Lisa asks: Did your kid go to junior kindergarten?

There's a big decision to be made at Lisa's house and she's interested in hearing your thoughts on JK

By Lisa van de Geyn
Lisa asks: Did your kid go to junior kindergarten?

Photo by pengrin via Flickr

Last Friday (February 3rd) was sign-your-kid-up-for-kindergarten day here in Ontario. Most of my Facebook friends who have kids Addy's age posted about making their way to their local school, what a big day it was in their homes and how their babies are growing up so fast.  

Meanwhile, I spent the day working and debating. I'm not sure my kid is ready for junior kindergarten. 

There was no JK when I went to kindergarten, so I was four (and turned five two and a half months into the school year) when I started school. At that time we went every day in either the morning or the afternoon (spending about three hours in the classroom at a time). Not having ever been in daycare, I can distinctly remember missing my mom and, well, freaking out about being away from her. I also have very, very vivid images of little Donovan Apthecker (who was 16 days older than me) sitting under the wee water fountain in the kindergarten room every morning crying for his mommy. (It took him three months to come out from under the water fountain. Ms. Presnikov wasn't the warmest kindergarten teacher and she let him sit there sobbing until he was ready to act like a big boy.)

Here are my reservations about sending Addy to school in September:

1. She'll be three turning four — a whole year younger than me and sobby Donovan were when we started school. A year is a huge deal when you're a preschooler and can make a world of difference in maturity levels, development, etc. 

2. The kid's not toilet-trained yet. I know she's ready (and stubborn) and I know she'll be using the potty before September, but as of today, she's still in diapers. 

3. Junior kindergarten at the school she'd be going to runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30(ish) p.m. every other day. (She'd be going Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays and every other Friday.) How does a kid who's never been away from Mommy, Daddy or Bubby last for six hours in a classroom setting? 

4. Addy's a smart girl and I don't want her to be behind socially or academically, but I'm worried she's not emotionally ready. I can't stand the thought of her sitting under the water fountain sobbing iike Donovan did. 

5. Kindergarten isn't even required in Ontario; students don't actually have to go to school until Grade 1. So why are we rushing three-year-olds? Are they ready at this age? And if JK is just a glorified daycare that saves parents cash (as some say), does Addy even need to go? I'm definitely signing her up for swimming and either soccer or dance this spring/summer, so she'll get some social interaction there. Will she miss anything crucial if she goes to kindergarten in September 2013?

So tell me: Did you send your little one to JK or did you skip it and send them straight to SK? Why? What's your take on full-day junior kindergarten? 

Photo by pengrin via Flickr

This article was originally published on Feb 10, 2012

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