Kindergarten options for the gifted child? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 01-07-2010, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all, I've been a homeschooler up to this point but there is a possibility that I will have to put my kids in school next fall. This will be fine for my older one, he is somewhat advanced but I think they will be able to make accommodations for him in the classroom, and the challenges of transitioning to school will make up for it.

My younger one however, worries me. She is eligible to start K next fall, she missed the deadline this fall so she will be an older K to begin with. She's reading now at about a 4th-5th grade level and doing 2nd grade math. She is really spirited, stubborn, unconventional (hates pink and fairies etc.) and hates authority and rigidity.

I can't imagine her starting in a K classroom where they start teaching them letters and numbers, 9 months from now!! The school district I am in doesn't start any kind of gifted program until first grade, so will she sit bored in the classroom for a year? Would it be better to find a completely play-based K so that she can be social and hang out for the year and then start 1st in the gifted program?

What have people done in this situation? Thanks for any advice.

"MY best interest?...How can YOU say what MY best interest is?...When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities."-ST
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#2 of 7 Old 01-07-2010, 06:56 PM
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Could you start her in 1st grade next year? I know in my state (Michigan) you can put a K-eligible kid directly into 1st after meeting with the principal and teacher. But in the state we are moving to (KY) there is an age cut-off for both K and 1st (grrr).
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#3 of 7 Old 01-07-2010, 09:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MJB View Post
Could you start her in 1st grade next year? I know in my state (Michigan) you can put a K-eligible kid directly into 1st after meeting with the principal and teacher. But in the state we are moving to (KY) there is an age cut-off for both K and 1st (grrr).
This must vary by district. Our area does not do early admission past the cut-off date. MI already has a very late cut-off (Dec 1). The only exceptions in our area are if they move in from a private school and/or from a state with a later cut-off.

My DDs will be going to K next Fall. (They will be 4 turning in Oct). So they will be young. But we are going against the grain (waiting to send) and sending them (as of now).

One DD is reading at late 2nd grade and the other at early 1st. Both are writing basic sententces and can do addition/subtraction= I wonder where they will be in 9 months?? But - socially- they are very much their age.

I would visit with the school. I know that my district will work with the kids at their level for Math/writing/reading. It is not totally individualized--but as close as I think we can get w/o a gifted program and/or smaller classes. Many kids start K with pre-reading/basic reading in this area.
The teachers find out where the students are and then work with them in small groups. Same with writing, they start at the level of the child and work from there in small groups of similarly talented kids (they are doing this in PreK right now with my girls and some other students). Some areas do this and others do the curriculum for the masses philosophy. It is important to know what type your home school does.

If your area has a gifted program starting at 1st, I am sure that other advanced K kids (espec. the ones that will feed into the gifted program) will be in the classes.

Only by visiting the school will you know if it will be a good 'fit'. Also talk with different teachers, sometimes personality matches can make or break a year. Ask about accommodations they can do, ask what will be done to prevent 'boredom', how do they handle gifted kids, and ask what options as a parent you have in choosing teachers/styles/classrooms.

As for authority, you may be surprised. How does your DC do in group settings? (story time? Nature groups? Play groups?). I have a very dominant, in charge DD--she loves school and the routine/rhythm of it all, which is the exact opposite as she behaves at home (fights the daily grind and routine)
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#4 of 7 Old 01-07-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by water View Post
She's reading now at about a 4th-5th grade level and doing 2nd grade math. She is really spirited, stubborn, unconventional (hates pink and fairies etc.) and hates authority and rigidity.
She's going to be quite ahead in terms of academics and I wouldn't expect any k program to do totally well by her academically. B/c you said that she hates rigidity and authority, I'm not sure that she'll fit fabulously in a 1st grade classroom either, to be honest, b/c a lot of 1st grades are the point where they start cracking down on academics and focusing on making sure that everyone can read reasonably well. She may really rebel against that.

The options I'd see are as follows:

1) Play-based K and then the gifted program in 1st if the gifted program is truly a differentiated program that meets the need of varying degrees of giftedness.

2) Keep homeschooling (Is this a possibility? Why are you looking toward moving to ps?).

3) Whatever type of K your local ps offers and meet with the school now to discuss what they can do. I'd only go this route if they can offer subject acceleration of more than one grade level especially in reading. She should, ideally, be at least in a 2nd grade class for reading. 1st grade reading isn't a fun set-up for kids who are already reading advanced books fluently.

Have you considered testing (achievement and/or IQ) now so you have an objective third party report to present to the school?
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#5 of 7 Old 01-08-2010, 03:30 AM
 
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Can you get her into a private K right now? If you can find a private kindergarten that will take her at this point in the year, possibly the public school will put her into 1 st next year as a transferring student next fall.

Our plan for DS (3 yo soon to be 4 yo) is for him to do K at his private Montessori (he currently goes there as a preschooler) school next year (he'll be 4 1/2 yo) and to put him straight into first the year after that when he would be K eligible (5 1/2 yo.)

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#6 of 7 Old 01-08-2010, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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1) Play-based K and then the gifted program in 1st if the gifted program is truly a differentiated program that meets the need of varying degrees of giftedness.

There are two? three? gifted full-time magnet schools in the district that look promising, the only problem I see with them now is that they stress keeping the "cohort" together, and I've gathered that the work they do is 1-2 grade levels ahead, so it won't fit for everyone.

2) Keep homeschooling (Is this a possibility? Why are you looking toward moving to ps?).

I am experiencing both hsing burnout and personal life upheaval right now. I really don't want to stop hsing, I think it's the best option too, and definitely the best option for this kid (I was just like her as a child and I know the awful boredom and misery I experienced). I'm really trying to explore my options in case continuing to hs doesn't work out. I'm really ignorant of other schooling options at this point since I haven't considered not homeschooling up until about...now. The personal stuff is very upsetting though and I'm not being present with the kids or creative, or facilitating...


3) Whatever type of K your local ps offers and meet with the school now to discuss what they can do. I'd only go this route if they can offer subject acceleration of more than one grade level especially in reading. She should, ideally, be at least in a 2nd grade class for reading. 1st grade reading isn't a fun set-up for kids who are already reading advanced books fluently.

I think I may have to start here...

Have you considered testing (achievement and/or IQ) now so you have an objective third party report to present to the school?

Unfortunately the district doesn't accept private testing, but evaluates all K students during the year, I believe this is the "level playing field" argument.
Thanks to everyone who posted, more ideas are appreciated! Who knew this could be such an agonizing decision? I guess many people, , but I feel blindsided.

"MY best interest?...How can YOU say what MY best interest is?...When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities."-ST
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#7 of 7 Old 01-09-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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How about partial homeschooling? (I'm truly not trying to push hsing. My kids have been in ps more than they have been hsed at this point.) I am wondering if that might give you a bit of the best of both worlds. One of dd#1's friends does this and we did as well when she was in 1st grade. her friend goes to middle school for a few subjects and does the rest at home. Would your school allow a set up like this? If you could pick those subjects that would work best for her in a school setting, like say "specials" -- computers, art, etc. -- and social studies types of things like local history, and then do reading and maybe math at home, that might work.
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