Apologies as we have been quite busy between the business and personally with the kids!
I apparently always had this idea, of which I now assume to have been slightly naive, that when it was time for the kids to start school that it would be easy and quick. We moved to our neighborhood, we had a home school that we are assigned to, so that is it right? Well yes...and no. I suppose that it would have been yes if our eldest's birthday fell prior to the cutoff date for entering kindergarten. She is so ready for school and wants to go (we hear about it all the time), but she can't as she was born in October. We felt slightly unsure of what to do as there had to be some sort of alternate to this that would also be extremely beneficial to her. We looked at it all- and wow are there options and didn't it it take time to get this sorted out in what felt like a very condensed time frame. So here are the four options that we found ourselves debating between-
So the options in the area that we found:
- Apply for early kindergarten admission. It's not guaranteed and there is quite a process to it. It can be costly (price starts around $600 and can go up). There are two exams that your child must undergo and pass (at the 98th percentile to boot) and the tests must be administered by a specialized psychologist. I am not going to lie, we contimplated it and even had her signed up to take the exam in May, but something just didn't seem right for our family on it. It seemed like a lot of potential stress, money, with no true guarantee as even if she passed the tests the final answer still resulted with the schools.
- Kindergarten Prep at Day Care. This is an option that we actually thought we were going to do. There are some amazing daycares in our area (I could probably write a blog entry on that research alone) and in fact we are enrolling our son into one starting in July for PreSchool. The Kindergarten Prep programs were all pretty similar for the places that we visited, for us, the it just didn't feel like it was what we were looking for or what our daughter was wanting. It was close to kindergarten, but still just not there.
- PreK or test into Kindergarten at a private school. So again, this area has a multitude of options on both sides of this and we looked at them all. The private schools that we looked at all seemed to have a form of formal transitional kindergarten programs. These transitional programs were exactly what we were looking for. They have the same schedule and format that kindergarten has. The rooms are actual classrooms, with a teacher, with school hours and days....and two months off just as she would in Kindergarten. It works for us...and it will work great for her.
- Just wait. i think that this is a viable option and there is nothing wrong with it- I just urge that you start looking at what you will need to do for the following school year as soon as possible. There are just so many options and places to go to and visit. You really cannot have enough time!
I think one of the biggest things I learned during this process, is that there is something here for everyone. That is what makes living here so great! With that being said, as I noted above, I must emphasize that I learned in the Raleigh area, there is NEVER such thing as planning too early! I was truly amazed by the due dates that had already passed and how late to the game I felt everywhere I went.
I am not sure what the future is going to hold. We plan on enrolling our son as well next year for his TK experience but past that I don't know. We had always been parents who were big on public schools and came from them ourselves...but its so hard to plan that far now. I have learned that as with most things, we have to take this particular case one year at a time.
As parents we have to be aware that there are options.....I know that this isn't photography related but I just wanted to share this as we are going through it and I am pretty sure I am not alone :)