succumbing to peer pressure

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Team picture, week 2 - oh, and our team name is Snakes on a Lane! Posted by Picasa

“Nobody ever was successful because they were the youngest in the class,” said Betsy Newell, director of the Park Avenue Christian Church Day School.

Ouch. I'm not saying my present-day successes are specifically due to the fact that I was consistently the youngest person in my class until high school, but it certainly didn't hurt. There's apparently this big trend in New York to keep kids in pre-school and avoid kindergarten until they're six years old. Now, I know I'm not a parent, but every kid is (obviously) different, so I think these blanket statements that being younger/smaller than your classmates is inherently detrimental are just wrong. You have to know your kid. You have to weigh the cost of them being younger/smaller against the cost of them being bored by hanging back another year. I know I've said it before, but I started kindergarten three months before my fifth birthday, and I could already read short books on my own and could count pretty high. I remember very distinctly being very bored the first half of the year and growing frustrated with my classmates. I can't imagine what it would have been like if my parents had waited another year. My brother, on the other hand, was much more hampered (probably because he's a guy) by his small stature and so my parents didn't start him as early, to give him a chance to grow a bit more and be a little stronger emotionally. Of course these decisions are very child-specific. So I guess I can understand the frustration of some parents with seemingly arbitrary cut-off dates for at what age their child must start a given grade, but these blanket statements by educators are, frankly, offensive.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The bowling team (last week's 'costume' was 'preppie') Posted by Picasa