thanks for sharing that link, Sweetmilo!
i had been home-schooling my daughter and she's now in kindergarten while i supplement with home-schooling. however, i haven't had access to reliable transportation, so i couldn't get her involved in social activities as much as she needed - she's a social butterfly big-time. it was a very hard decision for me that felt like i was letting her down. she's doing very well, and i hear nothing but great things about her behavior, her love of math and reading, and how she's always a leader.
the main struggle i have with the local public schools (Cheshire County, NH) is that because we live in low-income housing, we only have one choice of school to send her to, since she has no learning disabilities. the school here seems to have absolutely no resources for children who are bright, gifted, or simply ahead in their education - yet they seem to have unlimited resources for the children who need extra help in any way. a fairly large percentage of the kindergarten kids are there for their second year, they were held back. i didn't even know it was possible to "flunk" kindergarten! especially after 2-3 years in Head Start.
my girl turned 6 in mid-October, so she was put in kindergarten, even though they saw her school portfolio from home. i've talked it over with my girl at least weekly, and she's quite bored with kindergarten because it's all things she learned when she was 3 and has mastered (except for the normal 6-yr-old handwriting oddities). when i explained to her that first grade would have no nap, one less snack, and lots of worksheets and books, she always says, "yeah! i want to LEARN!" i'm so happy i've been able to give her a love and learning and a sense of wonder about everything.
i've met with her teachers, the school psychologist, the principal and the reading specialist about how to keep her from feeling bored (hopefully averting later behavior problems). she gets extra worksheets, she chooses to do worksheets during some of the play time, and the reading specialist meets with her separately since she's the only child in the class that can read fairly well. she's doing 2nd grade math at home, yet learning no math at all in school.
i'm troubled that she's made the leader of so many things and her work shown to the other kids as an example of what the other students should be doing. she says she loves helping everyone with their work, but she wishes she could "learn something new i don't know yet." the partial home-schooling keeps her sharp and motivated. the only opportunity to volunteer in her class is to cut out things for the teachers. when i'm present at her school, i see my kidlet basically teaching the younger kids herself, being a tutor and mentor rather than an actively learning student. i'm troubled by the amount of kids doing kindergarten a second time (why were they placed with the same teacher?), and some of the more violent behavior problems trouble both me and my daughter.
i have a meeting in December to re-evaluate whether she moves on to grade 1. i've done a lot of research and i'm going to propose a plan: since the kindergarten teachers say that the children need 4-5 weeks to "normalize" before they fit into kindergarten, move her up to first grade and after 4-5 weeks, then see how she's doing. since the "slow" children are given so much more attention and resources, surely she'd flourish.
i'd rather have my daughter be the slowest child in first grade than the fastest child in kindergarten, if that makes sense?