WWYD? Repeat K or move on to 1st?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Here's a scenario that I read about elsewhere. What would you do/recommend?

    Child misses the public school Kindergarten cutoff date by about a week. Mom chooses to enroll child in private K. Child performs well in K at the private school.

    The following year, Mom is unable to pay the tuition at the private school and attempts to enroll child in 1st grade at the public school. The public school says that child is still too young, that the birthday cutoff date applies to both K and 1st. The public school offers Mom two options: have child repeat K at the public school or have child take a placement test for 1st. Mom decides to have child take the test for 1st. Child passes the reading portion of the test but misses the math portion by a handful of points. The school recommends/requires that child be enrolled in K. Mom believes that child is both academically and socially ready for 1st.

    If you were Mom, what would you do? If you were a teacher, counselor, or administrator at the public school, what would you recommend? What grade should the child be placed in this year?
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Not sure what I'd do as a mother at this point. I do know that a year ago I would not have enrolled my child in a private school to circumvent the cutoff date unless I knew I could pay for the necessary two years.

    As a school I would stick to my policy. I personally would want a child that exceeded the minimum requirements in my class, for that grade, so there would be some wiggle room. I would not want to risk having a child that is not prepared.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I think I would have the child repeat K but work out an arrangement to go to a 1st grade class for reading. Many schools allow the test to be repeated at mid year and move the child up then.

    If that isn't suitable to the parents, the other alternative is home school.
     
  5. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    School MUST stick to policy.

    Mom needs to realize that...
    The child did not soar, or at least in math.
    The child will still be age appropriate.
    The child will be with different peers and thus will not know the repeat.
    The child will be entering the 'real world' at 18 nearly 19 instead of 17. For me, that is a HUGE gift...another year as a 5-6 year old.
     
  6. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Is there another assessment available? How many questions were on the math portion? Can previous coursework/grades be considered?
     
  7. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I'd have the kid do Kinder at the public school and find out what enrichment opportunities there are for the child as far as reading so that the child isn't bored to pieces with learning letters and sounds or whatever the rest of the class is doing. I wouldn't push for 1st grade though since the child didn't pass all components of the tests.

    I also see no harm in the child being the oldest in the class. Honestly given the option of having my child be the oldest or youngest I'd go for oldest. Again, the main thing I'd want the mom to push for is to make sure the child continues to grown in reading instead of only working on whatever the other on-level kids are doing.
     
  8. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Agreed. :thumb:
     
  9. GTcub

    GTcub Rookie

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    My birthday is Sept. 15, and in New York City a child has to be 5 by Dec. 31 in order to start kindergarten. I would explore other options.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I totally agree about keeping kids, kids. But some parents aren't like that.

    Some parents want their geniuses to be pushed ahead, thinking they'll have bragging rights down the road. Some parents are the opposite and want their children to start late so they'll be the biggest boys on the football/lacrosse teams in high school.

    I had an acquaintance that pushed her twins into kindergarten early. They were three months premature and their birthday was ON the cutoff. They both had to be administratively placed into the next grade more than once. One boy ended up okay but the other was behind academically and socially. The socially part really killed him because it is very hard to rebound from that. Her reasoning for all of this? She needed a break from them and wanted someone else to watch them during the day. She couldn't be at home all day with them for another year.

    It is really hard to imagine what I'd do as the mother in the OP unless I knew her motivation for putting her son into school early.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    If I was a kid now, I wouldn't make the cutoff. My parents truly debated sending me or holding me back. I was an early kid in my grades. I LOVED it! I started college at 17 and I was still much more mature than most of my peers. I've thanked them a few times for enrolling me when they did. I feel like I get an extra year of life now. It's the same with my BF.

    I would explore other private school options if I was the mom and thought the test wasn't accurate.
     
  12. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Have the kid do Kindergarten again and find enrichment opportunities/workbooks they can use at home to bolster their knowledge.

    My parents held my brother back in preschool - my grandfather paid for the second year of preschool.
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Funny...I'm the exact opposite and I've always been glad that I was enrolled "late." My birthday is in September, right around the cut off, so my mom could have sent me to K when I was just turning 5 that year. She said the reason she didn't was because I was really short/small for my age and she thought I looked like such a baby still compared to the other kids (lol). I went to pre-k for another year and went to K when I was already 5. I've always appreciated being older. Most of my MS/HS friends were around my age (on the "older" end of the class) and we were the people that were highly successful in school. We did have one friend who was the opposite and a year younger than us. She was very smart and did well in our AP classes, but there was a definite noticeable maturity difference. I got my driver's license first, I got past our city curfew first (it was ridiculously strict), and I turned 21 first. I can't imagine what it's like to wait an entire extra year to do those things! I had a good friend in college who was in our grade year, but a full year younger than us, so there was an entire year that she couldn't go to certain bars or drink in public or anything because she was a year younger despite the fact that we were all college juniors. I always felt really sorry for her. I'm also glad that I got another year to "be a kid." You have at least 35 years to work- why would you want to enter into that stage early? I have a friend who entered the "real working world" at age 19 due to being young for her grade and her post-secondary classes, and I always wonder if she'll regret that when she gets older. I feel like she missed out on a lot!

    Regarding the kid in the OP, I wouldn't hesitate to keep them back in K, not just because I think it's better age-wise, but because the kid didn't pass the math test. I know it says only by a "few points," but this is probably a minimum competency test. I wouldn't want to send a child into a grade level behind on purpose, especially when they're not really age appropriate for that grade level anyway. If the child was incredibly advanced and had nothing left to learn in K, maybe...but that's not the case here. So much instruction in elementary is done in small guided groups anyway that the child will get plenty of instruction on her level regardless of what grade she's in. If she's capable of reading first grade materials this year, her teacher will use them with her.
     
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I'd push to get my child into first grade in that situation.
     
  15. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I'd be wary if I was the mother, however. I had a friend whose super-smart sons were at the top of their classes in a very well-known private school in town. When she saw some of the things my son, who was a year younger behind her son, was doing, she was surprised. Turned out that her sons were woefully behind. After some investigation she pulled them out of the private school and tried to get them enrolled in the same grade in public school. She quickly learned that her kids would be placed in remedial courses to get them caught up. She decided to homeschool them with the intent of getting them caught up on her own and them placing them in the public school.

    It could be that the placement test was inaccurate. It could be that her child did not get the math foundation he should have at the private school.
     
  16. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Waterfall, I didn't care for high school much, but I loved the freedom college brought! I was never a big drinker. My close friends rarely went to bars, so it was never an issue. I was in a sorority so I had and have a lot of friends who are younger or older. Age didn't seem to matter with us. Even now my one best friend is 10 years older than me :) I always related better to adults than kids. I competed a lot from the age of 12 on in hunter/jumpers so I always had friends who were a wide variety of ages. Plus my older friends got to drive me around.

    I love, love, love my adult life. I love teaching and being a homeowner. I bought my first house at 23. And if I choose I can retire a year earlier than I could've otherwise!

    I think if I did it the other way, I would probably be happy because I wouldn't know any better. But my life would definitely look completely different. I do love teasing some about my age though. Most of our friends are older. I love being the youngest.
     
  17. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    I am in my late fifties, and even today I feel that my life would have turned out much better had my parents waited a year for me to start Kindergarten.
    I also had an unusual learning disability that I still struggle with today, that provided somewhat of a double whammy with regards to my academic abiilty, social interaction, and peer acceptability.

    I therefore agree with most that your child should repeat Kindergarten, but also try to meet with administrators to try and attend a 1st grade class in those areas where he is performing at a 1st grade level.
    I have subbed in quite a few classes where either older or younger students will join my class for an hour or two so they can work at their academic grade level instead of their chronological grade level.
     
  18. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    In my school, she would have the option of transitional first.
     
  19. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    If the child is already behind, it is likely that they will tread water now, but begin to struggle in 3rd when things get more difficult. Due to the child's age, I would have them repeat K. Looking ahead, they are much more likely to regret putting the child in 1st than repeating K.

    (The parent erred when they pushed their child into K too early. The age requirements are there for a reason.)
     
  20. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Childhood is short enough.
     
  21. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I'd have them repeat kindergarten, no doubt. What is the advantage of going to first? I can guarantee that I will have advanced readers (end of first grade level) on the first day of school and they will still benefit from the reading lessons and class time we have. Having my child be at the top of the class in kindergarten far outweighs being at the middle/bottom of first grade. Also, her word on social readiness is really not enough. My birthday is only a few days before the cutoff and was usually the youngest in my grade level. I did well academically, but I can now recognize some times that I was not socially on level with my peers.
     
  22. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    I would recommend this child repeat kinder also. I have two kids. My older is a girl who has a July birthday. She is very very smart and was reading very early. She is currently entering her Senior year of high school. By fifth grade, I wish I would have sent her to Kinder a year later. It's not the academics, it's the social aspects as they go into higher grades. I know she would be much more socially active, independent, and confident if she was older for her grade level. She is alway the youngest child in her classes, which is difficult socially. I have a son who has a November birthday. He made the cutoff date, but I held him back a year. He was super smart also and ready for Kinder. But everybody I talked to with older children said to wait. I waited and he is extremely confident, independent, and amazing academically. I really do think parents need to think of the long term social maturity gains in holding kids back.
     
  23. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I also think parents need to know their children and the schools though. I'm an introvert by nature. I had no one my age in my extended family (or immediate) so I learned to entertain myself. I had close friends k-12 and beyond. I preferred and still prefer small gatherings to larger ones. BF is the exact opposite. He's an extrovert and loves being in large groups. We both went to school "early". However, we never lacked for confidence or social skills. I credit our families and teachers for that. We were put into environments where we thrived.

    I think it's hard to make a judgement based on one post about a student none of us have met. Some students do excellent when sent to school early. Some don't. I don't think one test can determine that. I think it's something parents and teachers should decide together. I would be VERY curious to hear what this girl's current teacher has to say.

    I also don't want it to seem like I'm pushing for kids to go early. I'm truly not, but I know quite a few who will be very successful. One kid I knew was younger than me by a couple of months. He graduated valedictorian and was very well-adjusted socially. I had another kid in my class in first grade who repeated first. I don't recall it seeming like a big deal. I'd be fine holding my future child back if his/her teacher thought it would be beneficial and we all agreed.
     
  24. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I would look into the state laws. In my state, kindergarten is not legally required, so parents can opt-out by signing a waiver and start 1st grade at age 6.

    I do not know any schools that would retain on math ability alone, in my area. The only way a K student is retained has to do with reading ability. I know the school has to stick with their policy because there will always be someone on the wrong side of the cut off date.
     

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