Anyone skip K or 1st? Or do a multi-age K/1 class ?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 04-07-2011, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tonight at conferences for PreK- my DDs teacher asked us if we ever thought of skipping K for both of them.

 

 

Well now- I have but our state has a cut off age that is non-negotiable for K and 1st. My girls are Oct kids. We tried early entry K when we moved here last summer, no way- no how. Red shirting is common here.

 

So the girls are registered for K for next fall.

 

Our options are:

 

1. go to K in regular classroom. I already spoke to them and they will work with them at their level for Reading/Writing. Home school is excellent reputation, but big class sizes. They *do* have a K teacher that used to teach G & T. but we can not request her....so who knows. G&T does not officially start until 2nd grade, but stated they do make accommodations as needed for K/1 kids.

 

2. go to local school by my work that would offer a K/1st split class. They would be enrolled as K students. They have a G&T teacher I have already talked to at the school. No official identification until 2nd grade, but she does work with K/1 kids that have maxed the curriculum for those grades and helps provide curriculum for teachers with advanced kiddos- even if they are not identified. She sounded really supportive on the phone and liked this school a lot (she rotates between schools). 

 

3. Try to see if entry to 1st is an option at either school and skip K. Dont think so- but can ask.

 

 

Hmmmm...... complication. One DD will be on a 504 and wears pull ups due to a congential digestive disorder, which adds a whole new element to it. The school nurses at both schools have been supportive, but I do wonder at the social implications.

 

 

No matter what---- in K they will be very advanced older kiddos , in 1st they would be advanced younger kiddos due to Oct Bday.

 

Both are reading fluently with voice. Can decode almost anything, comprehension is about late 2nd/early 3rd (depending on what it is and if they have the life experience to understand). Math is late 1st or so. Both can write sentences/stories of 3-5 sentences with spacing, common correct spellings (inventive spelling for unknown words) and some punctuation- one slightly more advanced than the other. Science knowledge is high.

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone do a split grade class K/1?

 

Anyone skip K or 1st?

 

 

 

** edited to add: Developmentally they are a mixed bag.

 

DD1 is developmentally ahead and a leader to her peers (she is the one that has congential digetive disorder so she is very aware that she is wearing pull-ups and rather embarrassed at times). She has a very very long attention span/ability to focus and is d-r-i-v-e-n to know things. Slightly obsessive, but fairly mature for her age and gets along well with most kids- the exception being a slightly dominant personality that can clash with other dominant personalities. Leadership skills and very outgoing.

 

DD2 is developmentally uneven. She has stellar attention span and is comfortable waiting/taking turns/working independently. She is a bit socially quirky and not 'mature' in the sense that she is still sorting out social cues (easily conned/manipulated , assumes the best in everyone, gullible). She had social skills classes when younger. Often, she fatigues quickly and may struggle with an all day program. Prefers adults to kids, but gets along with her peers- mellow kid with odd mannerisms at times, interests are not inline with typical kids her age (she currently is reading more on the United States- has memorized the capitals, state birds, and has an invisible friend named 'Delaware'. Reserved, but not shy.

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#2 of 15 Old 04-07-2011, 08:13 PM
 
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My oldest did a K-1 class and it was lovely, he was in a K-1 group for 2 years and then a K-1-2 group for 2nd grade (there were 3 classes in that group, each at a different level). I am very much in favor of mixed-age classes for all ages because it makes it easier to work at each child's level rather than just offer one set of work for everyone.

 

My mother chose not to have me skip grades and I go back and forth on whether I'd preferred to have been with a more advanced group. The thing to remember at any age is that gifted kids might be able to do advanced course work but that does not make them developmentally advanced. Especially with schools pushing such advanced academics to all kids, I'd put them where they'd best fit developmentally.


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#3 of 15 Old 04-07-2011, 08:18 PM
 
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Every child here goes into a K/1 split due to small school size. It works really well for the advanced kids in K, provided they're reasonably focused. They can absorb as much of the 1st grade level teaching as they're ready for, they can rise to the expectations of first-graders if they're keen. The problem is the following year, when they've already absorbed and processed most of the 1st grade curriculum and they're then officially in 1st grade. No longer is half of the grade-specific instruction targeted beyond their age group. Now it's all targeted at their age group and at the next youngest age group. Being in the younger half of a split class is often terrific for advanced kids who aren't ready to be or can't be grade skipped. But being the older half of a split class is often tough for those kids. 

 

I'm a fan of multi-age teaching, but it certainly has its challenges when the brightest students are also the oldest. 

 

Would they skip your dd's to 2nd after a year in the K/1 split, provided they showed reasonable readiness? If so it sounds like a good option. If that option wouldn't be on the table I'd be careful. First grade could be deadly for them if it's basically a repeat of what they did the year before.

 

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#4 of 15 Old 04-08-2011, 05:59 AM
 
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Personally, I'd chose the split classroom. 1.) I'm a big fan of multi-age classrooms in general. 2.) it's closer to your work so if there are any emergencies or your kids are sick you can get there sooner. 3.) it sounds like the G&T would work with your kids 4.) I'd be worried if you don't know who your teacher is ahead of time in the other school

 

I think moominmama bring up a great point, though. What happens when they are in the 1st grade part?  Could they possible skip 1st if they are far enough ahead? 

 

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#5 of 15 Old 04-08-2011, 06:42 AM
 
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My eldest did a mid-year skip from kindie to 1st. She was about 2 to 5 grades advanced all around and falling apart academically and socially in kindergarten. The move was very helpful on both counts (she's in highschool now.) It didn't solve the academic issues but it made further accomodation much easier. The older kids weren't so overwhelmed by her abilities. I don't regret starting her in kindergarten though. She'd had very little preschool and there is something about "knowing" that something didn't work as opposed to wondering later.

 

My youngest was in a k/1 split as a 1st grader but it was sort of a different situation as it was his first year in an accelerated Spanish Immersion school. Because the language was new for all the kids in the class, they were sort of all starting on the same page whether they were fluent English readers or just beginners.

 

Based on what you said, I wouldn't go straight into 1st. I'd try kindergarten. In our area, the levels you described are not that uncommon and pretty manageable (though I admit we are a heavy red-shirting area and so tend to have more 6-year-olds in kindie than 5-year-olds.) The K/1 could have potentiol but it's really going to depend on what school you get the best vibe from.


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#6 of 15 Old 04-08-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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My youngest sister skipped kindergarten and did well through primary school. She has a spring birthday, though, and as the youngest in a large family (there are 5 of us), she had that precocity, confidence, and social ease/adeptness that seems to be common in last-born children. It was a fairly easy and obvious decision to skip kindergarten. She was later radically accelerated and things didn't go quite so well when she was a young adult, but that's not what you're asking.  

 

My 2 children were in multi-grade classrooms during their early schooling and that worked really well.  However, it was Montessori so the entire school was organized to implement multi-grade classes and the teachers were trained and experienced with it.  

 

School location can be a bit of a struggle. If they don't attend a school in your neighbourhood, then playdates, birthday parties, working with classmates on school projects (in later grades), etc. are likely going to involve you driving around more than if they attend the local school. If you aren't going to work (day off, doctor's appointment etc.) or your job changes, you'll still have to take them to school. I wouldn't base a decision solely on this consideration, but it is something to think about, especially if it's a bad commute.

 

 

 

 

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#7 of 15 Old 04-08-2011, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

 

School location can be a bit of a struggle. If they don't attend a school in your neighbourhood, then playdates, birthday parties, working with classmates on school projects (in later grades), etc. are likely going to involve you driving around more than if they attend the local school. If you aren't going to work (day off, doctor's appointment etc.) or your job changes, you'll still have to take them to school. I wouldn't base a decision solely on this consideration, but it is something to think about, especially if it's a bad commute.

 

 

 

 

Location is not too bad- the K/1 school is a 'choice' school so only a few kids in the neighborhood attend (kids from all over have the option of attended, it is open enroll- but it is not a G&T school, rather it is an alternative, multi-age setting that makes it a 'choice'.

 

K/1 school It is the neighboring district to our home district. So 10 minutes away-- not a problem if I stay employed in the same location or not. We currently live in an apartment, so there are not really 'local' kids to play with unless we drive to someones house anyway or go to a nearby playground. Not too worried about that aspect at this time. 

 

Their preschool is made up of kiddos from across the county, so we have had playdates with some of the kids. Nothing is more than 20min away for the most part at either school.
 

 

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#8 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 04:57 AM
 
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My daughter effectively skipped K (technically we homeschooled, but she was after the birthday cut-off and was not eligible to go to public K).  She is in 1st grade now and I cannot picture her as a kindergartener.  She has a reading group and reads with a few other kids at her level, math is done as a whole class (which is fine for her) and she gets a gifted pull out for an hour every day.  Socially she does fine - she's a rule follower, so that has never been and issue for her and she doesn't seem to have any problems interacting with the other first graders.

 

I think with what you've written and the fact that your kids so close to the cut-off that they would do just fine being bumped up a year.  If the school doesn't go for it though, I like the idea of pushing for the k/1 split with a bump to 2nd the following year.  Also, my daughter is 19 days younger than the next youngest kid in her class (and 13 months younger than the oldest), so don't let people try to convince you that your kids are going to be two years younger than everyone else - that's just not the case when you have old-for-grade kids. (And I'm guessing you know that, I just hate seeing that argument and always wonder how people are doing their math when they make those claims!)

 

I'm starting to panic about this problem again as my son's birthday is in early Sept. and he, too, misses the cut-off.

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#9 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 07:07 AM
 
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It was clear right before school started when my son was 4 that he was ready for school. However state law here gives a minimum age for both K and 1st so I found it to be impossible to do early admission. Plus, his readiness hit me like a ton of bricks only a few weeks before school started so I really didn't have time to research private schools or other options.

 

So he waited and went to Kindergarten when he should have. He then skipped 1st grade.

 

I had heard that while most districts wouldn't budge on the age for Kindergarten that some people had found a bit more give in the age for 1st. Since then I have talked to a couple of people. I know another parent who was able to have her daughter skip K by taking her to a neighboring school district. I don't know how they arrived at the decision though since state law leaves no exception. I guess she just got lucky and found a school district who was willing to overlook it. I also talked to my son's current principle who mentioned that our district considers an advancement once the year has started from K to 1st to be acceptable assuming the teacher and principle are good with it (I think she wishes my son's school in K had taken that path instead of us needing to skip 1st grade with him). Another friend recently advocated for a radical grade acceleration for her child who missed the K cutoff. She got her enrolled in 2nd (thereby skipping minimum ages for K and 1st). But her child is clearly a different case and is PG.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that even when state law is pretty clear you still can sometimes find ways around it if there is a clear need. I'd just look for the most flexible school who is willing to recognize and work with her needs.

 

As for our decision about our son. I'm not unhappy we didn't go for early admission. He got one more year to just play and have fun. I would rather have skipped K than 1st. I think he would have gotten more out of a 1st curriculum than he did out of K. Plus I think the skip was harder having missed 1st entirely. He was unfamiliar with the structure of the day upon entering 2nd as K was so different. Plus in our district 1st really focus on writing and he could have used the practice.

 

There is another girl in my son's class who skipped K. She, I feel, had a bit more successful skip because she barely missed the original age cuttoff, and it was a smother transition having skipped K vs 1st. Plus she's just a very different personality than my son and is much more calm, focused, and compliant than he is.

 

At the end of it all he ended up where he needs to be in order to find an appropriate level of challenge. Though I've said in other posts it's by far not a perfect solution and there are issues with being so young. But for him the issues are worth it as he wouldn't be getting what he needs in another class. But really if his needs could have been met without the skip that would have been preferable.


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#10 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 01:51 PM
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My son started K this year, with a birthday after the cutoff (late Dec. with an Oct. 1 cutoff). He loves it and I am glad it was an option for us. However, if it wasn't, I wouldn't have skipped K. I think K is super fun and it would be better to skip 1st. Academically, K has been really easy for my son, but he has had so much fun just playing, learning new songs, and making new friends. He went in reading at a 3rd-4th grade level, and advanced (maybe late K or 1st) in math. I am sure he'd have done fine, academically, in 1st grade this year, but it wouldn't have been nearly as fun. 

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#11 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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We advocated for early kindy admission for DD but had no luck. However, on the recommendation of a counselor at a gifted summer camp program, request a meeting with the principal prior to class lists coming out. The counselor recommended we take in samples of what DD was reading in pre-school (4th grade level books) and simply ask that she be placed with the most appropriate teacher. We got the standard PR answer "all our teachers differentiate in the classroom", "we have many students who start kindergarten already reading". But, when class lists came out she was with the most appropriate teacher who's been a true blessing. She arranged for DD to work with 2nd grade reading group that was working on 3rd grade work and we've just decided to pursue a bump to 2nd grade bypassing 1st.

 

Whichever school you choose, I'd start making friends with the principal. It can make a real difference.

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#12 of 15 Old 04-10-2011, 02:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

 

Hmmmm...... complication. One DD will be on a 504 and wears pull ups due to a congential digestive disorder, which adds a whole new element to it. The school nurses at both schools have been supportive, but I do wonder at the social implications.

 

 

No matter what---- in K they will be very advanced older kiddos , in 1st they would be advanced younger kiddos due to Oct Bday.

I know this isn't what you were asking but I read your worries about the social implications of your daughter's digestive disorder over in special needs and I think that, both schools sounding rather similar academically, I would base my decision on which school offered the better setup for this (like stuff such as distance K classroom/bathroom/school nurse's office, whatever must be convenient, and the anti-bullying/teasing ethos of the school) because this is a situation that, if not handled well, has the potential to make your DD very unhappy.


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#13 of 15 Old 04-10-2011, 12:34 PM
 
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We did a K/1 blend when DD was in kindergarten, and it was terrific.  She was still the most advanced reader in the whole class, but it didn't make her feel like she was really different from the other kids.  She would have been way outside the norm in the regular K.  Thankfully the regular K teacher recognized this and we worked to move her in the first week into the K/1.  It was great for her.  I wouldn't skip K unless everyone really agreed.  K is good for the social stuff. I'd work to skip first.  

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#14 of 15 Old 04-10-2011, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know this isn't what you were asking but I read your worries about the social implications of your daughter's digestive disorder over in special needs and I think that, both schools sounding rather similar academically, I would base my decision on which school offered the better setup for this (like stuff such as distance K classroom/bathroom/school nurse's office, whatever must be convenient, and the anti-bullying/teasing ethos of the school) because this is a situation that, if not handled well, has the potential to make your DD very unhappy.

I already explored this---it is actually just as much a concern as the advanced academics....

 

I 'cringe' when I hear people in potty training frustration say " your kid wont go to Kindergarten in Pull-Ups/diapers".....well, one of mine is. It is a concern that it will be there for years to come, so we will face the same thing in 1st and possbily 2nd & beyond.

 

Both schools have a school nurse, private office bathroom, and are willing to write a 504. So 'how' they handle it is the same on paper (as is the anti-bullying programs in the schools), but in reality how it is handled is something we wont know until we get there.

 

We are leaning toward the K/1 class but I fear the 'older' kids will be less tolerant.

 

So far we have had fabulous preschool experiences in this area (academics not so much this year) so even thought she is aware of it and slightly upset- it is a non-issue to her peers at this point.
 

 

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#15 of 15 Old 04-11-2011, 01:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post


 

We are leaning toward the K/1 class but I fear the 'older' kids will be less tolerant.



Or they might be more tolerant because they are used to a wider developmental range.

 

i think the "alternative" school with the mixed-age classes might be the better bet for that reason - consciously opting for more diversity, not less, in a classroom, shows a certain commitment to accept diversity as such, and this might translate into better tolerance for all sorts of developmental "outliers".
It might make 2e kids more comfortable.

 


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