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-d