Off to School

Keith holds on for the ride.

When told the due date of my first son—October 30, 2008—you can forgive me (I hope) for only thinking logistics. You see, although my husband and I had lived in our house for several years, the room which would be Keith’s was still occupied by moving boxes. The next several months were all about painting, sanding, and refinishing (I mostly directed). It was only in the evening hours of October 31 that everything became real. From that moment, I’ve transferred all that energy put into selecting the perfect crib bedding and coordinating window valances into obsessing over, oh, slightly more meaningful considerations, such as parenting styles, schedules, potty training, more parenting styles, and, oh yeah, when to have Keith start school. 

Sometime within his first year, I realized that Keith’s late fall birthday would make him either the youngest or the oldest kid in his class. And, I’ve been petrified to make a decision either way ever since. My husband and I have spent years engaging in countless conversations regarding this very thing and have likened ourselves to pinballs, getting bounced around by two very strongly opinionated opposing camps. We’re all experts, aren’t we? 

Well, John and I are the first to admit: We’re not. 

In the end, we decided to wait a year; and now, September dawns. Our soon-to-be five-year-old will be entering public school, but only in preschool. Did we make the right decision? Time will tell, but, in the meantime, share your own experiences with us below. I know we’re not the only ones who (continue to) belabor this decision! 

There’s also something else I ask you to do: Participate in our brief online survey so we can continue to provide you with the information and resources you need—and want!—as a New Jersey parent. 

After you do that, dive back into the back-to-school package we’ve put together for you. In it, we talk to the legit experts about everything from what parents can do to help their kids succeed in school to dealing with bullies and sibling rivalry—all really useful information I’ve found as my family embarks on what I’m calling an “adventure.” Off to school we go!

Here’s hoping we’re ready for the ride… 

Judy Grover New Jersey Family