Late birthdays

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by teacher36, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    Jan 9, 2009

    Hi K teachers, I need your input. I posted this topic on the preschool site but thought this might be good as well. I teach Universal Pre-K in NY (first year). I have a few parents who have concerns about whether or not to send thier child to K next year (all have b-days after Sept. (NY's cut-off date is 12/1). I spoke with a K teacher in my district and she said she has always been for sending them, and if necessary, they can repeat K. But at least it gives them the benefit of the K routines and the new school's routines (The school is K-4). Also, the K curriculum is a lot more academic than my curriculum, so she feels they should be getting the extra academics.
    My questions, what do you think? What should I tell the parents as far as K readiness? What do you look for in terms of readiness upon entering K?
    Thanks for all your help.
     
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  3. 4alicat

    4alicat Companion

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    Jan 9, 2009

    I am a first grade teacher, but I know that our school we occasionally have students that don't start at our school in kindergarten. They either go to kdgn at a private k or have gone to another school in the district for kdgn (because the parents weren't sure if their child was ready.)

    They placed their child in another kindergarten which was not their home school because if they needed to repeat kdgn then they could repeat it at their home school. If everything worked out fine, then the following year they enrolled in 1st grade at their home school.

    It's such a hard call. I had a similar dilemma as to whether I should start my own daughter in kdgn a year later. She has a fall birthdate & our cut off date is also 12/1. I knew academically she was fine, but she'd benefit from another year socially/emotionally. Thankfully, she was able to get into the pre-k class in the district last year & is in kdgn this year. I've seen a world of difference in her maturity & confidence. It was the best decision we could have made for her, but each child is different. Good luck w/ your students!
     
  4. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jan 9, 2009

    I really don't like that thought process. First of all, what do you think it does for their self-esteem to see their friends go off to first grade, while they have to stay in kindergarten? And why send them if you're pretty sure they aren't ready? They are most likely going to be very frustrated and not have a very good first opinion of school. Plus, retention shouldn't be a common thing that you can just do whenever. I know in our district it is very rare and tedius process.

    It's only my first year teaching kindergarten, but I think waiting is a good idea. Why rush things? If they seem ready, by all means send them. I have 2 boys in my class who turned 6 just before school started, and they are very strong students. They will always be the bigger, smarter boys. Then I have one little guy who turned 5 right before school started. He is so tiny and behind and doesn't do very well socially. School is always going to be a challenge for him, and I see his frustration already. I don't believe he should be held back, but I think that if he would have waited a year his life would be so different.

    Of course, it all depends on the child.
     
  5. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jan 9, 2009

    I just realized I didn't answer the last part of your post. For K readiness, I would like for them to be able to:

    -Recognize most letters (40+ would be great)
    -Know about half of the letter sounds
    -Have some concepts of books and reading (recognizing the front & cover of a book, return sweep, etc.)
    -Some phonemic awareness skills (being able to rhyme, recognize some beginning sounds)

    And of course the social skills list could go on and on...It's great if they can sit and listen to you for the length of a book (5-10 minutes). Being able to complete a simple task and follow simple directions are good things, too!
     
  6. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    Jan 9, 2009

    Thanks for your input. I agree with your point about the stigma attached to retention in K and the frustration a child may feel if he/she cannot keep up with the work. I have one student in my class who just turned 4 in Nov. and he is absolutely not ready for K. He is socially immature, cannot sit through circle time, has trouble sharing, etc. Academically, he is need of a lot of assistance. He has just begun writing letter forms (because I sit with him and give him one on one attention whenever I can-difficult with 16 4 year olds and 1 assistant), he knows only 4 or 5 letters, no numbers, can only count to 5, the list goes on. I know he is not ready for K and have voiced my concern with his parents. They have chosen to hold him in preschool for another year. My two other students whose birthdays are late are a girl (Sept.) and a boy (Oct). They are not so cut and dry. The girl has progressed so much. Socially and academically, I feel she is ready for K, but the mom is fearful. The boy is academically ready (very smart) but has difficulty socializing (he copies other boys words and behaviors, cannot share, yells out in class, interrupts circle time, does not follow directions unless I get down to his level and specifically tell him what to do, etc.) They are my real questions. I have meetings with both parents next week and thought I would just show them the profiles I have written on them as well as their portfolios. I know I can only give my recommendation, they are the ones who need to make the decision (obviously, not only based on what I think) but I would like to give them the best and most professional recommendation I can.
     
  7. cubfan

    cubfan Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2009

    I would keep them back a year! My brother has a Sept. b-day and started school at age 4 (turning 5 in sept.). He did fine academically but my mom says she wished she would have held him back. Boys especially think athletics are everything. My brother was a year younger than his peers and never won a race or excelled in sports. Also all of his friends got their license a year before him. Just a thought to consider.
     
  8. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    Jan 17, 2009

    Very interesting!! Points that I would never consider! I have met with two parents already and have advised them to go with their gut. I have also said that I haven't met anyone who regreeted holding their child back, but I have met several who regretted sending them early. One is leaning towards holding back and the other towards sending.
     
  9. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Jan 17, 2009

    OK- T-1 teacher here. I retained one of mine and sent the other to t-1. Both had summer birthdays (son June, daughter Aug.) our deadline is Sept. 1. Best thing I ever did for my son. I think it is a good thing for my daughter(she is currently in 2nd year of Kinder.). I think the key is the parents attitude. We were positive both times. With our son, we talked about how we made a mistake and that we wanted him to have another year to grow. For our daughter we talked about the pros (being the leader, being with the teacher she picked, already knowing so much, staying with her best friend who would be in kindergarten) and the cons(others going to 1st grade, doing the same type of things again, already knowing the basics, etc.) and let her decide. She wanted to stay in Kindergarten and be with a new teacher. This year has been wonderful. She is advance and the teacher is accommodating her needs. Would I have held her out or my son out? Probably not! This worked for our family. I think that our whole family not only agreed, but celebrated our decision helped them both. (By the way, my son is in 9th grade, honor student, tested in top of his class; I can't imagine him doing this last year. And he is in football, he was small for his age. Now he is able to compete with others in his grade. We leveled the field for him.)
     
  10. Kinder Preppie

    Kinder Preppie Rookie

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    Jan 27, 2009

    I am a kindergarten teacher, and I say if they are academically prepared, send them.

    My son was a late birthday with a cut off in December. He was very baby-like, and immature, but academically prepared.

    He remained immature for many years - and his maturity did not catch up to him completely until he was about 16 years old. (He was always very small, and once he became very tall it caught up)

    He ended up with a 1500 on his SAT and is in his 2nd year of college.

    My daughters, both immature also, had spring birthdays and were 5 1/2 when starting kindergarten. One stayed small and matured later. One was always taller and matured earlier.

    Who knows if this was all a coincidence, but it seems that holding them back for reasons other than academic are not always the best choices.

    My son was always happy, popular and had plenty of friends... he was just not into girls until he was much older, etc. (Which was fine with me)

    I hope this helped...
     

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