Saturday, September 30, 2006

How early is too early?

There is a lot in the news lately about early education. I just finished reading this article in the SF Chronicle about the decisions to either start your kid in Kindergarten at the age of 4 or "redshirt" a kid until they are six.

You see, Cobalt was born November 10. The current cutoff in California is December 5. That means that, if we want, Cobalt could enter Kindergarten while he is still 4 (three years from now). As far as I can tell, we would have the option to hold him back if we don't think he is ready. Apparently, there is legislation on the table that would move the date up to September 30 by the time he is "ready" to start kindergarten.

Now, I think it's too early to tell whether or not he will be ready for kindergarten in 3 years or 4. But Cobalt is big for his age, seems to be a "nice kid" (at least that's what everyone else tells me) and he doesn't appear to be dumb. However, he is, compared to other of our friends, a late-talker. Just recently he began to use words for most things, and can go through the Richard Scarry books and shout out his words for planes, trucks, cars and even chicken!

Since I've never been around kids of this age, I have no metric for where he is supposed to be, development-wise. So I have no idea if he is actually "smart", "slow" or just plain average. I think we've always assumed that he would enter school early, due to the simple fact that he is so big. Even if he were able to start Kindergarten when he is still 4, he will most likely be one of the bigger kids in the class. If he has to wait another year, he will almost certainly be the biggest.

At this point, it seems almost absurd to think about it, but after reading articles like this, it comes to the front of the mind. Furthermore, we are hoping to start him in preschool next fall, as well.

Only time will tell.

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