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Old 08-20-2011, 05:14 PM   #21
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

Our cutoff is December 31st and DS was born October 16th. All of his friends are starting K this year, but I'm holding him until next year. If he had to start, I think he'd do ok... he's smart enough and has good social skills, but his attention span is pretty short. My main worry is that while I know he is a normal crazy 4 year old, he might get labeled with ADHD or something. It seems that is so quick to be diagnosed these days, that by giving him the extra year to "grow up" he will be passed that stage of development.

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Old 08-20-2011, 05:24 PM   #22
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

We're faced with the same issue twice over. My DS has a 9/11 b-day, and our second boy, due in just a few weeks will also be a September baby (as am I and my sister, and like half of my other relatives. Apparently my family has nothing else to do at Christmas time).

Anyway, in our district the cut-off is 5 before 8/30 for Kindergarten and 6 before 8/30 for 1st Grade. I'm not necessarily opposed to this, but I am opposed to the idea of my sons' education being based on their birthdays and not their developmental level. So, our solution, since we want out kids in preschool anyway is to send them to a private school in our area that goes up to 2nd grade and advances children based on their development, not their age.

They will attend there and progress per their development until they reach the age for admittance into Kindergarten at the Public School. If when they enter public school, they are obviously beyond the Kindergarten level then I will ask them to be tested for 1st grade. I have no idea if either of my sons will be ready for a Kindergarten level class upon their 5th birthday, but I do trust the school they are attending to make that judgement. If they aren't ready for Kindergarten, then they would attend the school's pre-Kindergarten class then go to public Kindergarten the following year as they turn 6.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:56 PM   #23
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

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Originally Posted by Sweet_Fantasy_Fox View Post
I personally feel they shouldn't put kids in grades according to birthday's and cut off dates but more according to where they are in age and test them then place them. They would see a barely 4 year old would do better in preschool than in kindergarten kwim?
Sorry my post turned into a vent, I am still irritated by what they did, my ds1 is in 3rd grade now and he loves school.
I agree with this, and have thought about it too. The problem with testing for admittance to Kindergarten is the sheer numbers. It can't be managed within the public school system. Too many kids, too many circumstances. Also, you would have trouble with parents. For every one parent who would like them to do the testing, you would probably have three who would object. Especially if their kid is one of the older children who would make the cut-off yet is too developmentally immature to handle the atmosphere. So, ultimately I can't fault the Schools for using an arbitrary date by which to determine "readiness" but as a proactive parent I can work around it to see that my child's needs are met regardless.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:24 PM   #24
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I will always encourage a parent to make the decision to wait. I did not wait with my oldest who just made the cutoff and I regret it to this day--she's in 9th grade now.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:45 PM   #25
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

DS missed the July 31st cut off by 2 days, and there is absolutely no getting around it. I had him in Montessori last year, so he just progressed at his own pace. This past week he started public Kindergarten; he can read, add & subtract, etc. I am putting my faith in the school -- which is a good school -- that they can do what they promised, which is meet his needs educationally. They say that every year, they have some Kindergarteners who can read and some who don't know their letters yet, and that they can handle it. I will see.

It was really frustrating last year, because he was so ready, and needed more of a challenge than preschool could give. However, down the line I don't think I'll regret it. Like a pp said, it could make a difference between being more of a follower (wanting to keep up with the older kids) and more of a leader. Plus, I do worry that an appropriately-active little boy who is a bit young could come across as more of a discipline problem than the same child a year older.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:06 PM   #26
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

My DD is only 2 so we haven't faced this yet, but I am very firm about sending her when she is 6 (her birthday is in Aug so she will just be 6). I was sent early and I could tell that I was not socially as advanced as other kids in my class. I also think about the fact that this gives her one more year to be a kid and live under my roof before she has to go out and be a grown up.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:41 PM   #27
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

I agree with those who say to wait. My son was born around the cut-off as he was a late summer birthday and he had a really hard time in kindy (not academically) but socially. School is nothing like it was 10 years ago. Kindegarten really is more like 1st and each grade level is about 1 year more difficult. My second son misses the cut-off and I am so happy. I would absolutely wait until 6 with him if I had to do it over with, not to mention, it is very common here and he was with boys mostly 1 year older than him. I don't know if I would do it with a girl, but I absolutely would wait with a boy. It is tougher for boys generally to sit as long as they need them to. My son never liked school and I think it is because I started him too early. School was basically tears at our house for the last three years. He cried for the entire first month of kindergarten and I almost pulled him out but the teacher and my family begged me not too. He absolutely was not ready. I see this same issue time and time again and it doesn't hurt them to have more time to mature, especially considering how little physical activity they get in public schools now. We are homeschooling now, and he is so much happier as he can do a little bookwork and head outside to run around before doing more. When he rode the bus, he sat basically from 7:30-4 and I notice a huge difference in his happiness already. We can go outside and practice math verbally while playing soccer. We study spelling on a hike. The active lifestyle works for him. He was academically ready for school at 5. He is already reading/spelling at a 5th/6th grade level, but I don't think the academic is as big of a deal as socially ready and being able to sit still.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:46 PM   #28
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

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I think the reason it is "trendy" to wait a year is because K is a totally different experience now than when we attended school. I started at 4 in a half-day K that is VERY similar to what I do with my Pre-K students. If I chose to send my sons, they would be attending full day programs with much different expectations. If the expectations were the same as when I attended, I would not have any issue sending them as young 5s, but as it stands now I am not interested in setting them up to struggle.
This is a very good explanation. I wish a lot of first time moms knew how serious kindergarten is now. My son never once played with play-doh and that is all I remember about kindergarten, other than learning to tie my shoes (which they no longer teach).
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:46 PM   #29
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Re: Kindgarten question - esp for moms with kids near cutoff date

I'm starting my son in K this year, he'll be 5 on Aug 24th (our cutoff is Aug 31). Even though he'll be among the youngest in his grade, there's no way that I can wait a whole extra year until starting him. He can already read, and is ready.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:33 PM   #30
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I think the most important thing is that we don't lump all boys into any category. While some boys may have difficulty, some won't. And while some aren't mature, some are. If you don't think your son is ready, don't send him. But I think holding a kid back a year so they'll be the biggest in class, or more prepared for a sport, or first to get their license, is silly. I have nothing against people that wait a year to start their kid, I just think we should think of kids as individuals, and base this org what will be best overall for that specific kid.
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