Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gabbi Girl's turn

 You didn't think I'd leave out a whole post on my baby girl, now did you?  She is so loving.  So sweet.  so obsessed.... with ME!
 Gabbi Girl must yell "maaaamaaaa" 100x a day.  When in this big ol' house, and she's not in the same room as me, she'll have to find my whereabouts just about every 5 minutes or so.  I am NOT exaggerating!  I'll say, "I'm still in the kitchen, Gabs".
 But, she is also the kid who RUNS to the door when I get home, yelling, "Maaaamaaaa's hoooome" as soon as she hears the door open.  She does NOTHING before running to greet me when she gets home!  I'm not sure she'll ever move out.  But since we are going to be "older" parents, we'll need her to push us around in our wheelchairs, so maybe that's a good thing.
 So, here's the deal with Gabs... I STILL don't know what I will do with her about kindergarten.  I would love to just hold her back, but I actually worry that she'll need to repeat first grade (I know, I know... I shouldn't say that.. I'm sort of claiming it.  And I KNOW better!  Claim to good!)  But, IF she had to repeat, she'd then be two years older than her peers.  So, enough of that.  I am doing what I CAN do this summer.
 I have a kindergarten teacher with 30+ years of experience who has agreed to work with her twice a week.  We're doing our PT, OT, and Speech 2 days a week, and JinJin has agreed to take a day too.  Gabbi, thankfully, loves to be worked with.  She really WANTS to learn!
 Like her sister, she is beginning to show a little interest in fashion.  Mostly, she LOVES to wear makeup, namely lipstick!  She has to take a tube with her every time we walk out the door.  And she DID get a new tube at Ulta this weekend when Ellie "didn't get ANYthing!".
 She is starting to want to pick her own outfits.  She is not really "strong", let's just say, in this area yet.  But, I struggle to let her sense pride in her independence and letting her look absolutely ridiculous in public. I split the difference.  If we're not going anywhere "important", she wins. If we are, I have to insist on a change.
 Ok, another question.  How old should a kid be when she can wipe herself.  Backside.
 These are some sweet little pics on my Gabbi Girl on the beach.  Above, she is posing with Jessi's nephew, Gage.  They hit it off swimmingly.  Typically, Gabbi likes to play with 3 year olds. That is just who she seems to connect best with.
 And the child is a sensory SEEKER!!  She could dig in sand for hours!
 Trust me, the bathtub proved it!  And I was worried about infections... internally...if ya know what I mean!

 But when she is playing in a sandpile, she is a happy, happy girl!!
 She's also started sleeping with me and Todd every night.  In fact, I think she's just as determined as Ellie to be in out bed.
 So, you added correctly.  There are now me, Todd, Ellie, Gabbi, Lizzie, and our new Miss Twilight Sparkles!  (And Gabbi L.O.V.E.S. this cat!!)
 SIX in our bed!  Yessirreee.  
But, they're only little once, right?!
Love that little Gabs!


kimybeee said...

cherish this precious child - they grow up way too fast!!!

I have no idea at what age my kids were able to handle all of their own bathroom business. I know at what age they potty trained, but not about the other.

I think you should keep her out a year or put her in a "real" preschool. the space between her and ellie would do them both some good and gabs will benefit in many ways. the best thing you can do is take the advice of the teacher and your mama teacher to see if they think she is ready. no doubt god chose you and todd for gabbi because you have the resources she needs to thrive and blossom!!!

another good measure is how is she with dance with girls her own age - if she keeps up with the "average" kids then she is ready. if she would rather do something else distracting then she probably isn't as ready.

no doubt that you will make the right decision - try not to worry on it! and as for leaving home - my son that was shy when he was little will be the first to leave here! my daughter enjoys being dependent lol lol

Zhohn said...

That's right, only little once! I have a feeling my babies will sleep with me too :) so sweeeeet!

Sounds like you're on top of what's best for Gabbi, I'm sure she will be ready for kindergarten.

Kiki said...

I live in CA and we now have "transitional Kindergarten" for kids that are on the younger end of Kindergarten.

They're pushing back the cut off each year (for the 2013-14 year kids who are 5 between October-December 2013 they can do "transitional Kindergarten" instead) until 2014-15 when all kids born September 2-December 2nd fall into "transitional K."

It's a slightly scaled down K program in most districts, but in others it's nearly identical to the regular K standards and simply allows the kids to get a double dose of K, making them more prepared and starting out a bit older for the "real thing."

In all the districts I'm aware of, parents of kids who turn 5 prior to the current October 2nd new TK age cut-off, can request to get their older 5 year old into the TK program if they feel it's warranted/beneficial for the child.

Other districts make it space available.

It might be worth checking into whether or not you may have that option (or something similar) there.

I was a K teacher awhile ago, and have many friends that teach K or TK now. There's been a lot of demand for the TK program even for kids that are on the older end vs the younger end (who it originally was intended for).

Some in the TK program who do really well then can skip to 1st the next year (assuming they meet the original birthday cutoff for regular K)

There's been more of that than they anticipated, so apparently the TK program is working well.

The only real complaints I've heard are from teachers about it are schedule related since most of our districts here are half day K and the high demand of TK has complicated class availability.

Going to do a separate comment of another thought.

Kiki said...

Another thought might be (I'm assuming K is half day for you guys? I don't recall seeing a mention of full day in the past with Ellie?) seeing if you can find a full day Kindergarten program (that truly is full day, not just half day but with "fun" the rest) and having Gabbi do that and use that as a repeat year. (Again, in CA at least, full day K does legally require an hour "nap" - but other than that it's all educational time)

My reason for suggesting that is that while it's bound to be very difficult at the start of the year for her, if you've got academic readiness concerns to the degree it sounds like you do, it would probably decrease your odds of the 1st grade repeat that you're thinking could be a possibility, even if she had either repeated K or just waited another year for K.

With readiness concerns going into K (or 1st depending on what you do this next year) the jump up to 1st could be even harder with a full day length and expectations.

Doing full day K back to back would make the transition much easier into 1st b/c she'd already be comfortable with the full day length and she'd go into it having much more confidence because she would almost certainly demonstrate significant growth and comprehension/mastery from the K curriculum being something she was more comfortable with since it wasn't new.

Full day (academic) K seems to be less common now than it used to be, but private schools, especially, tend to offer it.

The other advantage - if you're going into things expecting she'll need to repeat at some point - to repeating K (whether by means of a TK/K type thing or going the full day route) is that it's MUCH less of an issue with peers if they repeat in K than even just a year later. Kids (and their friends) are much more aware if they lose their social circle at school once they get to a full day 1st (or even 2nd - as some wait even longer to repeat) than if they do it in Kindergarten. I saw that over and over teaching.

And peer comments (or just their own realization everyone moved up without them) on top of then maybe repeating in 1st could just really hit self-confidence hard. That peer dynamic is even more of a potential issue if you've got a smaller school where there's only 1-3 classes per grade and so it's blatantly evident if someone doesn't move up.

The kids I saw held back in K did much better longer term than those in 1st or 2nd. I've seen it first hand while teaching in all three grades (both kids held back after any of those years and kids who had been held back a grade or two prior to being in my class).

I've seen so many instances where it sets them up for longer term success if they feel confident going into the really critical 1st grade year than going in feeling unsure.

So those are my thoughts.

Kiki said...

Oh and another reason I'd suggest doing it in K is that it gets WAY more complicated with what to do with social activities with a child who repeats. Kids Clubs programs and Sunday School at churches, many sports, etc. often make things stickier if you repeat later. Then they end up held back from their friends in that group when they're more aware also (when K, in many settings, is handled differently than 1-5th) or they have to repeat an entire curriculum or program in yet another arena of their lives.

That gets really complicated and difficult emotionally. Some DO move up in outside programs when they don't in school and that turns into a real issue b/c they have to repeat a year later on b/c eventually they'd be behind and not have anything else to do.

Man, even just trying to explain what I mean by that is hard in writing (I guess it's evident that I've dealt with that side of things once I left teaching - ha!) We get kids in our programs who repeated at school but don't want to everywhere else, but then they end up TOTALLY separated from friends when they move up to junior high (if not earlier) just because you can't be in 5th and go to a camp for 6th graders...but if that's their "peers" in another context, then they get the "you repeated a grade" thing at a much more challenging age socially. In K, they just don't tend to even realize they're in a different group from their friends in the extracurriculars like they do even just a year later.

Anyway, just another thing to keep in mind :-) It's easy to consider only the true academic side and not the social side and other contexts if you don't think about extracurricular type of things earlier than later, too.

I'll be praying for you and Todd as you try to figure out what's best for Gabbi to thrive to the best of her abilities! Your love for your girls is so evident and I know God will continue to give you guys wisdom as you parent them both!

Anonymous said...

On the school front, I woukd just take your cue from Gabbi... We homeschool, so I've learned over the years to really follow their lead as far as learning styles, etc.... on the wiping issue, good gracious..... I swear I was still
Wiping Will's butt at 6 or 7 years old!!!

Bethany said...

You're a brave lady asking for advice from the World Wide Web ;)

I would say the big trend in schools has been to send the kids older (age 6) rather than younger (age 5) to kindergarten. That extra year of growth and maturity really seems to allow them to handle all of the demands of this newer curriculum of kindergarten. Our Greyson who turned 4 in April, is bright and socially very mature, can go to kindergarten next fall but we are thinking of keeping him home one more year. Here in Ohio almost all summer birthdays wait to go so that would make him one of the younger ones in the class.

As a mama to 5 kids that are all over the place (ages 4-17, several that are very gifted, one that has Down syndrome), all you can do is to make the best decision for their needs TODAY! If they are feeling comfortable, supported and encouraged, they will do the best they can!

Hoping that whatever decision you make that peace comes with it. It's hard making big decisions for our babies!

Jason, Betsy, Jackson said...

Our sons birthday is August 3rd. We didn't start him last year at 5. He repeated preschool. Wow - the growth in a year for him academically and socially has been amazing! He has matured so much. (He also graduated from speech during this time). We have also noticed a change in him with sports ~ last year he was making dirt angels during his baseball games. This year he has done so well!

I'm sure you all will make the right decision!

Lisa said...

I think Kiki covered it all excellently. Especially agree with doing either preK or K twice, and her idea of full day academic K right before 1st. Once in 1st the social impact of holding her back and staying in same school should not be underestimated - in many respects, confidence, interactions, etc - and I think the interaction issue is possibly heightened with girls.

snekcip said...

SCHOOLING CONCERN: You have done exceptionally well in determining whats best for Gabbi. I know you hold her best interest at heart and I have no doubt she will thrive greatly! Keep at it Momma!

HINEY WIPE ISSUE: They have little "hiney wipes" for little ones (I can't recall the correct name) and encourage her to use those. I know my grandson can get a tad "lazy" and just pull up his undies and the result are NOT drives my daughter INSANE!! She may need a little help now and then but encourage her to "wipe" on her own.

PS You may have extra washing duties but in time it will even out!

kimybeee said...

i am thrilled that kiki posted longer than mine lol lol

my kids kindergarten teacher that had a million years experience always said that if girls started at 5 and boys at 6 they would be better off lol and the kids that were held back to repeat k or 1st were 99% boys. not that this applies here, but just thought it was interesting.

sounds like you are getting a lot of great advice - we all love you and your family and want the best for you all!

Beth E. said...

Every child is different, and that's one of the more challenging aspects of being parents...figuring out the best options for each child! :-)

We have Pre-K offered in our school system and it's a wonderful program that really works with the children to prepare them for kindergarten. That might me an option for Miss Gabbi. As Kimybeee said, though, your teacher friend and teacher mama will be able to offer the best advice. Plus, you'll know in your heart what to do.

Bathroom business: Again, every child is different. I had one child who seemed to instinctively know how to take care of wiping, the other child had to be taught over and over. Keep extra pairs of underwear, wipes, and ointment with you wherever you go. She'll learn.

You're a great mom and your family is precious!

Renee said...

She is so precious! Good luck with the school decision.