Come out! Thread for parents of young children (<10).

Anyone else here with little kids? I have a 6yo and a 5yo who are students in a very new K-12 charter school here in NYC.

Since the school has no exmissions track record (and won’t for years) I’m nervous and/but trying to be productively nervous by reading these forums.

Would love to hear from other parents who are looking far into the future.

Don’t be shy!

have a 6yo and a 5yo



lol…I don’t have little ones, but please…relax!!! :slight_smile:

This is a college forum. You might have better luck on a forum that deals with younger children.

I was hoping not to get flamed.

What’s wrong with thinking ahead?

I made plenty of life choices in my early 20s that set-up my late 30s and 40s.

For example, I was making a lot of money soon after college working in consulting. But I left that path to earn a STEM Ph.D. because I felt it would give me broader career options down the road as a (hopefully) working mom – before I had boyfriend let alone husband let alone kids.

From my vantage point as a 40-something working mother that turned out to be a great move.

Why should I now have different standards of being forward-thinking?

I’m sure there are other lurkers with young kids.

Anyway. Just trying to be friendly and social.

LOL welcome NYC Mama! I’ve got small kids (11 & twin 9 year olds). I found CC when helping my niece and nephew (they asked for my help, I promise!) I’ve always loved college searches, and I started reading my older siblings college guidebooks when I was very young. I think I missed my calling to be a college counselor!

As for my own kids and their college plans, the only thing I’m worried about at this point is paying for it and the earlier parents start saving the better.

Hi @basil1 thanks for posting! Yep we are maxing out the good ol’ 529 for both kids. We both have closely spaced kids so it is going to hit like a train. I have two younger sibs and for one year, my parents had to pay for all three of us to attend (not cheap, private) colleges. On the bright side, it helped our FA status if I recall.

11 and twin 9yo sounds really intense. Are they all in the same school? How is it going?

One of the reasons why I’m lurking is that one of my kids - two boys - seems to a good student with little effort, is a bit of a jock and a social butterfly. Happy kid. The other is a pretty intense kid, a huge bookworm and aspiring NASA engineer and/but has to work very hard in school to keep up. He struggles. Already.

Given how many years we have to go, I’m thinking about ways to nurture both of them, they have such different profiles. I want to help them develop their talents and interests but also work on their challenges while keeping it low-stress and fun.

And before I people start flaming me… I’m the ultimate lego mom (I can repair an dropped AT-AT with my eyes closed), pizza maker, and we have a towering collection of comics. My kids have a blast - I’m not a crazy tiger mom. What I am is a person who likes to think about goals early and often and prefers turtle pace over hare pace in working towards them.

I have an 11-year-old daughter in addition to my DS17. Sigh, tween girls can be very different from nerdy boys. She’s smart, but she’s concerned about her social position, where my son never seemed to care much so long as he had 1 or 2 friends. I’m just going to try to get her through junior high successfully over the next couple years.

I am interested in elementary school issues, though, since I’m on the school board for the small elementary district here.

If people can post about how much they spend on clothing, whether they should stage their home, and football, it seems very reasonable to post about young kids and their educations. Welcome, @NYCmama! (We CC newbies have to stick together! :wink:)

If there is one thing I’ve learned after raising four children, it’s that who I thought they were going to be at 5 or 6…or even at 12 or 13…was not necessarily (and sometimes not even remotely) who they turned out to be. The other day I was at a company luncheon and was sitting next to a woman who was talking about her very bright son who was doing very well in eighth grade - and she must have mentioned the words “Ivy League School” about forty times in the conversation. There was no way to tell her not to count her chickens without sounding pompous. Try not to do too much planning ahead or you will drive yourself nuts!!

I figured we’d get moved to the Cafe :wink:

NYCMama, I don’t think you’ll get flamed unless you start asking which summer activities your 6 year old needs to get into Harvard or something like that lol. I try to just lurk and learn mostly.

I imagine that lot of parents on this board were thinking about college for their kids a lot earlier than they’d ever admit.

I wish there were a CC for K12 but I’ve not found it. I just registered my daughter for JH, our district starts “Pre Ap” classes in 6th grade. She’s enrolled in all of them except math, which is accelerated, she does fine in math but needs a slower pace I think. Our district is very challenging and competitive, it’d be nice to be able to talk about issues anonymously.

In school: I would make sure they are developing good habits in school, learning how to meet deadlines, being organized (within reason and it’s an up and down process), making good friends and not just limiting themselves to befriending “smart” kids–everyone has to learn how to work in groups throughout school. I’d monitor their school work and grades (without obsessing) to make sure that you pick up any weak spots or struggles. In the early years, it’s really too soon to start saying “I’m not a math person,” or “I hate science,” for example. Assuming that classes in Grades 1-6 are “generic” ones – English, Math, Science, History, Art, etc. – I would try to engage my child in any outside reading that is of particular interest, based on the curriculum that year. If second grade science touches on dinosaurs, go to town with those library books. If fourth grade science is earth science…, etc. Social Studies or history – the same thing.

These are the “fun years” of school, when your children can really develop a real love of learning, as opposed to just worrying about grades. I got so much enjoyment about helping my D choose books and reading them to her and with her.

Judging from your moniker, you have a wealth of enrichment options for your elementary age kids.

Outside of school: libraries, museums, museums, museums. Musicals and plays. And, talk to them about their experience. I have so often met “smart” kids of friends or friends of my D who are not very capable of articulating their thoughts and experiences.

IMO, college “planning” or prep should only enter your thoughts around 7th-8th grade, when you start having to decide on foreign language, algebra and other honors (pre-AP) courses and when grades for some of those courses may start to count in your child’s high school GPA (as they did in my D’s school district for certain designated courses). It’s good to be aware of those types of issues ahead of time. Those middle school years will start laying the foundation for solid high school work. But that’s in the 2020’s for you!

Our children’s ages span across more than 2 decades. Our oldest son is a married father of 3. Our youngest just turned 5. We homeschool, so when our kids apply to college there is no track record except for the ones that they have created for themselves. When they are little, we are very low key. Academic days are short and hours of imaginative play are long.

We don’t start thinking about college until they are tackling high school subjects. Their interests and passions have guided the way toward who they foresaw/foresee themselves as being. Once they become teenagers they have a lot to say about how they want to pursue goals. We have found being informed as parents is helpful, but that generalizations and sterotypes don’t apply to individuals very well. Nurturing them in growing up has been/is really more about embracing the “who they are” and encouraging their unique characteristics and qualities to bloom. Our kids thrive and excel bc they are authenically them and that means that they are internally motivated.

We let the college process grow from who they are.

I have an 11 year old as well as a high school senior. I can say, where they were at 5 and 6 and what I thought they would be doing 5, 10 and yes, 12 years later is wildly off course. I did spend the years between 5,6 and 11,12 having the kids explore different things - music, sports, museums, whatever to find their niche. These niches change over time - the natural diver at 5 isn’t quite the Olympic hopeful at 12; the love of dinosaurs just doesn’t seem to last that long; a child scared of heights all of a sudden wants to rock climb. Focus on what you need to do to make college happen (namely, save a boatload of money) and enjoy the journey your children will take through childhood. This is really the time to keep kids curious and engaged in learning new things. Don’t get too focused on grades because sometimes striving for the A gets in the way of learning. :slight_smile:

Take everything other parents (in the same school) “advise” you or tell you about what they “learned” or “heard” with a huge grain of salt. There is far too much angst these days, with almost-daily reports about college applications during app season. These stories often reflect parents’ worries about their own kids masking as “advice.” My H was more prone to falling for these anxieties because of his colleagues (fellow physicians) who were worried about their own kids. You will worry and have your own doubts enough for everyone. I decided early to tune them out for the most part and focus on our D’s individuality. Essentially, work with the children you know best – your children.

So, let them enjoy as much of their childhood as they can because it really does go quickly, looking back. They need to be “well rested” and “well tested” outside of grades to know themselves.

Thanks @ynotgo, @chezcurie, @readytoroll, @AttorneyMother, @mom2aphysicsgeek!

Well karma found out I (finally) posted on this site and I got call from my son’s school that he was on the wrong end of a playground scuffle and earned a suspension. This is rare, thank goodness. When he was younger he got into trouble at school practically daily (fights, ripping up school work). He is actually in his third school in three years. I cried all the way (openly on the subway) to school. Everyone at school was so nice about it. The principal even wavered given that it was a multi-kid pile-up. But he threw the punch that went over the line and I insisted he needed to experience the consequences. Better now while he is so young. He is downstairs right now dutifully putting all of his legos (“may I reinforce the fragile ones first, mama?”) in a box. Then he will write an apology note to the classmate he hit (“it was an upper-cut, mama”). He is remorseful.


I love this kid so much it breaks my heart.

{{{{hugs}}}} @NYCmama‌

Sorry to hear that your kid got into trouble. . .hope he can avoid fights from now on.

I still have a 10yo and 12yo (in addition to a 10th grader, 2 in college, 1 in grad school, one out of college).

Sorry to hear about the fight. One of my sons had a hard time adjusting to appropriate school time play. We discovered he did great during structured class time when he knew exactly what was expected, but during free time he had a hard time regulating himself, ie he need an adult nearby during recess until he got the hang of it. He’s done fine the past couple of years (knock wood) so I guess it was a maturity thing.

Nothing wrong with being friendly and social. There’s a Parents Cafe for that. There was a dad of a newborn that used to post…totally cool.

But, to worry about college admissions for such young children is just, well, too early. At this point, it’s impossible to know who they are and what their strengths and interests will be.

It’s different for a 18 year old planning ahead…