Wow, great responses, everyone. :)
For years, I wanted a December baby, but now I'm not sure. My ex-roommate bday is on Dec 31st and she said she dislike it. My own birthday is in late June, and I'm also not sure how I feel about it. It's always on holiday, so no exam, which is great. But I used to be jealous with my other friends who have all their friends present on their birthday celebration. For me, it's difficult to meet any of them. March baby sounds fun, but if I can choose, I don't want my kids having their birthdays during exam period. And if I can avoid it, I don't want January too.
I don't really want my (future) kids being the oldest among their friends. But the youngest? I read a lot about issues of summer kids having more trouble at school, but I also know many who did not. We (me and many of my friends, the fellow summer born) started school right after our birthdays, and we're okay with that. In my class there are aslo several kids who started the school a year earlier. Some (or maybe many, Idk) of them admitted to have trouble. So actually is it about being not old enough when we start school or simply about being the youngest?
We had two preschools on our list for Amelie. Was was a bi-lingual preschool, and the other was a Montessori.
We were not comfortable with some of the teachings that come hand in hand with Montessori. While I liked that they are more education based than play based, and had more structured days, I did not like the fact that they don't engage in pretend play at all.
Montessori schools true to Maria Montessori's teachings do not do dress up, play pretend, or talk about things like Santa, because they don't allow pretend play.
Now, not all Montessori's stay true to every single one of Maria Montessori's guidelines, but this just didn't sit right with me as I feel pretend play is a key part of development. They also don't encourage pretending activities, such as pretending to cook, pretending to sweep the floor, etc.
While the preschool was more play based than activity/education based, I definitely liked the set up better. We went with the preschool in the end which I was very happy with, and I would definitely send any future children I have to that same preschool. I guess Montessori teachings just do not appeal to me at all :)
Is Amelie in nursery or reception? I've only looked at Montessori nurseries, and all I've been to have dressing up sections! Whether they talk about Father C or not, I don't care, I never believed and won't make my child do so either. But I don't know where you are, the Montessori nurseries in London seem pretty liberal to me anyway!
Oh I completely agree, as I said, not all of them follow the teachings rule for rule. It just so happened that the only Montessori in my area was very rigid, and therefore they completely discouraged any pretend or imaginative play. My cousins daughter lives in a different part of the county, and goes to a Montessori, and she does pretend play regularly. I guess it just depends on the school :)
Will you not be celebrating Christmas at all, or just not indulging in the Father Christmas fantasy? So far, we're doing Santa, and she seems to believe it. But if she ever asks we'll tell the truth but continue celebrating the meaning of Christmas, etc. Its my favourite holiday, I can't give it up!
Also, apologies for this thread going waaaaay OT. This has been a very interesting conversation!
Oh no, we'll do the whole thing; Christmas, Hanukkah, angels and candles! I love Christmas... I just never believed in Father Christmas (we've always celebrated Christmas the Norwegian way, on Christmas Eve, and then Father Christmas comes with the presents, and it was always very clear my grandfather was the one hiding behind a horrible mask!), and he was never really a big deal. My mum mainly decorated with angels, stars and glitter, very few Father Christmas decorations.
(Sorry for steering off topic as well!)
Just adding to all the school talk: I think I live in the last state in the US where the cut-off for kindergarten is the end of the calendar year and kids are to be enrolled the year they turn five, so the youngest in the class are the fall/December babies who start kindergarten when they're still 4.
Though it will be very very far in the future, I'd lean towards September/October or March/April. My mum hated that my brother was born late October, though I think that winter was particularly bad, and my brother was reportedly an incredibly difficult baby. So bad to the point that it has been said that she only agreed to another child provided she wouldn't have to deal with a winter newborn, and thus, I was planned for April, and it was then that I was born! I do like having an April birthday, I've pretty much always never had to be at school for my birthday, though it has almost exclusively rained, but that's British weather for you.
Well, in a semi-vacuum, I'd like to have my first baby in May, as I'll probably (still) be in graduate school and courses at my university tend to end at the beginning of May. This would give me all summer to work from home and not have to worry about courses or teaching. Furthermore, a May birthday would still fall within the academic calendar for most primary and secondary schools, thus allowing him or her to celebrate at school. The one big wrench in my wonderful plan (besides conceiving at the right time, of course) is that my DH leaves for about one-to-two months every spring to collect data for a big research project he's conducting 3000 miles away. That would make May the worst possible month for me to give birth!
There are some studies that suggest some birth month effects on achievement and well being, but I'm not very familiar with the research. I would posit that being one of the youngest kids in the class may exacerbate other existing problems, but that it wouldn't be a huge deal on its own. I dont think it's something I would stress over. I know many school districts allow younger children to be assessed in order to help parents decide wither to start them in school immediately or wait a year.
Ottilie - The staggering start dates based on age is so interesting! I've never heard of that before.