Grade level for extracurricular activities first year post skip? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 05-08-2012, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is an old for grade kindergartner in a red shirt heavy district, so he's actually middle of the pack age wise in his class. He'll be skipping first grade next year, to be placed in a second grade class and liekly further moving to 3rd for math.

He's average size for his age and rather timid. He's moderately coordinated.

His executive skills are fine for a rising second grader. Socially, he's a six year old who struggles to connect to the rough and tumble boys in his class. He's doing beautifully in his current 2nd grade math class.

We're signing him up for Boy Scouts despite my objections to the organization to get him a social group in his new peer cohort started this summer. We don't know a single current 1st grade boy at the school, and I hope to "hot house" establishing friendships over the summer. Our hope is that the second graders next year will treat him more like a new kid in school than a grade skipped kid.

The director of rec league soccer will let him sign up either as a first grader or a second grader, depending what we feel is appropriate. To put it bluntly, he sucks. He's scared of the pack of boys, and he fliches at a ball approaching him. In short, he's at the perfect level to play first grade level next year, and he'll be far from being one of the good kids even still. He's so timid that in a 30 minute scrimmage of 4-kid kindergarten teams he touched the ball 10 times total. That's not 10 plays, that's 10 individual touches of the ball.

The rec league forms teams of 1st and 2nd grade all from a given elementary school, but they split the grade levels for games.

If it were an anonymous league, we'd play him as a 1st grader in a heartbeat. But it's not. He'll know a good number of the 1st graders and they'll know him. The 2nd graders will know him as a 2nd grader sooner or later and I don't want to emphasize the fact he's that much younger.

I can over think anything. innocent.gif.

Where would you sign him up? We have about 3 weeks to decide.

If anyone has signed their kid up down a grade level post skip, how did you move out of this transitional state?

Pre-empting the obvious question, yes, he's excited about playing soccer and he says he loves it. He goes willingly each week, and he clearly loves the drills. He wants to sign up again next year.
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#2 of 17 Old 05-08-2012, 02:52 PM
 
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We initially signed our son up with his age. It didn't end up going well. We ended up putting him with his grade for subsequent years. He's really not very good at sports, but probably wouldn't be even with is age mates. My son just wants to hang out with his friends on his sports teams, and his friends are the kid in his grade/class.

 

As for scouts I would definitely put him with his grade. Both troops my son has been part of have spent as much time running around and being silly that it doesn't matter what grade he's in. But the older kids get to do more interesting stuff. Plus he'll stay with his Den all the way through scouts. In a few years being younger won't matter as much and he'll be firmly a part of his grade group and it would be silly to be in the younger den instead of with his peers. 


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#3 of 17 Old 05-08-2012, 03:07 PM
 
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No, in our area, sports are almost always by age (unless it's a school team.) We have one child who is grade accelerated and one who is just naturally young for grade in a heavy red-shirting county and thus usually a year plus younger than majority of classmates. On the school teams, there have been times they have been disadvantaged being the youngest... particularly when everyone else had their typical age growth spurt and ours were still a year away from it. Still, it was what it was... gave them some experience at not being the best and connected them with older kids who were still the better fit socially.

 

Personally, if it were my kids and the league was by grade, I'd stick with the new grade. He's going to be with 2nd graders next year/ Might as well get used to how they interact and move.


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#4 of 17 Old 05-08-2012, 05:35 PM
 
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From the information you've provided, I'd say go with the new grade.
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#5 of 17 Old 05-09-2012, 01:42 AM
 
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I don't think you have a choice really - if these activities are organized by grade level, grade level it will have to be. He may yet rise to the occasion in soccer, loving it and working hard, and surprise you all, but even if he won't it does not really matter if he sucks at grade level or age level, right?

If the other kids know him from school, putting him with age mates will only draw the attention to the grade skip you do not want. And since it is all about the social connections he might make and not about having him be at the top of the competition having him fit in socially with grade mates must be your priority for now.

Though I have to say, being from Europe, the idea of sports at grade level, even for school teams, feels really odd to me - for competitive sports, even when organized by the school, I was always put with my age mates for the day, competing against them and being judged against age norms (like for athletics or swimming). I have to say it was always a bit jarring, not knowing the other kids as well and having to answer the obvious question "so how come you're in grade x?". Though it was nice to realize I was suddenly doing quite a bit better against my competitors because the standards were lower than what I was used to (and I had a January birthday, too).

As a teenager, I sometimes preferred being with agemates, eg for church choir, because I was a bit of a late bloomer socially anyway. But that's a choice for much further down the road and one that is up to him.


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#6 of 17 Old 05-09-2012, 08:35 AM
 
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For things that are primarily social and intellectual pursuits we've put our kids closer to their grade level. For primarily physical pursuits they've been with their agemates. For aikido, a non-violent, non-competitive martial art that is quite cerebral, we initially put them with their agemates, but the sensei moved them up to the next group because after watching them he felt they were a better fit there. So for us, a bit of this and a bit of that.

 

Actually overall the things that have been the best activities for my kids have been those that are not age- or ability-levelled: the family mountain-biking club, community orchestra, homeschool badminton, that sort of thing.

 

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#7 of 17 Old 05-09-2012, 08:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tigerle View Post

I don't think you have a choice really - if these activities are organized by grade level, grade level it will have to be. He may yet rise to the occasion in soccer, loving it and working hard, and surprise you all, but even if he won't it does not really matter if he sucks at grade level or age level, right?

If the other kids know him from school, putting him with age mates will only draw the attention to the grade skip you do not want.

 

 

I agree with this. If the soccer league were organized by age, then it would be best to place him by age (many sports are like this and require a birth certificate for sign up). But for things that are organized by grade, not putting him with his grade is just setting up him for social complications done the line.

 

But based on what you are saying, this is not going to be his sport. Chances are, no miracle will occur that makes him a great soccer player. You might start shopping around for other sports. My kids, both of whom HATED soccer, really excelled in swimming.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#8 of 17 Old 05-09-2012, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You ladies point out the obvious from my post.  Thanks.

 

Yes, we'd already decided that boy scouts with be with the second graders.

 

Yes, we know soccer won't be the kid's sport, but he wants to play.  The club teams go by age, but oddly, the local rec league team sports are "social" activities and go by grade.  This has made me really frustrated just for my smallish, young for grade DD.  She's trying to compete against kids 18 months older than her at an age where many now outweigh her by 40-50 pounds.  We're actually switching her to club soccer next year.  Now DS will be as much as 21 months younger than the other kids on the soccer team.  I guess if he won't even engage in the scrum, I shouldn't be so worried about him getting hurt.

 

I see swimming and cross country in DS' future.  I'm really sad I can't find a boy's equivalent to Girls on the Run.  It would be perfect for him.

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#9 of 17 Old 05-09-2012, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Tigerle View Post

I don't think you have a choice really - if these activities are organized by grade level, grade level it will have to be. He may yet rise to the occasion in soccer, loving it and working hard, and surprise you all, but even if he won't it does not really matter if he sucks at grade level or age level, right?

 

<snip>

 

Though I have to say, being from Europe, the idea of sports at grade level, even for school teams, feels really odd to me - for competitive sports, even when organized by the school, I was always put with my age mates for the day, competing against them and being judged against age norms (like for athletics or swimming).

On the first part, I've been coaching my DD's team a few years, and the directors of the league know me as someone focused on teamwork and positive play more than winning.  I call it Girl Scouts with a soccer ball.  Interestingly enough, we also seem to win a lot.  The league directors offered to let DS play as a first grader when we were standing there watching him "play," and I asked about their policy for playing up or down from grade to play closer to one's age.

 

I'm with all of you on the idiocy of the rec leagues that organize by grade.  It's local to the "tri-villages" of the three suburbs here that are combined to make our leagues here.  Go 2 miles in any direction, and things are organized by age.  It has long bothered me because of the red-shirting practices, that leave kids like my DD never having the opportunity to be one of the older kids on a team.  Competitive club teams are all by age, and DD will sneak under the wire (by 5 days) to play U10 next year as a 5th grader.  She's thrilled, but she's likely to discover that her team will be made up of 3rd and 4th graders.

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#10 of 17 Old 05-09-2012, 08:53 PM
 
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Hi Geo!

 

This isn't exactly the same situation (no grade skip), but we have done things both ways.

 

My 8 yo is in 3rd grade in a mixed 3/4 grade class.  As one of the youngest 3rd graders (July birthday), many of his peers are now 1-2 years older than him.  He's playing basketball in a 3/4 grade league.  Everyone else on his team is in 4th grade except one 3rd grader (who was red-shirted and so is the same age as the 4th graders).  My ds is easily the smallest, shortest kid on his team by a lot (~18 inches shorter than some of the kids).  He hasn't made a basket all season.  But he loves it!  And he's with his peers, and he has fun.

 

For baseball, we signed him up for the lower level division, which is technically the division he should be in as an 8 yo. But since most of the other 3rd graders and certainly all the 4th graders are already 9 by the time baseball season starts, they are all in the next division up.  So he's with 6-8 year olds.  For once in his life, he is the tallest, the oldest, and the most experienced player on the team.  And he loves it!  He came home so excited because he can hit and he can throw, and for once he isn't overshadowed by the bigger kids on the team. 

 

Just because you are the smallest or the slowest or the youngest doesn't mean you won't have fun.  If the point is peer interactions, I'd go with his future peers. 

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#11 of 17 Old 05-10-2012, 07:27 AM
 
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My DD just did a midyear grade skip from K to 1st midyear.  Our recreational soccer league is by grade but they are flexible.  We put her with her grade so she is the youngest out there.  She's a respectable enough player and we live in a small feel type community (we're on the tip of a penisula).  For example, my 2nd grader has about 150 kids in her grade & she knows them all & I know about 135 of them.  If we kept her at her age level, then the skip would not be as seemless.  I'm fairly confident that by next year most of the kids will not remember or know she grade skipped.  She also does tae kwon do & was accelerated in that as well due to her intense focus and understanding of concepts so even though she is 6, she is in a group of 7 to 12 year olds.  Good luck!

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#12 of 17 Old 05-13-2012, 12:15 AM
 
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Another vote to try encouraging baseball. For the younger kids here, there is a HUGE range in terms of ability; and there is flexibility for children according to ability. Here, also, kids play at a particular level for a few years, it's not grade-level but age range (and also, a little, ability) that determines. So our team has one preschooler (a younger sib), some kinder, some first grade, and a handful of second grade kids. Something about the structure of the game also seems to encourage tolerance for individual ability. And, there are so many chances for hits and outs. As DS's coach said Thursday, after DS was upset after missing a play, "It's really hard to be perfect at baseball! It's okay! Have fun!"

 

Heather

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#13 of 17 Old 05-14-2012, 05:45 AM
 
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We put my kids in extracurriculars that are mixed age groups.

 

Karate has kids from age 6 - adult, at all ability levels. We have adult white belts and 14 year old black belts and everything in between.

 

Our gymnastics classes go strictly on ability level. You have to test into the next level.

 

If he wants to play soccer, I'd put him the age group/club teams.  You might also want to look at  a soccer camp this summer to improve his skills. Maybe do a soccer camp and then join a club team in the fall?

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#14 of 17 Old 05-14-2012, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If he wants to play soccer, I'd put him the age group/club teams.  You might also want to look at  a soccer camp this summer to improve his skills. Maybe do a soccer camp and then join a club team in the fall?

:lol

 

Club soccer is $1060 per year, 5 days a week, and involves driving 100 miles to games at least 3 times a year.

Rec league soccer is $30 per year, 2-3 days a week, and we can walk to practices and games.

 

Club isn't an option.  You have to try out besides. 

 

His skills aren't that bad, and probably would be within sight of the average for his receiving grade.  He's scared of getting pushed around, though, particularly when he's around larger kids.

 

He's going to go to a soccer camp this summer.  I don't have high hopes that he'll figure out that kids that outweigh him by 30 pounds won't hurt him during that week.

 

Yeah, this probably isn't his sport.  We know that.  He doesn't.  For $30 a year, though, we'll let him figure that out himself.

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#15 of 17 Old 05-14-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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Club soccer is $1060 per year, 5 days a week, and involves driving 100 miles to games at least 3 times a year.

Rec league soccer is $30 per year, 2-3 days a week, and we can walk to practices and games.

 

Club sports aren't an activity -- they are a lifestyle. winky.gif


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#16 of 17 Old 05-14-2012, 06:44 PM
 
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Club sports aren't an activity -- they are a lifestyle. winky.gif

Wow!  I was going to suggest the same: put him in club rather than rec, but I can't believe how expensive it would be!  That's crazy.

 

I'd tend to agree that I'd put him with 2nd graders, but I'd also investigate how the kids who are some of the worst players are treated by the coaches and other players.  Are the kids really competitive, do the poor players wind up with that "last kid to be picked" feeling where no one wants to play with them, etc.?  If so, I'd investigate other sports options to see if you could talk him into a different sport and maybe find out about graceful exits mid-year if he is unhappy or being picked on.

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#17 of 17 Old 05-17-2012, 10:36 AM
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My 6 (almost 6.5) yr. old also skipped a grade, and is in 1st grade-- he played basketball with his grade, and was fine. He plays club soccer and has been playing U8 since before he turned 6. We got lucky that he's pretty athletic, so the age difference isn't a problem for now. I imagine it'll be a problem later on when the other kids hit puberty.

Are there any other clubs to look into? Most clubs here aren't too pricy until U9 or even U11-- U8 teams are only $80-150 per semester, and 3 days a week. 

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