Getting Ready for Kindergarten

Is she ready?

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.

Thank you Patheos! (And Continuing the Conversation at Christianity Today)
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About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).


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