Since I work full time, have awesome parents who watch the girls 2 days a week, and have to think about what to do with Lucia, it doesn't really make sense to put Adriana in a real preschool. My kids get a mix of grandparent days, daycare days, and the occasional parent working from home or taking a vacation day. The daycare we send them to has them in classrooms which do change around the same time other kids are going back to school, but they are HORRIBLE about communicating what date that will actually be.
Since Adriana goes to daycare instead of a more traditional preschool, I already feel a bit cheated out of the whole back to school experience. However, this year was even worse because of the lack of communication. I quickly snapped a picture of them on the porch thinking it was a "last day of school" shot (based on what I was told after repeatedly asking), and dropped them off at daycare only to find that the rest of the kids randomly switched rooms that Wednesday, when the girls were at my parents.
I had kind of wanted to do the "wear the same dress on the first day of school and last day of school and take a cute pic holding a sign" thing that is pretty much required of me as a blogging mom, but that was obviously out the window unless I wanted to stage something the next Monday.
I decided to just go with the flow and let this quick photo be the official record. Whatever. I suck at Pinteresty things anyway.
For reference, Lucia turned 2 on August 14th and Adriana will be 4 on October 14th.
Lucia is in "Toddler 1" and Adriana is in "Preschool 2". Some time in the middle of this year (when she's further along in potty training), Lucy will move to the next Toddler room, and then next fall she will move to Preschool 1.
Adriana will go to a "real" school next year. I am sending the girls to the Catholic school down the street. I was raised Catholic, but am not Catholic myself. I just like the school and the public schools where I live aren't very good. I talked more about the Catholic school decision here and here. Adriana will be in Pre-K next fall, and Kindergarten the year after that. The school offers after care, so I don't have to worry about who is going to pick her up in the afternoon.
The school I'm sending my kids to has a really strict August 1 cut-off date. I sort of like that because one of the things I obsessed about during my pregnancy with Lucy was the fact that, due to their spacing and where the birthdays fall, I thought my kids would only be one grade apart despite being 22 months apart. So the strict cut-off date fixes that (perceived) problem.
However, it means that both of my kids will be among the oldest in their class. Lucy will be one of the VERY oldest. It's just weird to me since I was a June baby. I started Kindergarten the fall after I turned 5; I didn't go to Pre-K at all. Since I didn't have a birthday in the middle of the school year, I was 5 for the entirety of Kindergarten, 6 in 1st grade, 7 in 2nd grade, etc. I have strong associations with what age you are "supposed to be" in each grade, and my kids will be almost a full year older than I was in each grade. I was 17 when I graduated high school; my kids will be 18.
I don't know why this is SO weird to me, but it is.
Add into that the fact that kids are all different developmentally. Adriana is really tall and really smart. At almost 4, she fits in WAY BETTER with a room full of 5 year olds than a room full of 4 year olds. If it were up to me, I would skip Pre-K entirely and just put her in Kindergarten next year, but that's not an option. Even if it were, then she would be in the same class as my nephew, whose parents DO like waiting the extra year even though he is basically a walking encyclopedia.
I guess, ultimately, even though I don't like that my kids are going to be older than I think they should be for their grade, I like that I don't have any control over it and therefore can't make the "wrong" choice for my kid. They were born after August 1, so they start when they start. Ultimately, even though it weirds me out, it's probably a GOOD thing. Why rush real life, right? One more year to enjoy my kiddos before they are off to college (assuming they are of the enjoyable variety by then).
So how does the cut off date work where your kids go to school? Do you get to decide whether to send them or hold them back, and how did you make that decision? Are you sending your kids to preschool and pre-k, or just directly to kindergarten?