The Graduation that Didn’t

Elliott has been attending the preschool program at our church, Treasure Creek, for about a year and a half now. We LOVE it there. His teachers are sweet, his class is cute and he is learning. This Summer, September, Elliott turns five. That gave us the option to enroll him in Kindergarten. So we did. Elliott is smart and very social. We knew he wouldn’t have a problem, even being the youngest in his class. Our confidence in his success was strong. So in May, Elliott graduated from Treasure Creek rather than moving on to the Pre-K fives class; a class for kids who could go to kindergarten but are on the young side.

Adorable right? The very next day, it may have even been that night… momma started thinking. Our decision to send him to school catapulted EVERYTHING one year in advance. Middle school one year sooner, girls one year sooner, COLLEGE one year sooner. Elliott leaving one year sooner. My heart hurt so badly I couldn’t take it. Normally I’m not like this. But I thought to myself, you can’t get this year back! You can’t say, oops… maybe I need to invest in you a little longer, get back in high school! If I want this year, now is the time to take it. So I did. And Calvin was all for it. Two days later I took our graduate pre-schooler on a breakfast date. I worried as we sat, worried that after all the kindergarten hype he would feel deflated at the thought of staying in preschool. I explained my feelings and asked him how he would feel about staying in Treasure Creek for another year in an older class.

Sure. What Elliott? Sure, I like it there. Can I have a doughnut?

And that was that. Here is what I’m taking away from the situation: it’s okay to change your mind. As parents we worry SO much about doing the right thing all the time. Like we have one shot and if we choose wrong we will lose the whole game. There aren’t a ton of do-overs in life, but there are chances to back-track, start again, apologize, try something new. Take advantage of the time you have and don’t ever give up time with your kids when they are young. We are responsible for molding them, and as Christians we have the privilege of introducing our children to God and allowing Him to mold them. I don’t spend enough time in awe. In awe of the job I’ve been given to help little people grow into big people.

I want to do this well. So with Elliott, I’m taking an extra year.

About the author


Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.


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  • Good for you Erica!!! We believe that our A is a year younger than the age he was given in ET (you know, the one by the judge that’s oh so legit) and we are working towards changing it for many of the reasons you mentioned!

  • I held Grason out an extra year too! I am SO thankful i did! I havenever regretted it! They are only little once. Time goes by so fast!

  • I did the same thing with Mackenzie! For the sole reason that it gave her one more year to be a kid. She will be an adult for most of her life. This fall, she will start kindergarden and Beech and she is now so ready. Like Elliott, she was ready last fall, but now she is really ready!

  • We did the same with James. He has two preschool tassels πŸ™‚ One from last year and one from this year! As a teacher, I wanted to make sure I had given him everything he needed to make Kindergarten a success and he wasn’t there last summer πŸ™‚ Now he’s six and TOTALLY ready πŸ™‚ Miss you guys! Hope you are all well! πŸ™‚

  • As a mother of a September 5 kiddo, I am very proud of you. Many people thought we should have started Topher a year early. In Charleston, there was a possibility that he could have skipped Kindergarten and gone straight to First Grade with a test. However, the more I thought about it and prayed about it, I didn’t want my 17 year old to go to College. I want him home with me as long as possible, where his Daddy and I have the opportunity to lead him in the way he should go. When I walked into Katie’s Kindergarten classroom, I could pick out every Summer birthday child, and many of them were struggling so much with maturity issues.

    I am proud of you for doing what you know is right. You only get once chance. Even in 3rd grade I could tell the younger ones. And I am thankful for my September birthday kiddo!

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