cut off

31 posts / 0 new
Last post
AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560
cut off

I can not remember if we have done this or not, but I would really like to know what you all have to say.

Pretend with me that you have a child that will be 4 on September 11th. With that birthday you can decide as a parent when to put your child in school. Pretend also that it does not matter what grade they are in now, but later on they will be in a classroom with peers.

Would you do k4 this year and kindergarten next year? They would be 4 almost 5 at the start of kindergarten. Thinking ahead to graduation they will be 17 almost 18 when they graduated. Or, would you do a readinessprogram this year and k4 next year? They would be 5 almost 6 at the start of kindergarten and 18 almost 19 at graduation.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780
AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

Thank you. I knew I had posted it somewhere but could not remember if it was here or not.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

OK, I have a follow-up question about school cut-off dates. Why do we have them? Why do we not just start all kids in kindergarten the year they turn five? There will always be some kids older and some kids younger, some a little more ready, others not quite so ready, but they all pretty much equalize over the course of the year. What is so special about September 2nd or November 1st?

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"Spacers" wrote:

OK, I have a follow-up question about school cut-off dates. Why do we have them? Why do we not just start all kids in kindergarten the year they turn five? There will always be some kids older and some kids younger, some a little more ready, others not quite so ready, but they all pretty much equalize over the course of the year. What is so special about September 2nd or November 1st?

I have no idea. It is also confusing because not all of the schools around here use the same cut off. It has been very stressful for me to decide because I know the decision will follow us throughout the rest of her schooling.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Its just a guideline to make it easy for parents. That said, a simple process seems unbearably complicated for some people, even with how clearly defined it is ~ can you imagine if there were no guidelines in place? Some parents head might explode.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

I think they need a date, some kind of date. It's often random as to what the date is and I would hope most school boards would be willing to work with parents on it if necessary. But there has to be some sort of guideline.

Anyway I think it totally depends on the kid. Some are ready earlier than others, some aren't.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

It doesn't seem to make it easy for parents at all. It seems like a lot of parents whose kids' birthdays are near the cut-off date consider holding them back to give them an advantage the next year. And it's also not a guideline; cut-off dates are enforced pretty strictly in most public school districts as some friends of ours discovered; they moved mid-year from CA (with a 12/1 cut-off) to NJ (with an 10/1 cut-off) and their younger daughter had to sit out the rest of the school year; her late-October birthday made her ineligible to enroll in public school, and the fact that she was transferring made no difference. You also have parents whose kids have a late birthday who put their kids into private schools that will take a child they deem "ready for school" regardless of birthdate, or who homeschool for a year, and then transfer into public school for first grade when the public school legally has to take them because they've had a full year of school. It would be so much easier to say, across the board and across the country, if your child was born in 2008, they *will* start kindergarten this year.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

I agree that there has to be some date. And really to say that you have to be a certain age before the beginning of the school year seems just a reasonable to me as saying you have to have turned that age by the end of the year. In some ways, it sounds like its even more logical.

The nov. dates and whatnot seem somewhat more arbitrary but...it doesn't bother me.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

"Spacers" wrote:

It doesn't seem to make it easy for parents at all. It seems like a lot of parents whose kids' birthdays are near the cut-off date consider holding them back to give them an advantage the next year. And it's also not a guideline; cut-off dates are enforced pretty strictly in most public school districts as some friends of ours discovered; they moved mid-year from CA (with a 12/1 cut-off) to NJ (with an 10/1 cut-off) and their younger daughter had to sit out the rest of the school year; her late-October birthday made her ineligible to enroll in public school, and the fact that she was transferring made no difference. You also have parents whose kids have a late birthday who put their kids into private schools that will take a child they deem "ready for school" regardless of birthdate, or who homeschool for a year, and then transfer into public school for first grade when the public school legally has to take them because they've had a full year of school. It would be so much easier to say, across the board and across the country, if your child was born in 2008, they *will* start kindergarten this year.

Kind of like how they say now "If your child was born before Sept. of 2008 they *will* start kindergarten this year"?

Cecilia is born in January...very close to December. If they moved the schedule to where you suggest, i'm pretty certain there are parents in my position that would probably still send their kid to private school that first year..or whatever else to try to get them in earlier. Heck i could even see doing it myself. She is wicked smart and having her go a year earlier would be very convenient for me if i thought she could handle it come that time. Plus my best friend from high school was born in january and went to kindergarten early and its never affected her badly...she's one of the most successful and well adjusted people i know.

I don't know. A cutoff date is a cutoff date. Sept 1st, Dec 31st...you are going to always have people on one side of that date or the other that will want to do things differently.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"Spacers" wrote:

It doesn't seem to make it easy for parents at all. It seems like a lot of parents whose kids' birthdays are near the cut-off date consider holding them back to give them an advantage the next year. And it's also not a guideline; cut-off dates are enforced pretty strictly in most public school districts as some friends of ours discovered; they moved mid-year from CA (with a 12/1 cut-off) to NJ (with an 10/1 cut-off) and their younger daughter had to sit out the rest of the school year; her late-October birthday made her ineligible to enroll in public school, and the fact that she was transferring made no difference. You also have parents whose kids have a late birthday who put their kids into private schools that will take a child they deem "ready for school" regardless of birthdate, or who homeschool for a year, and then transfer into public school for first grade when the public school legally has to take them because they've had a full year of school. It would be so much easier to say, across the board and across the country, if your child was born in 2008, they *will* start kindergarten this year.

Oh HELL no! I would have been on them until I got my way. There's no way I would be told that they will no accept a PUBLIC school from one state to the next. What about those who move mid-year in say, 5th grade but don't meet their cut-off date?

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"Spacers" wrote:

OK, I have a follow-up question about school cut-off dates. Why do we have them? Why do we not just start all kids in kindergarten the year they turn five? There will always be some kids older and some kids younger, some a little more ready, others not quite so ready, but they all pretty much equalize over the course of the year. What is so special about September 2nd or November 1st?

Our cut-off date for kindergarten in CA has been gradually moved back until it gets to Sept. 1. As a teacher, I would like to see it moved to August 1st so most students are already 5 when they enter kindergarten. As it stands now, there is no requirement to attend kindergarten; students can begin at 1st grade.

With many districts now starting in August, the cut-off date helps with maturity. If you put the range from 1/1 to 12/31, by the time kids start kindergarten, some will be 5 years, 7.5 months and some will be 4 years, 7.5 months. The issue isn't so much the older kids, it's the younger kids. Those 4.5 months make a big difference as far as their emotional, cognitive, and physical maturity.

All of that aside, my girls have fall birthdays - 9/22 & 12/9. The cut-off date the year DD2 started kindergarten was 12/2 so I sent her to private kindergarten for the year. When I took her to enroll in 1st grade, no questions were ever asked. Now that she is going into 5th grade next month, sometimes I rethink what I would recommend to parents. She absolutely thrives in combo classes where she is in the older grade. She's where she is academically but emotionally and physically she is still closer to the younger students in the class.

My ideal would be closer to a college calendar. Kids can begin in Jan or August and that way there is only 1/2 year difference. Also, if kids fall behind, they can re-enroll in the 1st semester instead of having to fall 1 full year behind. Take Alg. 1 for example. As it is now, students don't retake Alg. 1 until the following year. Thus failing the 1st semester and the 2nd semester. Other students wouldn't know or care so much as to whether a student is a semester ahead or behind.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Oh HELL no! I would have been on them until I got my way. There's no way I would be told that they will no accept a PUBLIC school from one state to the next. What about those who move mid-year in say, 5th grade but don't meet their cut-off date?

I'm sorry, I should have clarified that. They moved when their younger girl was in Kindergarten, and the school, and district, in New Jersey refused to enroll her. If she'd been in 1st grade or higher, it wouldn't have been an issue because public schools have to accept a transfer student who has a full year of schooling at the prior level. But in Kindergarten, it's not a transfer, it's a new enrollment subject to local standards. At least it was in New Jersey two years ago.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

My state used to have the school cutoff so that all children started the year they turned 5, so you had some kids who were 4 for the whole school year (late December birthdays). They changed it a few years back to the cut off being mid year, which I hate and wish it would go back to the old way.

raingirl28's picture
Joined: 09/03/07
Posts: 1347

Going back to your original question, I would get them in earlier if it were me. I started school when I was 3, and I was born in October. The rule here in the 70's was if you were born before December 31, you could start school in September of that year. If you were born in January 1 or after, you had to start the next year. I don't know...I don't have kids yet but I loved school more than anything. I craved school and never wanted to leave! I was reading very young, way before I went to school and I just loved being there for all the books!

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I have no idea. It is also confusing because not all of the schools around here use the same cut off. It has been very stressful for me to decide because I know the decision will follow us throughout the rest of her schooling.

I don't mean to minimize your worries, but aren't you homeschooling? I guess I just assumed that as a homeschooler you would have more flexibility to tailor the lessons to her strengths and weaknesses so that it would be less of an issue whether you called it K or pre-K. Or am I totally off base about that?

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I don't mean to minimize your worries, but aren't you homeschooling? I guess I just assumed that as a homeschooler you would have more flexibility to tailor the lessons to her strengths and weaknesses so that it would be less of an issue whether you called it K or pre-K. Or am I totally off base about that?

Right now it is not an issue, but I am sure we will not homeschool forever. When we do decide to put them in school I want them to be right where they are supposed to be, not hugely older or younger than their classmates.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Got it. That makes sense. Well, my two cents is that I agree with those that have said that they think the grade level should ultimately be about skill and maturity rather than age. If I had a child that I was genuinely concerned could not keep up with the curriculum in K, or did not have the maturity/social skills to be in a school setting, then I would hold him back a year. Otherwise, my children will start the year that they are elligible to start. T has a somewhat later birthday (although not as late as September) being a June baby and he is starting K this year, the first year he is elligible. A few moms have asked me if I'm worried about it; I'm really not. He was one of the youngest in his Pre-K class too, and he was fine. We did the K readiness testing that our school offers in April (not that they refuse to take any kid that is elligible, but they do testing so that the teacher has an idea beforehand of which areas may need extra work, and also so that you know and can work on them over the summer if you want) and he was fine. So I'm not worried about it. I'm not interested in holding him back arbitrarily just based on his birthday.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I don't understand why its an issue that you are worried about now, Bonita. Wouldn't you just do as much work as the child/ren are capable of now (like, you don't hold them back from work if they are capable of moving forward, do you?) and consider what grade level they are at if/when you are actually considering putting them into the school system? It just seems like worrying about something way too far in advance.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

If a child is homeschooled and then wants to move to a public school, do they have to do placement testing?

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

Juliet has an August birthday, so she is one of the youngest in her class. She complains about being younger because she's at the age when those things matter, and she wants to be 6 like the other kids, but she thrived in kindergarten so I know it's the right thing. She loves learning, she loves all the social stuff, and she can't wait for first grade.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"Potter75" wrote:

I don't understand why its an issue that you are worried about now, Bonita. Wouldn't you just do as much work as the child/ren are capable of now (like, you don't hold them back from work if they are capable of moving forward, do you?) and consider what grade level they are at if/when you are actually considering putting them into the school system? It just seems like worrying about something way too far in advance.

I buy a pre-made curriculum. Unless we skipped a year or held back at some point it would be just the same as if we were putting her in normal school. What graduating class she is in now is the same graduating class she will be in all the way through unless she skipped a grade or was held back a grade.

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

If a child is homeschooled and then wants to move to a public school, do they have to do placement testing?

That depends greatly on the State and school system. Regardless of how far ahead a student is academically they will not put them ahead of their age most places. They may however hold them back. In the Kindergarten age I believe they would go on birthday regardless of where they are academically. Beyond Kindergarten they would do a placement test. They would not put a 15 year old back into the first grade or very far behind. They would put them with their peers and then put them in remedial classes.

For me personally, I try very hard to keep them on par with the local private schools. Everyone is going to be different though.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I buy a pre-made curriculum. Unless we skipped a year or held back at some point it would be just the same as if we were putting her in normal school. What graduating class she is in now is the same graduating class she will be in all the way through unless she skipped a grade or was held back a grade.

That depends greatly on the State and school system. Regardless of how far ahead a student is academically they will not put them ahead of their age most places. They may however hold them back. In the Kindergarten age I believe they would go on birthday regardless of where they are academically. Beyond Kindergarten they would do a placement test. They would not put a 15 year old back into the first grade or very far behind. They would put them with their peers and then put them in remedial classes.

For me personally, I try very hard to keep them on par with the local private schools. Everyone is going to be different though.

Would anything else happen? I would think a 15 YO testing at the 1st grade level would be something the state would investigate. In a case like that, there wouldn't have been any schooling (home or otherwise) or there would be something else going on mentally.

I know you were just throwing numbers out, but is there a discrepancy of more than a year or two usually?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I always assumed that the beauty of homeschooling was that you could move at the childs pace.....so like, if your child was moving quickly you could progress more quickly than the average school year. I didn't realize that you had to stick so rigidly to school like schedules.

Just curious, but if you buy a pre made curriculum why do so many hours go into lesson planning?

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

Here kids start the year they are 5 and I am fine with that. Like any cut off there are going to be younger or older kids. Kaiya will be starting at 4 and half and she is more than ready for it. Her sister started at 5 and half (Feb birthday) and probably could have started earlier as she was bored for the first few years of school. I do wish there was a way to actually assess kids skill and maturity level so it was based on that and not age. It just seems so arbitrary and kids aren't like that.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

On the subject of bored kids in school - I know some parents do prep for kindergarten and try to teach their kids as much as possible before school to give them a head start. I wonder if this is beneficial. Or is it detrimental for kids to start with more knowledge than their peers? Does that just lead to bored disruptive children? I think it may have for DSD and it took years for school to become hard for her so she was constantly in trouble for talking because she was bored. Now that school is harder she has to focus and doesn't have as much time for talking.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Would anything else happen? I would think a 15 YO testing at the 1st grade level would be something the state would investigate. In a case like that, there wouldn't have been any schooling (home or otherwise) or there would be something else going on mentally.

I know you were just throwing numbers out, but is there a discrepancy of more than a year or two usually?

It was a random number to throughout. I was actually thinking of a special needs student that DH worked with in the past. He was in Public School his whole life but was very behind. Regardless if he passed academically they would not let him fail more than twice so he was not way older than his classmates.

"Potter75" wrote:

I always assumed that the beauty of homeschooling was that you could move at the childs pace.....so like, if your child was moving quickly you could progress more quickly than the average school year. I didn't realize that you had to stick so rigidly to school like schedules.

Just curious, but if you buy a pre made curriculum why do so many hours go into lesson planning?

Because everything comes separately. I copy everything I am going to do for each child each subject down into a lesson book. Not everyone does it this way (few do), but I find it much easier for me. It also helps me to know all of the material. There will also always me adjustments made. I also tear everything out of the workbooks and stapel things together. For example everything for lesson 1 is stapled together. Everything for lesson 2 is stapled together.

There are many homeschoolers that move ahead as they finish the work. When that happens, you have kids graduating HS at 15 years old. I do not do that. I do one grade per school year. That way when they do go to school later they will be the same age as their classmates. If we finish early we supplement in extra work to reinforce the skills.

You will find as many different ways to homeschool as there are homeschoolers.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

I wanted to add that it does not matter what curriculum you buy, they are all going to have prep work involved.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

Me again:) I also wanted to add that you can slow down to work on an area that needs work and go faster through things that do not, at the same time keeping them overall in the right grade according to their age.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Juliet has an August birthday, so she is one of the youngest in her class. She complains about being younger because she's at the age when those things matter, and she wants to be 6 like the other kids, but she thrived in kindergarten so I know it's the right thing. She loves learning, she loves all the social stuff, and she can't wait for first grade.

OH the things they worry about at 5/6. Mia came home so upset one day because her name only has 3 letters. She was so sad because she didnt have to practice writing it very much. We solved this by having her write Mia Aubrey and then she was fine! The day she came home upset because she is the shortest in class we could not fix it as easily

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"mom3girls" wrote:

OH the things they worry about at 5/6. Mia came home so upset one day because her name only has 3 letters. She was so sad because she didnt have to practice writing it very much. We solved this by having her write Mia Aubrey and then she was fine! The day she came home upset because she is the shortest in class we could not fix it as easily

Yep. Juliet is all bummed that she will always be younger than everybody. I didn't want to fill her up with the idea that she was ahead of them because she could do the same work they can at a younger age, but that's what I was thinking! Ha!

Nathaniel is also one of the youngest, he's a November baby.

I think these things are less of an issue than most people think. It's really about whether or not your kid is ready. The rest is fluff.