Monday, May 16, 2011

No Matter How Small The Accomplishment

Hank the Preschool Grad
Proud Preschool Graduate
Thursday was Hank's last day of preschool. Laura and the elementary kids are still in school until the 25th, but Hank's school decided their work was done. We all went to the ceremony, at which the kids sang, I swear, ten songs. It was very cute, but I wonder whether they shouldn't focus on quality rather than quantity of musical numbers? Then teacher announced what each kid wanted to be when he or she grew up. Hank wanted to be a fireman, but the biggest laughs were earned by the boy who wanted to be Spiderman and the girl who wanted to be a grocery checkout lady.

There were enough aspiring firemen to put out a good-sized fire. Hank might make a good fireman, actually. He's very brave and I know he would love riding in the truck.

That evening was also the first time I got to take off my giant post-surgical bra. So I was having a small secret party in my mind.

Matt and Hank

Laura and Hank

The school made a big deal out of there being no flash photography and no parent videotaping during the ceremony, as they had hired a videographer to tape everything, and for $15 we could buy a DVD. I thought that sounded fine, since the resulting video would certainly be better than anything I could produce. Plus, I am not one of the parents who videos these events anyway. I will snap a few pics, but I'd rather not be staring at the viewfinder the whole time.


Friday afternoon we got an email saying that "due to a technical glitch," the video had a good picture but NO SOUND and that they are going to have the kids come and re-do the whole performance on Tuesday. Grumble. Then I found out the scoop: the school has hired the same video guy for years, but he was booked, so they tried to do it themselves. Turns out, these things are tricky and you really need a pro. So they are going back to school on Tuesday for a movie-and-popcorn day and a warmed-over graduation ceremony.

Hank and Harrison
Hank and his buddy Harrison

Proud Graduate
Someone looks grown up.
Oh, and I'm proud to report that when the class awards were given out (yes, everyone gets an award), Hank was named Most Imaginative by his teachers. Judging from some of our experiences with these teachers this year, I'm not sure that Most Imaginative was an unalloyed positive. Other awards were Most Careful Worker and Most Willing. But then again, if you have to come up with a superlative for all 16 kids, you dig deep.

So now school is out and Hank thinks that his education is complete. He is so happy to be free. He doesn't really know about the next dozen years of schooling. I'm not even about to tell him.

Heck, by the time he actually gets to Kindergarten, he will be a hardened veteran. You see, Hank doesn't turn five until June, so he'll be going to a Pre-K next year instead of starting Kindergarten as the youngest five year-old. Around here, kids tend to be older in kindy. What's it like where you are?

I think this is regional; but once a critical mass of parents hold back, everybody has to. I might have made a different choice if Hank were begging to go to school, school, more school. But he likes his carefree life and jammie mornings with me, so I am not in a rush.

That reminds me, I was four when I started Kindergarten, and didn't turn five until December. So I was seventeen when I went off to college. Maybe a bit young, in retrospect, but at least I did get my MRS degree. Heh.



Jessica Gottlieb said...

it's not regional. Half of the 5th grade boys here have whiskers. I'm thinking that some of it comes from us having changed the kinder curriculum, but I happen to know quite a few parents simply want their boys to have the upper hand when it comes to athletics. They're lovely.

Star said...

What an adorable picture of Laura and Hank, and your hair looks fantastic! Bra congrats!

Cassie said...

Congratulations to Hank! I also love the picture of him and Laura. So sweet.

Elizabeth said...

Congrats to all on a successful preschool year! I am all in favor of holding back -- kindergarten is so rigorous now and nothing like when we awere kids. I have one "old" son and one "young" son, and the old one has had a far better school experience so far. What could be wrong with an extra year of playing more than studying.

Kate said...

You can't go wrong holding a boy back! My son is now "old" for his grade instead of being the youngest, and we have no regrest "red-shirting" him. He essentially did kindergarten twice, once at public school and once at Montessori. Apart from recess and resource, he thinks school is on par with jail.

Marsha said...

Our son would have been four when he started K in a district that began school in mid-August. His birthday is late September but we new we'd be moving halfway through the year and so didn't bother with it. He ended up starting K about three weeks before his sixth birthday in the new district. We only held him as a convenience to us but looking back I think he had a much better experience.

Common Household Mom said...

Just to be a contrarian... my son's birthday is in June. We did not hold him back (despite much pressure from other parents) because we thought he would be bored silly in pre-K. He did have some problems meeting the kindergarten teacher's expectations on nose-blowing skills, but otherwise has been one of the younger and yet more mature kids in his class. He's now in 10th grade, is enthusiastic about his math and science classes. I didn't mean to get all braggy, but I just have to say it really depends on the child. He is not an athlete, so that was never a factor in our decision.

Amy said...

Good onya, Hank! He looks so grownup, as does Laura--tell them to cut that out!

Hilarious about the do-over for the graduation! Ava's ballet school doesn't allow photos of the recital, cause they want you to spend $45 on the DVD. Exsqueeze me?? Not happening. Thank the Lord for sneaky camera phones!

Amy said...

By the way, that's a beautiful pic of you. Who'd have thought short hair would suit you so well? Hawt!

laura said...

You will be so so so so happy you waited to send Hank to school. True some people want their son's to be the giant most developed kids on the team but it really makes sense for boys. My friends who sent their summer boys to kindergarten seconds after turning five have all unanimously regretted their decisions when the boys were in Jr. Hi. BTW that dress is adorable on you.

You didn't mention if you cried? The only graduation I've cried (so far) was my baby's preschool graduation.

Kelly said...

We did half day kindergarten which I guess was the same thing as pre-K before going to real kindergarten.

And trust me- coming up with that many superlatives is tough!!! The year I had 25 kids had some very interesting awards!

KathyS said...

Childless, I cannot give an informed discussion of earlier v. later school starts.

But -- BUT!! -- your hair looks fanTAStic, as does that gorgeous top (really, really, I mean the shirt; I wasn't so crass as to look beneath ...)!

M said...

We had no compelling reason to hold our son back but did not realize that we were swimming against the tide of civilization by not doing so.

But then what did I know of Kindergarten? Back in the day we ate paste the whole year and were admitted to first grade based on our construction paper-cutting skills. (Hey, we were using blunt-edged scissors!)

Fifteen years later as my son turns twenty next week and finishes his second year of college, life is sweet and so is he. The only good decision is the one you make. ;)

Elle said...

The expectations are so high in kindergarten now! There is no way I would send a sweet 5yo boy to a full day of course-cramming! Also ... well, I have my own blog anyway.

I love yr hair, doll! Is that a CSB top? (I was having my own issues around the Target, you know) xox

Hootie said...

No audio? Hire a professional, people.

Abigail said...

Congrats to Hank!! And I'm with your sis...HAWT!! :)

Life on The Rowland Ranch said...

And why oh why are my kids always signed into my account?? Abigail is really your friend, Jane. :)

delaine said...

Gorgeous pictures of all the Woomers! At least Hank's award wasn't " Best Blueberry Blower in the Class" or "Best Popcorn Smasher." Now let the summer frivolities begin!

Jenni said...

You are such a good looking fam.

And where did you get that shirt? I love it. Give up the deets.

Becky said...

That IS a Calypso St. Barth dress from Target. I do like it even though it is a little blousy. Easy to wear.

I do think it depends on the kid, the early starting/redshirting issue. Laura is a winter birthday, but even if she'd been younger, she was always more "Hurray for school!" than Hank. I just don't know that he's equipped yet to pay the kind of focused attention they demand now in kindergarten. Homie just wants to play.

Corinna said...

Love the picture of you and Hank, you look so pretty, Becky! Nate will turn 6 in August when he starts kinder, it was a great decision, though this limbo year has been a bit boring for him at pre-school, it's good that Hank has a pre-k program to go to. That is one thing lacking, there are not a lot of options for the in between year, but there is definitely a trend to start the boys later.

Megan said...

First things first: LOVE THE HAIR! I actually said that out loud to my living room when I opened your post. You look fantastic!

Like you, I'm a December girl who hit college at 17, and that was okay as a female. And like many here, I think school decisions depend on the kid, but boys and all that masculinity stuff is tough. My little guy turns 5 in early August, and we're sending him to the big K. He LOVES school stuff: taught himself to read at 3, gets complex math & science, yadda yadda. Is it awful that this actually makes me SAD, because he'll be such a book geek like his mom, with years ahead before that becomes okay? His little sister will have to defend him for years to come...

Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress said...

Cal missed the cut off date for kindergarten by just a few days. She was one of the older ones in her class and I think it suits her. More "life experience," ya know?

A big congrats to Hank!

Beth said...

Ugh, the dreaded K or not to K debate.

I was a Dec bday, too, and off to college at 17. My husband was also young with a Nov bday, and we both did fine, one of each gender.

But, BUT, I'm holding my 4 yo who will be 5 in Sept next year, and it isn't because I don't think he's ready. He's reading (he read "Starbucks Customer Parking Only" the other day in the parking lot), he can sit and pay attention for long periods, and the school said, "We can't tell you he's not ready! He's totally ready!" And here's the but: *everyone* else has been holding their kids, so there will be three boys in that class-- THREE!-- who already turned SIX in March. So they will be 6 1/2, and my son will be 4, about to turn 5. If we lived in a vacuum (and I sometimes wish we did!), I'd be sending him. But when he gets to middle school, and he's 13 and the other kids in his class are 15, I'm not so confident. I don't want him corrupted.

My older son is June and he went after just turning 5, and he's totally fine. There are a few kids in that class who are nearly 18 months older than he is, but he's still ok. It's all about the context, though.

Sigh. Sorry for the tirade.

Michele R said...

You look terrific!

So wait--someone at the pre-K school thought it was OK to teach the students that it is not about the promotion ceremony celebration--that it has to be recreated for someone to make a buck?
So glad you got some photos of the real deal.

Keely said...

You're "red-shirting" him? ;)

I'm torn over this issue, X's birthday is in October and so he can either start kindy as a 4-year-old, or as an almost-6-year-old. The problem is he's so HUGE, that if I hold him back he'll be labelled as the freaky tall kid.

How did the new boob perform?

mommeeof10 said...

The pricipal of our elementary school thinks I should have #9 tested to see if he is ready for kindergarten. He will be 5 the second week of september. I see no reason to start him in school early. Most studies I have read over the years, with my college developmental psych class backing them up, say that boys take longer to be ready for standardized schooling and keeping them back a year is not a bad thing. Ohterwise, they run the risk of being held back in Kindergarten for another year, as they are not ready for first grade. VA stats law says they have to be in some sort of school setting, either public, private or home schooled by age 6.