My little boy is very bright. He knows all about the planets and the order they orbit the sun, he has a hard time accepting that Pluto is not a planet…I think he thinks Pluto feels left out. He knows how to count 1,2,3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 14, level1, level2, level3… and he has known the alphabet inside out and backwards. He’s fabulous with phonics and can figure out what letters begin most words. But I didn’t think he was ready for primary.
My reasoning was mostly behavioural. He doesn’t listen to me…his mother. The person who he’s spent almost every day of his life with…straight up defiant towards me. All. The. Time. Little did I realize, this is a choice he’s making. Not some sort of development issue.
At the beginning of this past school year I enrolled him in pre-school. In Nova Scotia, pre-school (or Pre-K) is not provided by the province, and if you want your children beginning school at three you pay for it out of pocket. The school he attends is the same one his older brother went to, and I fully trust them with my boys. They are fantastic. We began at 2 half days a week, and after the Christmas holiday I upped it to 3 half days a week as he loves going to school (And I love the free time!). A total of 12 hours a week he spends in school and he is truly thriving.
There have been some changes in him.
Not towards me. His behaviour with me really hasn’t changed much. But in other situations I’ve seen a huge change. Like last week when we went to the dentist. He lay there, didn’t move, and listened to the Dentist, did what he was instructed. I was in absolute shock. I’m surprised she didn’t hand me one of those fancy dentist bibs as I’m sure I must have been drooling from my jaw not being able to close. His visit six months prior resulted in tears and me bear hugging him so he wouldn’t move. Little signs that he is, in fact, growing up.
So yesterday, when I dropped him off at preschool, the director pulled me aside and said that his teacher fully believes that he is ready for school. That he does what he is supposed to and listens and follows instruction. See, they knew of my doubt. I had already enrolled him for a second year of preschool next year because I had just decided he wasn’t ready. But they think he’s ready.
I think what I am going to do is enroll him in ‘big school’ and do the days in early March with him. I’ll talk to the school to find out exactly what he needs to work on, and hopefully (with every finger and toe crossed) come next year both of my children will be in school full days.
How did you know if your child was ready for school?