The little guy will be 3 1/2 at the end of this month, which means he’ll be 4 in a little over six months from now. That was when it hit me:
He’ll be a kindergartener soon — all too soon.
When there was some brief turnover turmoil last year at his daycare (when he was in Room 3, the potty-training classroom), I had briefly thought of switching daycares.
But 1) he was close to being promoted to his current classroom, 2) other than the revolving teachers in Room 3, the other teachers were staying put, which lends to a stability and continuity that I felt the little guy needs, 3) he really was and is learning solid academic PreK stuff, and 4) he had been with some of the same kids since he was a baby and was starting to develop a definite “social life,” in a fashion.
So the little guy’s still at the same daycare where he’s been since he was six weeks old, and I fully plan to keep him there until he ages out, that is, when he’s reached the eligible age for kindergarten (which is 5 years old by September 1).
Yet, even though the little guy’s a couple of years from that point of aging out, I’m already thinking of where he’ll go for kindergarten. For wherever he ends up, I fully plan for him to be there until he ages out as well.
Part of that intention is my own experience, moving around a lot as a Navy brat. I went to three separate elementary schools before finishing out the fifth grade at elementary school number four, and being the new kid four times by the age of ten just plain SUCKED.
Also, what with the uncertainty of my marriage, as well as the uncertainty of how long my sister will be living with me as she sorts out her life, I wish for the little guy’s future elementary school to be a safe and stable place where he can thrive in his schooler life.
Just a few blocks away is the public elementary school that the little guy would go to, if I were to put him in a public school. On researching that school, I read some pretty good reviews: decent state test scores (for what their worth) and satisfied parents of their kids’ progress and achievement.
HOWEVER — with the local school district (like just about every publicly funded organization everywhere) in the red, I have no clue how those deep budget cuts will affect the quality of education in that elementary school that the little guy would go to.
And then, being a professional educator who had taken a fair share of pedagogical courses, including adolescent psychology, as well as being a sister to a younger brother, I can vouch first-hand how bad public education can be to a fidgety young teenage boy.
In other words — after elementary school comes middle school.
How well will that elementary school prepare my kid for the toxic soup of hormones that is middle school, where an otherwise happy elementary school boy easily becomes, in two years, a sullen, disengaged 13-year old proto-juvenile delinquent?
So I included private schools in my research, as well as charter schools, and Irving, the city where I live, is absolutely BRIMMING with both, what with a private Catholic university (my alma mater) within its city limits, an international airport just five minutes away from my house, and Valley Ranch (the literal home of Jerry Jones’ Dallas Cowboys) and Las Colinas (the homes of many multinational corporations) comprising the spendy northern areas of Irving.
I can choose to put the little guy in a private (usually Catholic) or charter school that goes from grades PreK-8. I can put the little guy in a private school that goes from grades K-12. I can even put the little guy in a Catholic all-boys’ preparatory school that goes from grades 5-12.
The choices are many and dizzying, and I realize that, until I definitively know to what extent Irving ISD’s budget cuts will harm, if at all, the one public elementary school the little guy would go to, as well as what kind of personality and learning style the little guy will exhibit as he starts learning in the more academically structured pre-K classrooms…
Well, I still have time to wait. And, one year from now, once I know more, then the search for that post-preschool school will start in earnest. I just wish I had a crystal ball to look into the future, so I could know — so I could PREPARE.
I suppose so does everybody else these days.