Elizabeth (greyautumnrain) wrote,

Cut-Off Calculations

One of the things about ballet is that the school uses a school-year style cut-ff to determine which class the little kids are in. In order to qualify for her class Margaret had to be two as of September 1st. The next class up is for kids who were three as of September 1st and so on up until the kids are eight and they start being divided by ability. Margaret’s June birthday makes her the youngest of the four girls in her class.

Last week we had a sub for the class. It really made me appreciate our regular ballet teacher. The sub talked too much. With two year olds lots of talking is not a good idea. The maturity gap was more apparent than ever last week. There is a huge difference between 27 months and 34 months. I’m not too concerned about it, Margaret is having fun, I’m having fun, and the stretching is good. I don’t think being the youngest bothers Margaret, even if I find channeling her attention tricksey. I does give me a bit more sympathy, though, for other moms who agonize over whether to hold their summer birthday offspring back in school.

I was chatting briefly at the playground with the mom of a seven year old with a June birthday, and she had not held her son back, but was still holding onto it as an option. I thought that was a bit extreme, at seven I expect the differences to have evened out a bit more, but I was better able to see her point of view. Her boy was a big kid to me, but he was her baby, and she was probably still noticing how much he changed year to year.

I have no intention of holding Margaret back now or in regular school later on. I expect that she will be academically gifted. I know that may sound conceited, but given our education level, etc., if she isn’t gifted that means that we screwed up. When I was a kid I was one of the youngest kids in my class (my childhood school district had a December 31st cut-off, making fall birthday kids the young ones), and while a case could perhaps have been made about me being less than completely ready socially, academically Kindergarten was a huge waste of time for me and I later wondered why my parents hadn’t let me skip it altogether. (Answer: It never occurred to them.) Given that I expect that Margaret will do well academically, I expect that she would resent being held back for nebulous social readiness reasons, and would likewise prefer, if anything, to skip grades. Until such time as I have evidence to the contrary I am going to work on the assumption that Margaret’s desires are similar to what mine were at the same age and we’ll see how it goes.

I am also glad that I don’t have to think about the issue with Duncan. His February birthday puts him clearly in the middle age-wise and I won’t have any options initially. If he had a summer birthday as well I’d have to worry about how being a younger child and a boy will interact with my assumption that my precious babies are both geniuses.

On a related note, today’s post by Julia (and the comments it generated) had me reminiscing about elementary school in North Babylon, and not in a good way. I’ve been noticing as we think about what we’re going to do about school for our kids that I have certain attitudes about teachers, and I know exactly where they came from. My kindergarten and third grade teachers were both great. The rest of them… I almost wish I could take them to task now for all the terrible things they did. Of course at the time I just didn’t realize at the time that it was the teacher that was inappropriate, and I was generally considered on of the good kids. Still, looking back there was a lot that went on that was seriously not cool, and gives me pause about sending my own kids to school, and that’s before I even get to the bored-out-of-my-skull-reading-under-my-desk part of it.

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