immersion so Big P would be going to a new school. Everything was lining up perfectly for what my Mom Instinct was telling me.
We made a meeting with his teacher and his principal. We advocated for having Big P but back into the senior kindergarten curriculum when he switched school the next year. Ontario laws state that kids of 6 years old or will be turning 6 years old need to be enrolled into full time school. Kindergarten is only part time – every other day – so the principal had to go to the school board to talk it over. There were chats that we might have to commit to doing home school for the other half of the time or trying to fast-track him to grade 1 by January.
Thankfully everything worked out the way I had hoped and Big P transitioned this September to a new school (conveniently has a teacher he knew from his old school) and is now a senior kindergarten student (again). He’s been in his new classroom for just about a month now and he is thriving.
He is so in the right place for him now.
Only 2 weeks ‘older’ then his classmates but now at the top of the class. No longer trying to catch up but he is fitting in with both the students and the projects. I am so glad my husband and I listened to what the signs were telling us and what our instincts were saying. We want him to love school and to thrive – not always feeling at the bottom of the pack and ‘never quite good enough’.
|check out today’s post on Being Pregnant Blog: Caught on Video: Sharing The News With Family|
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