Should my daughter start Kindergarten early?

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by jennifer E., Aug 7, 2005.

  1. jennifer E.

    jennifer E. Rookie

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    My daughter will be 5 on September 29th. She has been in the pre-k class at her daycare and is ready for Kindergarten in every way. She's beginning to read, she writes well, she can sit and listen and follow directions. Her preschool teachers feel she's ready as well. The problem is that Indiana's cut off is currently July 1, and will be Aug. 1 next year. My daughter is well past the cut off even when it moves next year. I know that she will do well in the full day private Kindergarten at her daycare. I'm positive she'll test well when the class is completed, and will get a recommendation letter from the Kindergarten teacher. My question is...Should I send her knowing that it is very unlikely that even though she's ready she will most likely not get to go to first grade because of the age cut off? If she doesn't get to go to first grade she'll have to go to Kindergarten again - at our public school in the half day program. Part of me thinks that she'll be OK because she'll be with different children and won't feel like she failed, or is repeating a grade. Part of me thinks that she'll be upset, knowing very well that this is Kindergarten all over again. She'll either be bored in another year of preschool, or be bored in a second year of Kindergarten!! Help!!!!!
     
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  3. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Well, if she's switching schools, I don't think she'll look at it as a do-over. It'll be all new, all different. No one has ever told her that you only do Kindergarten once, right? At her age, how will she know??

    I'm afraid I don't have any advice for you...I am in the "send them with their birthdate" school of thought, but I certainly recognize that there are exceptions to that rule. Your daughter may well be one of them. If you have her PreK teacher's recommendation that she go to K, I'd probably send her. She knows how your child functions in school, and if she can handle K better than anyone else.

    Is the Kindergarten at your daycare state accredited? I ask because I know that here, if a child has completed K in a state accredited program, regardless of age, they must be admitted to first grade. I know the same is true in several other states - but perhaps not everywhere.

    Kim
     
  4. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I agree send her to kindergarten. She will be going to a different school next year. They probably won't be using the same handwriting program, and long with other programs at the public school. I don't think she will be bored. Every teacher teaches differently.
    And an extra year in kindergarten won't hurt her.
     
  5. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I would have to agree-send her. I think it would be more beneficial to have her in a K environment twice than have her in a pre-k program again and be bored!
     
  6. AChancetoTeach

    AChancetoTeach Comrade

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    I have to agree with JaimeMarie. Let me tell from my perspective. Of course boys and girls differ in their maturity, but I have a son who was born in August. Texas has the Sept. 1 cut-off date. I enrolled him in Pre-K and he did fine and is very smart, but we could tell he didn't have the maturity to sit still in Kindergarten and do all he needed. So we did another year of Pre-K at a different school (both were private Pre-K) and he never knew the difference. Now he is going to 6th grade and he is a year older than all of his classmates, but he SOARS with his grades and has never made a B. He has never gotten bored with the curriculum although he usually finishes before everyone else. He is GT so his teachers keep him challenged.

    On the other hand, I also have an April son. We sent him on with the age appropriate class he should have been in because he was 5 by Sept. 1. He has done fine until this year, 3rd grade. It was like he hit a brick wall. He is passing, but having to work WAY too hard to get good grades. He did pass the Texas TAKS test, but since we are changing schools this year, we decided to hold him back and let him repeat 3rd grade. We just don't think he is ready to go onto 4th and his teacher agrees. He is alright with it because we let him be a part of our decision making process. I just didn't want to sentence him to 9 more years of struggle when the extra year of maturity will really help him (he is also small for his age).

    I guess I've said all this to say that I think it is best for her to be in the appropriate class for her age and that I think her doing two years of Kindergarten would be fine. Send her on if your state will allow her to do Kindergarten twice! Good Luck!
     
  7. jennifer E.

    jennifer E. Rookie

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    Thanks for your answers. Our daycare's Kindergarten program is an accredited full day program, but in Indiana it doesn't matter. Kindergarten isn't even legally required. But to go to public or most private schools, if you don't hit the cut off, you don't go. There are few exceptions with applications, samples of work, tests, letters of recommendation, etc, but when all is said and done, it's up to the principal and in our school system it'll be a NO. Our schools are growing so quickly they don't want to add any extra bodies. We've decided to go for it though. My daughter will have a great year, and be well prepared either way. We'll apply to try to get her into first grade next year, but if she doesn't get in, so be it. Thanks to everyone for your opinions. It's really been very helpful. Jennifer E.
     
  8. lvtchr

    lvtchr Rookie

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    What's a cut off?

    As both a parent and a teacher I feel for you. These cutoff dates at times don't make sense. The cutoff date here in Nevada is Sept.30th. When my youngest was ready for school I was concerned because her birth date is Sept. 14 and I didn't want to rush her. I knew she was more than ready, but I was still concerned about her being the youngest. This year she will be entering first grade and just like your little one she is well above the grade level standards.

    She is entering first grade on a third grade reading level and can carry on conversations with adults that blow me away, but she is very much only going to be six. She can read the words, but doesn't always understand the concept (lack of experience). To her insurance is Geico, and scarcasim is a word she knows, but is not sure how to apply it (she is testing this one out).

    I guess what I am trying to say is that your little one might be more than ready to move on academically, but how she handles her furture depends on you. If she has to spend one more year in kinder because of state regs. and you are negative about it she might also pick up the negativity and not enjoy being a child. Do you want her to grow up so fast?
     
  9. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I would think it would make more sense to say if your child is 5 by the K start date, then they should be in K. If the start date is Sept. 2nd, then Sept. 2nd should be the cut off. That's kind of how our system works I believe. The cut off may be a few days off from the start date. I have heard some say their cut offs are in October when their start date is in Aug. or Sept. That doesn't make any sense to me.

    I think there should also be a week or two grace period, in a way. The parent should choose to send their child or not if their birthday is within the two weeks prior to the cut off date, then before that-no exception. You'd be surprised how many children don't go verses the ones who do.
     
  10. iujeff

    iujeff Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2005

    I am a PreK teacher in Indiana and taught kindergarten prior to switching back to PreK a year ago. My thought from both classroom perspectives is to wait for K until next year. The academics are not a concern because your daughter has a great skill set obviously. The social factor is the key, not now or in 2-3 years, but down the road in middle school or Jr. High and beyond. Being so much younger than everyone in her class could be a touchy situation. Some kids can handle that, but some struggle with it. You know your child best, but I would just say take some time to think about that future social situation. Best wishes.
    Jeff
     
  11. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Why are so many people bent on waiting for matturity reasons? I'm sorry, but there are ways of preparing a child before K starts, like sending them to pre-k and making sure they are socially ready. It is truly unprofessional and generalized by saying children should be held back based solely on maturity. Every child is different and generalizations should not be put on things. Every child matures at their own rate, and some 30 year olds still aren't mature!
     
  12. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I agree Jen. A couple years ago we had a student thats birthday was Sept something he turned six. He was and still is the most immature in his class. Yet he is one of the oldest.
     
  13. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Aug 11, 2005

    I'm in the same school of thought as Jen. People vary in everything: intellect, artistic ability, athletic skill, and, yes, maturity. Birthdate is just one of the many indicators of maturity. And, to risk starting a debate, I HATE the phrase, "the gift of a year," in referring to starting kids late or holding them back. I think when a parent hears that phrase, they automatically assume that if they don't give their child that "gift," they aren't doing the best thing for him/her. Too many people, parents and teachers alike, look at those summer or fall born children and make assumptions on their academic and maturity levels before they even get to know the child! It's so sad!

    I am not against holding children out of school or retaining them, if they have more indicators of not being ready than simple age. If they are socially immature and that affects their academic progress (like, they can't focus on the teacher, so they aren't learning what is being taught), that's a different story altogether. But I'd never advocate holding back a child who is academically ready, and just a bit young...
    Kim
     
  14. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Kim,
    I use that phrase, but only when parents are on the fence or unsure about sending a child on. I think it is a gift in that case, and they will look at it as such . For the most part, I think that is really what they intended to do and I think they need it reaffirmed that holding them back is ok,too. I agree with all of you about the maturity thing, that age doesn't have everything to do with it. I think being around good role models for those kids can be very effective as well. And I also agree that we need to look at the WHOLE child when deciding whether to retain or not. THere are so many factors to look at , and looking at just one, is very unfair to the child and parents.
     
  15. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    My theory on this is that it should be left up to the parents to decide if a child is ready for kindergarten, along with solid advice from her preschool teacher. It's very sad that the cut off date in your state is in the summer. Most school's are sometime in September. As a rule of thumb, they say that children with summer birthdays are not emotionally ready but my thought is that as a parent you are the one who knows best. I taught preschool children for over 8 years and there were quite a few whose birthday's weren't a factor and they still weren't ready for kindergarten becuase of their maturity. Children need opportunities to socialize with others and it sounds as if your daughter is more than mature enough to handle kindergarten.

    The only problem that I have with having a child (especially a girl) repeat kindergarten is the friend factor. Will she be going to school with the same girls. Will they move on to 1st grade while she has to stay back? I always try to think of long term when speaking with parents about this subject. However, if she's not going to be at a different school and not travelling with the same children, it certainly can't hurt her. If there is a chance that she will be at two different schools for kindergarten, the experience would be tremendous for her and she will certainly be prepared for 1st grade.

    :love:
     
  16. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I have posted about this topic in many other threads. This is not the only thread about this same subject matter. My son has a birthday of July 27th. He has two more years in pre-k to go before he goes to K. He already knows how to write his name (he just turned 3), knows how to spell simple words and can sight read a few already, knows how to cut perfectly with scissors, can trace other letters and numbers, knows all his letter sounds, I could go on. Now I am not saying my son is the brightest among all 3 year olds in the world. I am meerly making a point to state the fact that he knows things already at a young age that aren't even required to enter K. He is an extremely easy learner and has been since birth. He knew all his letters by 18 months (this he gets from his dad :(, not from me).

    Any way, the purpose of me rambling on about that is to stress the fact that I am not willing to hold my son back for another year iin pre-k just so he can re-learn things and be bored for another year. I am following the age guildelines for his grade, but I am not willing to hold him back just because he happens to not sit as still for circle time. If he needs a few reminders now a then, so be it. The teacher's job is to prepare them for those situations and teach them to do so, in cooperation with discipline from home. People need to stop looking at children with such "stink eye" just because they may need a little extra attention in a few social areas. Maturity comes in time, children are children and should be allowed to act accordingly.

    Here's another instance. My husband entered 1st grade at the right time (his birthday is in May). His teacher sent him to a specialist because they thought he was seriously mentally retarded. He would space off and not pay attention. He went to the specialist and guess what they found out. HE WAS EXTREMELY BORED! He knew more than what his teacher was already teaching. Just some food for thought...
     
  17. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Here is another thought. I don't know how other states or districts work, but in ours, there is no grade for sitting still or anything of the like. The grades are for acedemics. If a child is getting good grades, should that child still be held back meerly because he/she is fidgety or something of the like? That's absurd!
     
  18. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Jen,
    I totally agree with you and especially on the "stink eye" (too funny.....I use that term, too, Must be a WI thing :) ) Anyhow, I have seen K teachers like that, and to be honest I think they are probably teaching the wrong grade because issues like that ARE part of being a K teacher! For petes sakes, if it was only about academics, then we wouldn't even have a need for kindergarten! There are so many parts to the development of a child, how come it seems like we forget that they need to develop social skills as well as academic. Isn't that our job as K teachers to help them become a well developed person? As I stated in another thread, every child has strengths and weaknesses, and the job of a teacher is to use those strengths to help them develop in other areas, too.
     
  19. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    Ladies,
    Hopefully I was not misunderstood. I was responding to a mom who was not sure what to do with her daughter because her daughter didn't make the cut off because the cutoff for her state is July. My only concern in my response to her was that of her daughter. If she had to repeat K in the same school because she didn't reach the age cutoff for 1st grade, she would know something was up...all her friends would move on to 1st grade and she would be stuck behind.

    I personally feel that it is up to the parent with sound advise and recommendation of the preschool teacher to help the parent make a CHOICE as to whether a child is ready to start school. I've seen it backfire many times. In NJ the cut off is sometime in September. I know a few people who have sent their August babies to school as soon as they turn five and they adjust fine. I also know some who have sent their May babies to Kindergarten and don't do well. I think the most important thing to keep in mind is what's best for each child, not what the school wants or the parents want.

    I believe that the original post stated that the little girl would have to go to kindergarten for 2 years. Most of the responders, including myself, agreed that this is fine. My only concern was that she didn't repeat kindergarten in the same school twice because all of her friends would move on and she would be left behind. Given a choice, it's better to err on the side of caution.

    I hope this clarifies what I originally posted.

    P.S. What is "stink eye"?
     
  20. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    LOL! Stink eye is...well.....how do I say it...giving a dirty look. Like when someone really upsets you and you stare at them with that pouty mean look. I give it to my husband a lot when he opens his mouth.

    teacherece, I wasn't pointing a finger at anyone. Sorry if I sounded like that. I have just heard a lot of generalizations in many a posts in this thread, and in other threads. Part of my statement was a mother just speaking up for children who get generalizations put on them. I agree with what you said. Because her birthday does fall after the cut off date, then she would be in the "right" grade and it would be easier for her to repeat if she was at a different school. I would probably feel better with that situation rather than her repeating the same grade at the same school. I also agree with others (not nec. this thread) that it is easier for a child to repeat K (on a social/friends level) than it would be to repeat a higher grade level. They don't necessarily know it's "repeating" when they are that young, verses knowing the word "flunk" when they are in 7th, per say.
     
  21. teacherece

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    Jennifer:
    Is there any way you can petition for your daughter? Sadly, she'll be 6-1/2 when she get's out of kindergarten. Do you know why your state has such and early cut off?

    You definitely have your priorities in order...your daughter will succeed no matter what happens. I hope she has a beautiful school year!
     
  22. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    teacherece,
    I apologize if you thought I intended my post for you, because that certainly is not how it was meant. I totally agree with what you said:) I just posted what I did, because so many times I only hear about academically ready, but not socially. I always just like to state my own philosophy that kindergarten is about so much more. Seems like I always get such a mixture of parents, those who only worry about academics, those who only worry about social skills, and those who agree it is about the total development of a child beyond academics and social skills. What you said made a lot of sense, and my post was just meant as a general statement and had absolutely nothing to do with yours......sorry :(
    And oh yes, "stink eye" refers to a dirty or condescending look that someone would give to another as if in disgust. I think it should be in webster ....tee hee!
     
  23. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    Jen
    thanks for clearing up the stink eye thing. lol. It's an awkward subject, especially as a parent, isn't it? We all want our children to do well and not be left behind. If only every parent in the US were as caring as those who post here...can you imagine?
     
  24. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    That IS an awefully early cut off. I wonder if that's normal around other parts. Ours is usually right around the school start date.
     
  25. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I think I am going to plan on having children at the end of October. That way they will have to wait until they are almost six to enter school. :D
     
  26. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    Kinderkids and JenPooh:

    Hopefully I didn't sound as though I took too much offense to my post. I'm new here and I got an email in response to my post. Please forgive me as I'm suffering from mommy mush brain and schoolitis (my last semester is coming up before my student teaching). Like I said somewhere above, it's great to see parents who care so much about their child's welfare.

    Thanks and apologies ladies!!!!!;>
     
  27. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Now this is getting ridiculous :p :D Too funny, we will keep going back and forth with the apologies LOL! :p :p :p :p :D None of us need to feel badly for our posts! Thats whats great about this forum, we can give our opinions without fear of being persecuted for them! Absolutely nothing to forgive you for teacherece! ;)
     
  28. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    You got an e-mail? I hope it wasn't a negative one. I didn't find it offensive in the least. In fact, I was sorry that you thought I was pointing my finger at you. The only reason I went off on a tangent was the same reasoning kinderkids did. When you read a thread like this, it brings up other past situations and you just get to rambling about them. No need to apologize in the least. I am not one to be easily offended.
     
  29. jkkroll

    jkkroll Rookie

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    "Maturity comes in time, children are children and should be allowed to act accordingly."

    You are totally right about that. Maturity does come in time and it comes in time for kindergarten.

    Last year I had a boy in my class that could read and comprehend at an 8th grade level and do math at a 5th or 6th grade level. However, behaviorally he was still a kindergartener.

    My point is that just because a child may be academically ready for kindergarten, he may not be socially/emotionally ready and in the long run that is much more important.

    If you are concerned about your child being bored you should look into Montessori education where children can work at their own pace at their own level.
     
  30. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    Kenpooh
    Don't fret...it wasn't that kind of email. When I set up my account I checked a box so that when someone posts to the threads that I'm part of, I get an email as to who posted in the thread. I just click on the link and it takes me right to it. When I opened the link, it was to your post. I thought that the post was about my post.....anyway......I'm a newbee here so forgive me for not realizing that everyone just posts and isn't necessarily addressing one single person. Give me a few more days and I'll be an old pro at this chat stuff.

    I look forward to many many more chats with you and all the other teachers too!!!
     
  31. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

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    ooops JenPooh (not KenPooh)

    lol
     
  32. jennifer E.

    jennifer E. Rookie

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    If she doesn't get into first grade next year (for the cut-off reason) then she'll be going to our public school system (Which is great) and not to the private kindergarten she's going to attend this year. She won't have any of these children in her school. By the way, I spoke with her K teacher today and she's very convinced my daughter will do fine. She's observed her in pre k and is confident in her abilities. Thanks for your reply. - Jennifer E.
     
  33. jennifer E.

    jennifer E. Rookie

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    We are going to go through all the hoops to get her into first next year. Her K teacher (to be) is agreeable to write a recommendation letter, etc. granted she does well. We'll do what we can and hope the principal will look at the whole picture. Next year the cut off is Aug 1st. That puts us only 9 weeks out. Who knows. Maybe we'll be lucky....
     
  34. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Is there a placement test she could take? I know those are pretty difficult in our state....but maybe she'd do great. They probably don't have that for first though, hmmmm? Good luck. I had a little one in my class this year who missed the cutoff by four weeks. She was one of my strongest students and is happily off to first grade this fall:) Sounds like your little one is a lot like her! I'm sure she'll have a great year and no matter what happens next year, it sounds like she has awesome supportive parents, and that's the most important thing of all :)
     
  35. jennifer E.

    jennifer E. Rookie

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    We need to submit samples of her work from the whole year, get a recommendation letter from the K teacher. If that's ok then they can test her and still say no if they want based on numbers in the class, etc. But yes, there is a test. We'll do what we can but in the end it's all up to the principal to decide...
     
  36. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Ah, I see. I have gotten private e-mails from people ripping me a new one if my comments were a bit too snippy. I never try to be, I'm just honest. And sometimes people take honesty as being rude because they like to sugar coat things. Don't worry, you'll soon get he hang of it if you haven't already.
     
  37. Mamacita

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    Aug 12, 2005

    Sometimes I think the olden-days pioneer prairie schools had the right idea: all students worked at their own pace and advanced upwards according to how well they knew the material and could pass the exams, which were good exams, unlike many of the (state) exams nowadays. A student could be seven years old and working in the 10th grade books, or 15 years old and still in the 2nd grade books. It was no big deal, and you graduated after you'd mastered things, not when you turned 18, necessarily. The emphasis was on what a student could actually DO, and not so much on (don't even get me started. . . .) self-esteem. Which, of course, means nothing if it's not backed up with true and actual earning of something. Take a look at some of those tests from the old days; I bet some of US would have a hard time with them. Cool. Remember too that back in the day it was not uncommon for a twelve-year-old to go to Harvard and do well. If our schools were not so hung up on AGE and things other than whether the child can actually DO anything, maybe more kids would stay in school and more kids would go to college, and more kids would feel good about themselves because they'd actually know how to do something, awards for 'showing up' don't mean squat. I say, if a child demonstrates ability and knowledge and maturity to be in a particular grade level, the schools should let them try it without so much jumping through administrative hoops. And if a child still can't do it, that child should stay in whatever level he's in till he can. Yeah, in a perfect world, I know. Sigh.
     
  38. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Aug 12, 2005

    Jane that was beautifully said. I may not be as "mature" (some people get offended if I use the word old) but I can just imagine how much simpler it must have been a long time ago before many of us were even alive. I like many old fashioned ways and wish a lot of those things would come back. I would have no problem being a housewife while my husband goes out and makes the bucks:). Didn't someone mention Montessori in this thread? Isn't that what the Montessori schools do? Children go at their own pace?
     
  39. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Aug 12, 2005

    Jane,
    Couldn't have said it better myself!
    :D
     
  40. gjo

    gjo New Member

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    Aug 13, 2005

    :love: Okay ladies, I enjoyed your thoughts!!

    I teach first grade and it is really obvious when you have the really young boys in class. They can be wonderful but it is usually very hard for them. With out knowing birthdays you can almost always pick out the youngest ones.

    But that is not why I was reading about the subject!! My son just turned five(7-17) and we are debating the issue at our home. He was in Montessori pre school for 2 years, writes the alphabet and so on. But he is a baby. I just can't decide what to do. It does make me feel better knowing others are going through the same problem. Our cut off date is early September. I think he will soar through kindergarten, but I worry about the later elementary grades. Oh there is so much to worry about as a parent!! Thanks for all your thoughts and advice. :love:
     
  41. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Aug 13, 2005

    gjo,
    you may be exactly one of those parents I was talking about who are on the fence. follow what you think will be best in THE LONG RUN, for your little one. I agree, you can always tell which ones are the youngest, especially boys. It is ok to hold him back, in fact, maybe it would ease your worries if you did. Have you spoken with the K teacher he will have? Maybe it would help you to get her philosophy on age, etc. in the classroom. Also, what did his preschool teacher say about it? I agree, there is a lot to worry about as a parent! Our decisions now can have effects years down the line! Again, follow your heart in this matter despite what anyone else tells you!
     

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