Fluff - School age
I can not remember if I ask this here or not. If I did I apologize.
If you had a child with a birthday of September 11th (And wanted to keep them on a public school schedule in case you did that later on), would you start them with preschool the year that they were 3 for a few weeks then 4 for the rest of the school year or 4 for a few weeks then 5 for the rest of the school year.
Next question - Would you rather your child be the oldest in her class, or the youngest?
I think it would depend on the kid. Some kids are more ready for school sooner then others.
Why would I start a 3yo on a 4yo curriculm or a 4yo on a 3yo curriculm? I would start a 3yo on a 3yo curriculm or a 4yo on a 4yo curriculm. But if you aren't sending your child to preschool I don't see the point in doing a "preschool curriculm" if you're any kind of attentive parent. Basically the most important points of preschool, from a public school perspective, are to teach the kids to take turns, share things, recognize their own name, and know how to use a pencil and scissors and glue stick. Kindergarten teachers expect to teach everything else, according to two good friends who are kindergarten teachers IRL.
I know a lot of people who choose to hold back their sons to start Kindergarden when they are six instead of five, but I won't be doing that with Weston. First, I think he would be bored with another year of preschool. And second, if he starts school when he's five, he'll get sibling priority which guarantees assignment to the same school Tiven attends. I don't want to risk having him assigned to a different school halfway across town. If he's not ready, and unable to catch up, then he'll just repeat kindergarten. I don't think that's going to be a problem, though. He's already doing addition to the sum of 10, can spell his first name, uses 4- and 5-syllable words appropriately, and recognizes six birds in our backyard by their calls. Of course, he's still pooping in his pants on a fairly regular basis, but I've got fingers crossed he picks that skill up in the next 1.5 years. :p
It totally depends on the child. I have a student this year that is a Sept. 4 birthday, she misses the cut off by 3 days. She is totally ready for kindy next year, probably could have done kindy this year academically. State law will not allow her to start kindy next year. Her parents are trying to figure out what to do, fight it or leave it be. I am encouraging them to leave it be for now. She can skip a grade later if they decide that. I have a niece that skipped kindy and it doing amazing, but now my sister is just realizing she will be starting middle school in another year and still has not lost most of her teeth (not that the teeth thing matters, just an illustration of one area where she will be behind her grade peers)
I do think that letting some children that are late birthdays start a year later is sometimes a good thing. My nephew (other sisters kid) has a son that is an august birthday and she started him late, it has been really great for him. He is socially exactly where he should be and academically a little ahead of his peers. A lot of thought went into this, but ultimately my sister decided that for him it was best, they had moved 4 times in the year leading up to it and he was just not ready to be away from her all day. They didnt do it for sports or his size or anything like that.
If parents are thinking of holding them back I do recommend speaking to an educator and getting an assessment done. Sometimes a child that a parent thinks is not ready is more closely aligned with his peers. Also a teacher may have ideas that the parents had not thought about. We have a kindergartner this year that is an August 29 birthday and she is very delayed in her speech (and really really small for her age). Parents wanted to wait a year to start, but we suggested she stay at our private school, and start kindy. We felt that daily interaction with her peers and the consistency of school everyday would help advance her. She has really blossomed this year. I think the parents are going to do kindy in public school next year, but she will have a much better start then she would have if she did pre-k for another year
I mostly agree with Stacey. To our family the idea of a "preschool curriculum" is an oxymoron ~ preschool was a social event centered around peer interaction, social skills, listening, crafting, and games etc. If we would have done workbooks and whatnot, we would have not worried about an arbitrary date and just given our kids the ones that were ability appropriate for their skill level. My daughter was way ahead age wise of my son in come things, he in others. He may have been doing 4 yo work seek or maze workbooks at 3, but she would have been doing different 4 yo workbooks at 3. Their birthdate would not have figured into it. I wouldn't hold back information for a kid ready for it, nor force information on a kid not ready for it, simply based on when they happened to exit my womb.
Redshirting is a whole different issue and a huge (HUGE) problem around here with so many people being SAHP (ie no financial pressure to get a child out of daycare and into public education) and having this ridiculous notion that holding their child back (often their child with march/april/may etc birthdays, our cut off is SEpt 1) will give them an advantage in terms of size/athletics or academics/scholarships. Its maddening. People just assume that I will hold back my May 27 child, especially as he is a boy. I think that we did a redshirting debate not that long ago and it was fairly heated though, so I won't even get into that.
I liked being one of the younger ones in my grade, I turned 18 days after Graduation. Honestly I don't care if a child is older or younger, but I would prefer that parents actually send their children ON TIME without making up all this crap about advantage and whatnot. To a child who is truly disabled or delayed of course they ought to be put into an appropriate grade, but I'm talking about artificially holding back a totally able child.
Had to laugh at this. I was in high school and still losing baby teeth. When I got my braces at 16 I had the last of them pulled :)
Originally Posted by mom3girls
Where I went to school the cutoff is December 31st. They have JK there that starts at 4 years old. One of my great-nieces, with a December 29th birthday, was 3 years old for the first 4 months of school. Here kids start at 4.5 with a March 1st cutoff.
I still have two baby teeth! No plans to get rid of them any time soon :)
Originally Posted by mom2robbie
My son is a November birthday and he started his first of 2 years of preschool at 2. So this year he was 2 at the start and 3 at the end, he will be 3 at the start and 4 at the end next year, and 4 at the start of Kindy, if we start him on time. Our cutoff here is September, but I really am not thinking of holding him back at this point, I am not ruling it out though. If I do, then he will just do an extra year of preschool.
I'm a 5/27 birthday too. Good day :) Not a popular birthdate!
I agree with what has been said. I expect preschool to be teaching them better social skills, how to learn in a structured environment, sharing etc. My youngest is doing preschool 2x a week next fall and it is mostly games and playing. They do some "math and science" but it's mostly learning how to be part of a class.
My oldest is staying back for preschool but that's due to her diagnosis. Academically, she is ready for kindy and they will be working on kindy material for her as well as she'll be 5 in a few weeks but her social skills and ability to be in a classroom that is aided on a decreasing basis is not there yet and our goal is to be able to mainstream her with an aide if possible.
I would not keep a child back who didn't need to and I wouldn't withhold learning material that is advanced if they are ready.
School age is such a funny thing.
Where i mainly grew up, it was you had to turn 5 by Dec 31. Where we used to live, It was you had to turn 5 by Feb 28 of your kindergarten year. I was surprised when we moved here that you had to be 5 by Sept 1.
I started school overseas and they started early so I was 4. When we left, we traveled for 10 months and when we came back to North America, I started school in my age appropriate year and was one of the oldest. If we hadn't traveled, i would have been a year ahead and one of the youngest. I have a January birthday and i had a good friend growing up who was born 2 weeks before me but in the next grade. The next person in my grade was born in May. Growing up I thought that was weird.
I say it depends on the kid. With at home learning, I want them to be pushing their abilities* and not resting on what they know because the preschool schedule says they will do it the next year. Even at preschool, there is a huge range. There are children in my daughters room who can barely write their name while my daughter wrote out all her own valentines. Since she is interested in reading, teachers do sit with her while she reads a simple story to encourage the behavior even though it isn't necessary at this age.
(*just want to say that I don't mean they must be performing above their age level, I just mean to strive for improvement like when I run, I started at a 12 minute mile and pushed to an 8 minute mile)
I think I understand what you are saying about potentially doing mainstream schooling at some point and not wanting your child to be 'off' in terms of skills and knowledge. I have seen advanced students struggle just as much as those who are behind, especially in the kindy, grade one ages. I would say not to worry about her getting ahead at this age though if you plan to homeschool for the next few years at least. Once she can read, etc, you can always 'slow her down' with more specialized projects, research etc to keep her at grade level if you choose to.