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Decisions, decisions

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My youngest two turned 3 last October, and while they were eligible to start gan (kindergarten for kids between the ages 3 and 6) then, we opted to keep them home an extra year. They are definitely ready to start gan now, and we enrolled them at the municipal secular gan to start at the end of August. We still have to make some decisions. One is, which age group should they be? They really should be in the 4-year-old class. The gan wants to put them in the 3-year-old class, and maybe skip the 4-year-old class next year. I really don’t want them to have to be the new kids in class two years in a row.

At the same time, there are now two openings in the 4-year-old class at the gan of the private school where I work. Logistically it would be a lot better for us. I believe the lot lower pupil/teacher ratio would be good for my kids. They would, however, be in the same class and tuition would be considerably higher, and once again, they wouldn’t be in a Hebrew only environment. With one of our older children moving to public school, we can afford it… the question is, do we want to send them there? We have been going back and forth with this, and I think this week of gan day camp at the private school should help us make this decision. I sure hope so.

That said, the idea to move Patrik to public school for the last year of elementary school was a difficult decision. For some time we knew that me teaching him wasn’t a very good idea, and the other 6th grade option was even less ideal due to academic issues. Now throwing him into a class that has spent the last 5 years together and they already have their social dynamics worked out will be hard, but a challenge P is willing to conquer. He will be ghoing to the same school, and possibly same class as his cousin. This will also switch him to a 6-day schedule, which I’m not particularly happy about. It is compensated by, however, with the awesome extracurricular activities the school offers and the fact that it’s a block from home.

8 Responses to “Decisions, decisions”

  1. Give them all the time they need – that’s always been my motto. If they start as 3’s they will probably have the wonderful experience of feeling capable and in control of the school situation. You can always move them up next year, if it seems prudent, but I have had [almost] all my kids (bios and adopted) go along as the oldest in the class, and that has never failed. (Sometimes you are sorry your child has to move to a new class, other times you’d do anything to get your children out of a less-than-stellar social situation – you never know.) The one child who I was coerced into starting according to the experts’ idea of readiness (age) was Zhenya. That has turned out to be a catastrophe. He is the only one of all my children to hate school…and he’s been held back twice.

    • Hevel says:

      The thing is, holding them back will make the transition to school very difficult if it comes to skipping a year, and it would push starting uni out to age 22-23 to Ezra. The cut off date here is Kislev 25, which is sometime in December, so they will be 2, 2 and a half months off that date. It won’t necessarily be in their favour if they are among the older ones in their class, which sounds odd, I know. All my kids are among the youngest in their classes: Craig by two years.

  2. De says:

    I would dare say one of my biggest parenting regrets was starting my then 4 year old in kindergarten just because everyone told me that “He was so big for his age and would be too much bigger than the other kids if I waited a year” He was very tall but so emotionally immature. I was a new parent and had lots of “free and unsolicited” advice. Anyway, I wish you best as you decide what best for your kids.

    • Hevel says:

      I wouldn’t enrol a 4-year-old in kindergarten in the States… Here, however, there is usually less flexibility in age when children start school. I also know that 3-year-old gan would not challenge the twins, and Ezra, especially, likes to be lazy if not stretched.

  3. doesitevenmatter3 says:

    I taught Kindergarten for years and helped parents make such decisions. Rely on your instincts, how well you know your kids, and the teacher’s input. I could give mine, but what you feel is best is what’s important. You know your kids better than anyone. I wish you all the best as you make this important decision. 🙂

    I had a busy weekend…but also got to watch a bit of the Olympics. 🙂

    (PS…where a child is in their emotional development/maturity level…is most important.)

    • Hevel says:

      I have to admit that from the first moment on I felt uncomfortable about sending them to 3-year-old classes. So 4-year-old it will be.

  4. Galit says:

    Looks like all you neededto be sure was some “devil’s advocates” to argue against! Good luck with gan!

    • Hevel says:

      The funny thing was, everyone just said to do the thing that bothered me from the first moment and why we even started to consider the private gan!

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