The Mackerdoodle’s birthday is August 7th. The cut off for school in Missouri is August 1st. This means she is the oldest in her Sunday school class, and her VBS group, and if we were wanting to enroll her in K4 she wouldn’t qualify until next year, when she’s almost 5.
All school systems have cut offs. They have to, and some kid is always just before or just after it. There’s really no other way to work it. At some point you have to say, “No. We don’t consider you old enough for this. Try again next year.” I understand that.
My dilemma comes with this: if we moved back to Georgia, the cut off is September 1, meaning she would be considered just going into 1st grade in Missouri, but expected to have completed 1st grade in Georgia. She’d be behind, but only by a month. Other than being a full grade behind her friend Abigail, whose birthday is only a month ahead, she would probably never notice that she was the oldest in her class. However, if we moved back to Canada, the cutoff is December 31st. Any child turning 5 within a given calendar year is eligible to enter Kindergarten in that September. In that system she would be a full six months older than her closest classmates and almost 18 months older than the youngest members of the class.
I don’t want to enroll her in a K4 program. In fact, I’m pretty firmly set against sending my baby to school at 4. I want four full years with her before I ask someone else to assist me in her education. However, we will be in St. Louis until the mackerdoodle is just about seven. This puts first grade into play.
Our choices are: (in order of my preference)
- Ask for an exception to the cut off date, in order to enroll her in Kindergarten next school year (August of 2012), and 1st grade the year after.
- Abide by the cutoff date here. Enroll her in Kindergarten Jonathan’s last year of school and trust the Lord to work out the details after that. As my friend Becky points out all the time, we might not end up leaving Missouri.
- Home school her for Kindergarten and 1st Grade, after which the cutoff date becomes irrelevant – she’d be admitted to the 2nd grade in any state, providing she can perform at 2nd grade level.
Ironically, I’d be okay with the cheesedoodle (or generally any boy) being the oldest in his class, but with a June birthday, in either Missouri or Georgia he’d be the youngest. I suspect when the time comes to decide about Kindergarten for him, we’ll be having a completely different discussion.
These are the things I never thought I’d worry about.