Penny is five years old. She is starting to sound out simple words. She can identify all her letters and numbers. She can write her name and a few words. She loves school. And she has Down syndrome.
Is she ready?
I am planning to register her for kindergarten today. I haven’t done anything in particular to prepare. So I wonder if I’m negligent when I read articles like “Fast Tracking to Kindergarten” about toddlers who are drilled on their academic skills every day. Or if I’m asking too much of her when I read Motherlode’s post about “Redshirting” little ones, or as I hear my friends talking about holding their kids back for a year so they won’t “fall behind” later on. These same friends are already talking about college.
I can’t say whether Penny will go to college. I can say with confidence that she will be one of the smallest (if not the very smallest) children in the elementary school (as was her mother, way back when). I can’t say that she would pass a kindergarten readiness exam with flying colors. I can say that she’s ready to learn.
Penny has been talking about kindergarten all year long. And her teachers say she’s ready to go. And as much as I know it will be a challenge for her to sit still and keep up, I also trust our daughter and I trust her teachers. I don’t know what will happen in the future. I want to make decisions for her not based upon what might be doing years from now. I want to make decisions for her based upon who she is right now.
And who she is right now is a little girl who loves circle time and books and letters and friends. So here we go.