March 4, 2003 - Tuesday
I've been talking to Harry's preschool about which classroom he ought to be placed in next fall. (Yes, it's already time to decide that!) He started in the preschool class, as opposed to the toddler room, at 2.9 years of age and that made him the youngest in the class by, at the time, more than three months. His advanced speech for his age and solid attention span seemed to make it the right choice and for the most part I think it has been. The drawback is that as the youngest in the class he's also the smallest and the slowest and that probably contributed to his unease at many group participation activities early on.
So, the current question is whether he moves to the Pre-K class in the fall with all of the kids he started with or stays for another year, or perhaps half year, in the preschool room with the small group of kids that moved up from the Toddler room in January, plus some more younger kids who will move up at that time. Since Harry is a December birthday he would not make the kindergarten cutoff that almost all the older kids will make a year from now and, thus, if he moves up he will have to spend a second year in Pre-K after watching all his friends leave. If he stays in Preschool it will be a second year there and maybe he'd get bored, especially (thinks the ambitious parent) since he's so advanced.
I don't really have an answer, but my instinct is that he should stay in Preschool and become one of the older kids himself, be comfortable, and build confidence. I've asked Harry which kids he likes best and he's consistently said Garrett and Ryan and other of the older kids.
"What about Aidan, he seems nice?" I ask of a new boy with whom I've seen Harry on many occasions already.
"What about Robert or Noah?" referencing two more of the newer younger boys.
"No, I don't like Robert, he grabs," insists Harry.
"Yes, he's a little younger and needs to learn about grabbing, doesn't he?"
Still, I've noticed Harry and Aidan playing together and asked his teacher which boys Harry plays with the most, in search of an answer to the current dilemma. She agrees that he and Aidan seem to be buddies.
"I've asked him and he says he plays with Garrett and Ryan and the older kids," I point out.
After consideration, she notes "he may aspire to play with them, but it's more than younger kids."
I'm betting that hits the nail on the head. It's nice to aspire, but I don't think Harry needs to always be on the outside looking in. He'll start the fall in Preschool and see how it goes.