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Thread: starting K

  1. #1
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    Default starting K

    Since this has come up often....thought this might be of interest.

    http://www.today.com/moms/kindergart...emma-1C9168962

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    Thanks for the article. I think about this even though DD is not even 2 yet. She is a late June Birthday. Our cutoff is August 1 (as of 2013). I was a July baby and in hindsight my mom wished she had held me and my sister back. We had a Sept 1 cutoff. I did fine academically, but my mom thinks I was not mature enough. Which was probably true, but I was an ADHD kid and needed the structure so much that I was actually sent to preschool (rare 35 years ago). But with the rigors and expectations now, I have fears.... ahhh, 3 more years to think on it.
    Phoebe Grace 6-22-11; 37.5" and 26.2# at 2 years old! She is my wild child!
    Me & Geoff, 40; DD Phoebe, our June Bug

  3. #3

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    I have a late June girl with ADHD...and we thought really really hard about redshirting her. Then, we didn't do it. Our decision totally came down to gut feeling, and the fact that she likes to be with older kids and gets really annoyed with younger ones. Time will tell how this pans out!!
    Pumpkinseed, you definitely have to wait and see. They change SO MUCH between 4 and 5...

  4. #4
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    Yeah this topic always interests me because I'm a Sept baby who just missed the cut off date and my parents had me tested and were given the option to push me ahead or let me just be. I ended up being one of the oldest and really found it to be an advantage. Instead I went to a private pre-K program.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    Interesting. I was born in November and we moved right before I was five so I started kindergarten and turned 6 shortly thereafter. I do sometimes wonder if this is why school was so very easy for me. But, it remained very easy for me through college so being older than the rest of the kids wasn't likely the cause.

    I'm actually quite glad that there is now some flexibility for parents to ultimately decide when their child should start kindergarten. We will be homeschooling at least early on so I don't have to worry about this as much.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
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  6. #6

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    My husband has a Nov b'day and the cut off was Oct. His parents sent him after he turned 6, but then he skipped 1st grade so was the youngest all through school. It was bad for him. Academically he did fine, but not only was he younger than everyone else, he was small for his age so he was not just a little smaller than everyone else. And then when he graduated at 17 he wasn't really mature enough to know what he wanted to do, so he drifted a bit then too.


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    Our cut off is September 1. I am a July baby and I don't think my mom ever considered holding me back at all. I never felt disadvantaged and found school to be very easy, so I think it is going to depend a lot upon the child. Nolan is a February baby, so this is pretty much a non-issue and this baby will be past the cut off

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    Our cut off is 9/1...the trio are July babies, but if they had not been born 9 weeks early they would have missed the cut off so we are redshirting them. The girls are ready, but Xander is not...I don't want him to struggle and possibly be held back while the girls do well, so we will just give them all one more year. Jericho is a Dec. baby so he will miss the cut off too.

    ~*~Katrina~*~ Momma to Xander, Hayden & Lily (6) and Jericho (3 1/2)

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    Growing up, the cutoff was June 01, and my birthday is in April. School wasn't easy, but then, it wasn't easy for anyone, and I did well. I was in 11th grade here when I was 16, graduated at 17, and honestly, school was ridiculously easy (which has a lot more to do with how ridiculously easy the curriculum here is than anyone's age).

  10. #10

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    Honestly, I don't like redshirting. Someone always has to be the youngest. Around here, people tend to redshirt not because they think their child needs an additional year to mature, but they do it in hopes that it will give the kid an advantage academically and down the line, in sports. I feel like they might as well just have everyone start at 6.

    When I grew up, the cutoff was Dec 31. My brother and I have Dec. and Nov. bdays, so we were one of the youngest. We were in the same class as people a whole year older. School was extremely easy for us. BY the time we were seniors, we both only took 2 classes at the high school and a college class for college credit. We graduated at or close the top of our classes. My school had suggested for me to skip a grade, but my parents decided against it as it is hard to leave your friends and going off to college at 16. I can't imagine if the cut-off was Sept 1st and I had to wait another year, or even worse if my parents had redshirted me. We also did no preschool and adjusted fine being the youngest. I know it depends on the child, but there are times when parents could probably look into getting their kid into school earlier than later. That ever happens where I live

  11. #11
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    Our cutoff is September 1. Ali has a late Aug. birthday and will technically be 4 for the first few days of school (we start 3rd week of Aug) before turning 5. I'm not worried about her...she's pretty bright and is a social kid, so I don't anticipate any reason for holding off K another year. Now, we just learned that this baby is a boy and again, and since my due date is Aug. 22 he'll have a late Aug. bday (assuming I deliver before the end of August). We'll see how he grows over the next several years (now that's looking ahead! LOL!) but since he's a boy, and boys mature often a little more slowly than girls, I would probably consider holding off K another year. K is full-day here. There was a boy in Madison's class last year who was always in trouble...mostly self-control issues. He's actually a nice kid--I chaperoned trips and volunteer at school and he's always talkative to me and friendly--but when I learned that he was the youngest kid in the class his behavior made sense to me. He maybe could have benefited from waiting a year to start.

    I guess overall I agree, it depends on the kid and their maturity level first and foremost.

    ~ Cassie, mama to Madison (8), Ali (4) & Wesley (new dude!)


  12. #12

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    Still, it’s not an easy decision to make, but as her mother, I’m the best equipped to make it.
    Bottom line, imo.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    Honestly, I don't like redshirting. Someone always has to be the youngest. Around here, people tend to redshirt not because they think their child needs an additional year to mature, but they do it in hopes that it will give the kid an advantage academically and down the line, in sports. I feel like they might as well just have everyone start at 6.

    When I grew up, the cutoff was Dec 31. My brother and I have Dec. and Nov. bdays, so we were one of the youngest. We were in the same class as people a whole year older. School was extremely easy for us. BY the time we were seniors, we both only took 2 classes at the high school and a college class for college credit. We graduated at or close the top of our classes. My school had suggested for me to skip a grade, but my parents decided against it as it is hard to leave your friends and going off to college at 16. I can't imagine if the cut-off was Sept 1st and I had to wait another year, or even worse if my parents had redshirted me. We also did no preschool and adjusted fine being the youngest. I know it depends on the child, but there are times when parents could probably look into getting their kid into school earlier than later.
    I feel the same. When I was a kid, the cut-off in my district was also Dec. 31. My birthday is at the end of October (turned 5 two months into kindergarten), so I was one of the younger ones, but there was one girl whose birthday was actually December 31st. I was one of the most advanced kids in the class academically, and the other girl was always about average. I was very shy - but that was my personality, and not something that would have just gone away in another year. The youngest girl in the class had no social problems. There were loads of kids with summer birthdays who had just turned 5, and they did just fine, as did the ones who started at 4. The "wild" kids, and the ones with academic problems, were not the youngest.

    Of course, I think waiting a year is appropriate for some kids, but, really, how can that many kids be immature for their age? It's so common now to just wait until a kid is 6 to start K. If it's that common, then they're not immature, just normal. Then of course the youngest kids, who just made the cut-off, seem immature, since they're being compared to kids who are literally a year older and should have started school a year earlier. Someone will always be the youngest. A 5-year-old will always seem immature when compared to a 6-year-old. I basically think that redshirting should be for special cases (like TripMomma's, where the trio only made the cut-off due to being premature), not a normal practice. And definitely not used so that a kid will have an athletic advantage, since they'll be playing against younger, smaller kids.


  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHKate View Post
    Of course, I think waiting a year is appropriate for some kids, but, really, how can that many kids be immature for their age? It's so common now to just wait until a kid is 6 to start K. If it's that common, then they're not immature, just normal. Then of course the youngest kids, who just made the cut-off, seem immature, since they're being compared to kids who are literally a year older and should have started school a year earlier. Someone will always be the youngest. A 5-year-old will always seem immature when compared to a 6-year-old. I basically think that redshirting should be for special cases (like TripMomma's, where the trio only made the cut-off due to being premature), not a normal practice. And definitely not used so that a kid will have an athletic advantage, since they'll be playing against younger, smaller kids.
    I think because many kindergarten curriculums are not even developmentally appropriate for children that age. All the sitting down and being quiet isn't want kids are wired to do. And all day is too long. My two olders still needed naps at 5 years old. Just my opinion, of course.

  15. #15

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    I would likely redshirt both my boys if they were going to go to a full day kinder program just because I don't think little kids are ready for a full day at just turned 5. They are both July birthdays which makes them either the youngest or next to youngest kids from their age group. The school that we chose, however, has a very developmentally appropriate curriculum and their kinder is half day. The class sizes are also very small, there are going to be 8 kids in his class. They don't start full day school until first grade, as I personally believe it should be. My oldest just took the kinder readiness test (he goes to PK4 at that school already) which involved sitting down with one of the administrators, answering some questions, drawing some pictures etc. She said that we had a few things to work on over the summer, mainly fine motor stuff so he's ready to write when it's time to learn but other than that thought he was ready. So we went ahead and said alright, let's do kinder.
    Last edited by Dreya; 04-03-2013 at 06:34 AM.
    Megan (29) and Jayson (31) Happily married 9 years



  16. #16
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    I like that she pointed out that redshirting in hopes of allowing a child that is already missing milestones-developmental or social-is NOT a good thing. I have seen that happen IRL with some of the moms I know and those poor kids flounder for an extra year before blossoming once they finally start kindergarten and are able to get the early intervention they should have already been having.

    I am a mid August birthday and our cutoff was 8/31 when I was in school. My older brother shares my brithday. My parents held him back (I guess that's what they call redshirting now) but not me. We both went into Kindergarten at the same time and were in the same grade all through school. He might have been a bit "too playful" at the start of age 5 but holding him out did NOTHING GOOD for him. If they had put him in he would have been fine. Instead he became a depressed kid-nothing to do with how challenging or not challenging the cirriculum was and everything to do with his particular personality-who thought his parents had thought he wasn't as good as the other kids his age. In high school he turned to pot and all but dropped out, barely making it to graduation...and yet the kid was (is) brilliant. But that one choice of my parents' had so many ramifications. They never could have guessed he would feel that way. They had lots od dialogue about why they held him back and NONE of it had to do with his smarts. I know that as parents of adults that is one of their biggest regrets-redshirting him.

    So for me, because of my personal anectodtal experience, redshirting is not something I'm a fan of except in a few instances. It boggles my mind that some states have such late cut offs. When I think of both my girls starting kindergarten at any point while they were 4...wow. If we had a 12/31 cutoff and my child had a September birthday that otherwise would have kept them out of school in many other states I probably would redshirt. IMO kids don't need to start kinder at 4, not with the cirriculums we have these days. And full-day definitely kicks another level of consideration in there. But redshirting a child in a 1/2 day program who has an August birthday (my SIL is doing that this year) in hopes of helping her be one of the smartest ones when she does start...IMO that's not cool for the kid. That's doing it mostly for the parent-and actually in that specific situation, my SIL, I KNOW it's being done 100% for the parent.

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  17. #17
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    My DD is a late October birthday with a December 1st cut off for Kinder. We have full day and after a lot of thought and consideration we sent her this year. She was 4 for six weeks after starting K. She has done so well that I am continually reminded that it was the right choice for her. I know she will always be the youngest and sometimes it does show when she is with her peers. As a PP said most of her "issues" are personality issues that would not have gone away in a year... a bit sensitive and emotional. P.S. I've been the exact same way my whole life, LOL. So, I 100% agree that it is based on the individual child and that parents are in the best position to make that decision.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DucksLikeRain View Post
    I like that she pointed out that redshirting in hopes of allowing a child that is already missing milestones-developmental or social-is NOT a good thing. I have seen that happen IRL with some of the moms I know and those poor kids flounder for an extra year before blossoming once they finally start kindergarten and are able to get the early intervention they should have already been having.
    Yeah that's important. My oldest has been in "school" since he was 28 months old because of a speech and social /emotional delay. When he 'graduated' from infants and toddlers we kind of had to scramble as to what to do because we knew he needed to continue to be around other children. We ended up putting him in a "typical" Pre K 3 classroom and, while he was continuously labeled the "bad" kid and while we had a lot of complaints about him that year I do not regret a thing. I think being around the other kids was the best choice we could have made for him.

    We chose a different school for Pre K 4 where he's flourished, but yeah he's been in some sort of "school" a couple of times a week, without a break since he was 28 months old. I wish everyone who needs it could get those sorts of services.
    Megan (29) and Jayson (31) Happily married 9 years



  19. #19

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    I was faced with this at the beginning of the school year. My DS is a late August (27th) baby (Sept 1 cutoff). I had been told by friends and family who are educators, to hold him back--even when he was only a baby. I made the decision soley on my child. He's a very well mannered, smart, sweet little boy. He's been in childcare since he was a baby so, in my opinion, he was already used to being in a "school" environment for hours a day. He's also tall. And seeing what I giant he was in the daycare class, which consisted mostly of 3 years old, it made my decision that much easier. He didn't like that class and never wanted to go. Pre-K rolled around, and while a little timid at first, he loves it. He will be starting Kindergarten August 8 and will only be 4 years old. There is no doubt in my mind that he is ready. However, as the year progresses and I see the need to hold him back, I have no adversion of doing so.
    And I have to say, I was a late birthday baby. I missed the deadline by 10 days. I hated it. I hated being the older one. I hated being older than all of the boys. I was actually very self conscious about it. However, when I turned 16 the beginning of my sophmore year--I LOVED it....( :

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I think because many kindergarten curriculums are not even developmentally appropriate for children that age. All the sitting down and being quiet isn't want kids are wired to do. And all day is too long. My two olders still needed naps at 5 years old. Just my opinion, of course.
    I am always surprised at how many older kids nap....I know my sister and I stopped napping at age 2! I have always thought that most kids dropped naps between 2-3 yrs old.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    I am not red shirting Cody. He loves Pre-K now and its newly public. He had Kindergarten orientation last night and is so excited to go. The teachers think he is very mature for his age. He'll be 5 July 18th the cut off here is August 1st. He is already used to the school and the schedule M-F 8:00 am - 1:20 pm so there is no sense in holding him back. He has minded us better since been in a more structured environment but, I truly believe its each parent's personal choice. Not every 5 year old is the same.



  22. #22

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    It's definitely a decision that is best left to parents to make for each individual child, therefore I support whatever their decision is.

    Here in AZ kids do not have to begin formal education (be it public, private, charter, or homeschooling) until the age of 6. That is something I will keep in mind as enrollment time comes around next year (my DD will be 5 in Jan). If I don't think she's ready, we'll wait another year.

    I definitely would not have "green-shirted" her. For my DD I can't see any benefit to doing that.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmosmom View Post
    I am always surprised at how many older kids nap....I know my sister and I stopped napping at age 2! I have always thought that most kids dropped naps between 2-3 yrs old.
    I am not surprised, I am jealous!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmosmom View Post
    I am always surprised at how many older kids nap....I know my sister and I stopped napping at age 2! I have always thought that most kids dropped naps between 2-3 yrs old.
    Cody stopped napping around 2 1/2 .



  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmosmom View Post
    I am always surprised at how many older kids nap....I know my sister and I stopped napping at age 2! I have always thought that most kids dropped naps between 2-3 yrs old.
    Kids are so different it is funny. The triplets napped until 3, Jericho was over naps at 18 months. Of course they will all still pass out in the car or now and then in their room for a nap.

    ~*~Katrina~*~ Momma to Xander, Hayden & Lily (6) and Jericho (3 1/2)

  26. #26

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    I agree that it is a decision best left to the parents who know their child best. I know that kinder curriculum here is not what it used to be 10 years ago and the classes are 32 kids to 1 teacher even in kinder. We are most definitely red shirting my older son to allow him one more year of OT and speech before kinder since his fine motor skills are about 1 year behind. We went to one huge evaluation where the doctor and the OT recommended red-shirting him and another kinder readiness evaluation where the evaluator independently came with the same recommendation. Part of the recommendation came from the fact that the classes are huge and the curriculum is very advanced for a child with delays who has to go in mainstream classes (my son does not fit the criteria for special classes). The other part came from the fact we know his DX as early as it was possible and we have really good insurance that allows full therapy and benefits up until he is 18. So for us, sending him on time had only disadvantages. Regardless of our well informed, researched decision, we still get the advice of distant friends and strangers who highly recommend that we send him because (a) he is tall and (b) Johnny and Jimmy that live here and there did it and turned out fine

    My other son is a February birthday and we do not see a reason to hold him back.

    But the point I am trying to make is that really the parents are in the best position due to many reasons: bigger classes, more advanced curriculum, increase of neurological conditions (parents often are unwilling to discuss those with strangers so one should NOT assume anything) etc. There will be ALWAYS cases that are gonna go in either directions and examples to show that one or the other thing is wrong.

    FWIW, I was the oldest in the class, very advanced and mature for my age, always bored and in trouble through high school (due to boredom), my parents regret for not sending me with the previous year (they had that option and were warned at the screening that I was way too advanced to be kept for the next year). So, yes, parents make mistakes at times but not always. I try to keep that in mind.
    Last edited by tanyachap; 04-03-2013 at 12:04 PM.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHKate View Post
    .... but, really, how can that many kids be immature for their age? It's so common now to just wait until a kid is 6 to start K. If it's that common, then they're not immature, just normal.
    ITA that majority of children are not immature. I believe that as a culture/society we expect way too much way too early. Not in terms of academics but what environment we expect them to learn in. IMO, it is not natural for a 5 year old to leave home at 7 am, spend most of the day sitting in a classroom filling out workbooks, only to come home at 5 pm and rush through dinner only to sit down for a few more hours to do homework. It is not natural. It is not age appropriate. I believe that if we did not force early schooling on kids, the number of ADHD, ODD, etc. cases would decrease dramatically.

    Both my kids have late May birthdays. We will be homeschooling but we have debated all options.

    DS has his own challenges and has been diagnosed with ASD. If he were to go to K, we would be holding him back because we are still working on certain skills. The trouble with a lot of kids on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum is that they are very smart and can compensate really well for some of the behavioral struggles. Thus people who do not understand autism well cannot even see that they are different and expect them to act like neurotypical kids. We have seen this in preschool which he attended briefly. A lot of social behaviors that come naturally to the average person (something as simple as responding to own name) are learned through repetition. I would want DS to have the time to have more "tools" in his behavior toolbox before going to school. Even when he went through the thorough evaluation by the school district, their conclusion was that he belonged in a gifted classroom, they never picked up on the the things that he struggles with (his diagnosis came from a developmental pedi).

    As for DD who still has time to go, I would likely let her wait as well and find a different outlet for her very social personality. She is in preschool 9 hours a week. She loves it and thrives there. She is right where they expect her to be, maybe a bit ahead. And, of course, school environments are much more girl friendly. But I simply would not want the full-day-at-school type of life for her, too much, too soon.

    My own experience with public school was good but school hours are much shorter where I grew up. There was no K, we started 1st grade if you were 6 by September 1st. I have a November birthday so I was almost 7. I was a straight A student until high school and I never felt negative about being one of the oldest. As for the hours, grades 1-4 were from 8 am until noon, grades 5-8 were 8 to noon 3 days a week and 2 days a week we had 2 more hours from 1 to 3 pm. High school was a little longer but we were pretty much out by 3 or 4 on the long days. I would not be opposed to those type of hours. But there is no way I am sending my kids away for the whole day from 5 years on.

    Even as we prepare to homeschool, our learning will be very, very informal for several years to come. We evaluate what we are doing as we go and decide when the right time is to do something more formal.

    I believe that if we at going to have mandatory school attendance, it should not be mandatory until at least 8 or 9 years of age.
    Last edited by impatient; 04-03-2013 at 02:27 PM.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I think because many kindergarten curriculums are not even developmentally appropriate for children that age. All the sitting down and being quiet isn't want kids are wired to do. And all day is too long. My two olders still needed naps at 5 years old. Just my opinion, of course.
    In that case, it's a problem with the school district's idea of what kindergarten should be. If they are suggesting that kindergarten should be for 5-year-olds, they need to make their kindergarten developmentally appropriate for 5-year-olds. I can't speak for the curriculum in your district, but I know that some full-day kindergartens include nap time after lunch. I also agree that 5-year-olds should not be expected to sit still and be quiet all day long. If that's what kindergarten looks like, I think they need to change kindergarten, not try to change the kids. Of course, I've long thought that the basic model that many public (and private) schools use is not geared towards optimal learning by children, and DH and I plan to homeschool.


  29. #29

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    I truly depends on the child IMO. DS is a late July Birthday, and we started him on time. He's having some problems in school, but they're more a result of his ADHD, and him being too smart for his own good. He likes to play dumb and pretend he doesn't know how to do stuff, just so he can get extra time with the teacher, or put into the group his friends are in.

    DD1 is the exact opposite, and we are testing her to start early. She is so eager to learn, and show off what she can do. Even her preschool teacher has said she'll have no problem starting Kindergarten next fall...

    *Kimberly* Mommy to Hayden (7), Alexis (5), Makenzie & Brooke (18m)!
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  30. #30

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    Thank you very much for sharing this, and to everyone for the discussion. I've really been beating myself up about my son's preschooling changes for the fall. This article and ensuing discussion really helped me to relax about my situation and feel better about his path.
    Me (34), DH (36), DS1, DS2 & 1 Angel (1/17/2012)



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