Looking for thoughts/advice on delaying homeschool kindergarten - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 03-27-2012, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My twins will turn 5 in June and my plan has always been to hs for the minimum of k-1 (DH's idea to get them in the "system"). After learning of a friends decision to wait a year to enroll her DS, also with a June bday, in Kindergarten, I have been researching this idea and am coming to the conclusion that it would be best for my children as well. Not as much for now, but I am thinking of emotional development for junior high and high school.

 

My only hesitation to this idea is one of those deep rooted, illogical ideas gleaned from my childhood, which is that I don't want my children to be teased because they are older than their classmates, because people assume they were held back. Thinking it, typing it, I know it is silly, but I can't get it out of my head.

 

The reasons to wait a year are plentiful. They are my "firsts" and more naive and less experienced than many of their peers. They will be more emotionally mature, especially in middle and high school. They will graduate when they are 18 rather than 17. I like the idea that all of my children will be in high school together, my youngest has an Oct. birthday, so if the twins started kindergarten in the fall, they would graduate before he starts high school.

 

So my questions are, have you made the decision to delay kindergarten? If so did you hold off on kindergarten type curriculum? I was planning on using fiar in the fall, supplementing with phonics and math programs. I feel like if we delay kindy then I can be more relaxed and follow their lead. Honestly this idea has me in a tailspin, I'm a very black and white type personality, so it's a good stretch for me, but it's really hard.

 

Sorry for the lengthy post. TIA

 

 

Nikki


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#2 of 19 Old 03-27-2012, 11:01 PM
 
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Article on why young kids= brains aren=t ready for early reading/writing instruction:

http://www.lilipoh.com/articles/2007/fall2007/teaching_children.aspx

 

Here=s an article that discusses how children who start academics at later ages do better in the long run:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/2752895.stm


 

Here=s a video on delayed academics in Sweden:

Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecinNaR32Qs

 

Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=cmdHvkcMhZ4

 

Part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=eo1AJWqCIww

 

Why Finland has highest academics in US.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlYHWpRR4yc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

 

 

Here=s an article about how play will help children get into Harvard:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/12/29/christakis.play.children.learning/index.html 


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#3 of 19 Old 03-28-2012, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks SundayCrepes, I came across two of the links while researching this idea and appreciate your response. I would really like to hear from others who have BTDT, and what your experiences have been. I guess knowing that we do not plan to homeschool past 2nd or 3rd grade makes the experience different from those who are more flexible.


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#4 of 19 Old 03-28-2012, 05:46 AM
 
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#5 of 19 Old 03-28-2012, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Chitown Tracy, for the fiar review and sharing your experience. I was a preschool teacher for 7 years and have a master's in elementary education. My time student teaching and later subbing in the elementary school, this was before children, made me realize how much I loathe "the system". When the local school switched to all day kindergarten, I became determined to homeschool. I wish we had a private school option, we've lived here 8 years and have seen 3 private schools close. I am having a hard time finding like minded homeschooling families. The ones I've spoke to and heard about are religious, and we are not.

 

The cut-off date for starting here is Sept. 10 and school is not compulsory until age 7.


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#6 of 19 Old 03-28-2012, 07:44 AM
 
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What's different about homeschooling is that if you start them out "late" they get to work at their own pace which can sometimes mean catching up and surpassing their grade level.  Though I don't know about the particular program you've selected, I do know that schools are much more hesitant these days to move kids from their grade level then they were when I started in 1974.  So, the problems that can arise with age aren't an issue with homeschoolers, at least I don't think.  Even so, both my nephews were the oldest in their classes and both extremely popular.

 

I haven't exactly "BTDT", but if I was enrolling my youngest either in school or a more formal homeschooling program I would be waiting.  She'll be 5.5 soon.  


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#7 of 19 Old 03-28-2012, 10:28 AM
 
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a lot depends on your state - in mine we don't need to HS until age 7--------and YOU pick not the school the grade

 

so depending on your state you can do K and still IF you do enter them or at the time you need to start recording PICK their grade

 

ex I can say to the school district (where we need to report) that at age 7 we are in 2, 3 or 5 grade- doesn't really matte one bit to them!

 

since you are also at age 7---just do what you want and pick later on--------and don't submit paper work until you need to


 

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#8 of 19 Old 03-28-2012, 11:16 AM
 
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I'm not really in the same position, but I did want to share some of my personal experience. I was always the youngest in my class because I have a late August birthday. While I did really well with literacy, when it came to math I think from second or third grade on I was always a full year behind. I was always in remedial math, and absolutely struggled with math for my entire childhood. I realize some of that is that I just don't have a math brain, but I really wish I had started school a year later. I think I would have had a radically different experience. Honestly, there is a lot about school that I wish could have been undone, but the fact that I was so much younger than my peers did make a difference, and not in a good way.

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#9 of 19 Old 03-28-2012, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of your responses. The real problem is with me, I have a hard time leaving things open-ended, I really and truly like (need) concrete answers. I can't imagine not figuring out whether I"m homeschooling for kindergarten or  pre-k, child led schooling in the fall. Not that kindergarten won't be child led, but I'll be paying attention to where they "should" be, in terms of kindergarten standards, when that time comes. If I didn't have it in my head that they would be going to public school in a few years, then this might not be such a conundrum.

 

I went to school in CA, and the cut-off was in Dec. I started school at barely five, with an Aug bday, my sister was 4, born in Sept and my brother has Nov bday. We all would have benefited from waiting a year.

 

They also rely heavily on one another when in uncomfortable situations, and though I love that they have one another, I think giving them an extra year to mature will make a lot of difference.


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#10 of 19 Old 03-28-2012, 01:09 PM
 
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We are waiting with DS1- I think he will do better with another year to be little.  I do let him join in at his will when we do school for DD though.  Sometimes he is into it and other times not at all.  None of us needs any extra pressure.  You all are fortunate to not have compulsory until age 7- here it is 6.  I would love to have that extra year :)  


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#11 of 19 Old 03-28-2012, 02:10 PM
 
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my state has standard for each grade (K included even thought they don't mandate it- and many school now are cutting K due to budget cuts so in the end it really doesn't matter much in the end) - if you state does or if not check with what is required for 1st and use it as your guide as to where you "might" want to be 


 

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#12 of 19 Old 03-28-2012, 04:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wondertwins View Post

Thanks for all of your responses. The real problem is with me, I have a hard time leaving things open-ended, I really and truly like (need) concrete answers. I can't imagine not figuring out whether I"m homeschooling for kindergarten or  pre-k, child led schooling in the fall. Not that kindergarten won't be child led, but I'll be paying attention to where they "should" be, in terms of kindergarten standards, when that time comes. If I didn't have it in my head that they would be going to public school in a few years, then this might not be such a conundrum.

 


So, when you do choose to start, you begin with the K curriculum and work at their pace.  Working one-on-one, you might find it silly to spend time learning to count to 100 if your son already can do it.  So you skip it if you want to work on "kindergarten-y" things only.  Nevermind his age, just work your way through the curriculum, if that's what you are using.  Maybe you'll find he's behind in one area.  Spend more time there.  Then, when he's mostly ready, move on to the 1st grade.  You might do this in 6 months or less, or perhaps a full year.  You get 365 days per year to homeschool if you want to.  

 

The funny thing about working on level, is that teachers need most of the group to be at the same level so they can advance them together and work mostly together.  You just don't need to do this HSing.  And then, what do you do if, like my daughter, she understands multiplication shortly after addition and long before subtraction?  In school there is not much of a way to accommodate this, but you can at home.  

 

What would you do in a case like mine?  Stick with the curriculum?  Or follow her abilities?  Because the chances of something just like this arising are very, very good.

 


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#13 of 19 Old 04-02-2012, 09:05 AM
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If your only hesitation in delaying is the possibility of teasing, then I will tell you to not worry about it.  Many kids (esp. boys) with summer birthdays start a year later.  It is done so often here, that it is almost standard.  

 

I had a late August birthday and am personally thankful my parents didn't delay my start.  However, kindergarten in 1979 was different than kindergarten now.  Also, I was a quirky academic kid who did better with older kids.  But that just goes to show that all kids are different, you know your kids best! 

 

As far as how you handle school at home, don't dwell on it.  Just because you won't enroll them until 2nd grade (and that would be when they are 8, if you delay), doesn't mean you are restricted at home.  Unschool if you wish, follow their interests.  Or, do Kindergarten at a half pace, or just wait a year to start anything at all.  Most importantly, teach them that learning is fun and that we learn from everything/everyone around us!

 

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#14 of 19 Old 04-04-2012, 10:02 AM
 
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I gathered together quite a few annotated links to good articles that have to do with important reasons for delaying it: preschool/kindergarten. Many of the articles are by seasoned professional educators, and some are chapters out of their books. 

 

I've never heard of anyone being teased for being a little older in school, but lots of children are going into kindergarten or 1st grade on the late side today in order to be able to "compete" better as they go along - I think it was 60 Minutes that did a show on it. 

 

I think catching up later is easy enough - my son was in a school for two years of kindergarten that purposely didn't teach reading or letters/numbers (Waldorf), but I got him caught up to being able to read three-letter words by the fall he stared 1st grade in a different school that had started that in kindergarten. In retrospect, I wish I'd known about homeschooling then - he really should have been just playing and learning about things he was interested in.  - Lilllian

 

 

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#15 of 19 Old 04-05-2012, 08:23 PM
 
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I am considering my child to be in Pre-K next year, even though the public school would require that he be in K. He will turn 5 in late October. You might want to look at what other states do, and what the private schools near you do, because those will affect what the age range is in a classroom when your child eventually goes to school. You may not want him to be far and away the oldest, but neither do you want him to be the very youngest, ideally. 

 

My thinking was that all the private schools (literally every one, and we have LOTS!) would consider my son Pre-K next year. Their cutoffs range from "5 by May 1" to "5 by Sept. 15" for Kindergarten. Nearly every other state would consider him Pre-K as well with such a late birthday. Only 3 states, including ours, which has chosen to use calendar year as their "cutoff," would consider him Kindergarten age. 

 

I also considered my husband's experience in deciding what to do--He moved from NY to Texas when he was about to turn 6 (Late Sept. birthday). In New York, he would have been starting 1st grade. In Texas, he would have been starting K. Since he'd already done K, and had all the skills down, Texas put him in 1st grade. He was literally the youngest kid in his grade, all the way to high school graduation. He did fine, normal levels of teasing, but he says he wishes they had had him repeat K instead. In his words, "I did okay, I kept up, but another year of growth, and I might have made some of the scholarships that I literally *just* missed out on for college. And I might have been a little bigger for sports, which were a big deal in Texas." (He was aiming for academic scholarships, btw, he's no athlete!) So, we intend to homeschool until high school at least, but I want DS to be one of the oldest in his grade, not one of the youngest. Big builds also don't run in our families, so DS isn't going to be the gigantic kid in the class anyway. 

 

And I know what you mean about wanting to know what you consider to be their grade level, even when homeschooling. People always ask you, or the child, what grade they're in, and it does make it simpler to just say "Pre-K" or "K" instead of "Sort of around Pre-K or K" or "We don't need grade levels," even though it's technically true. 


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#16 of 19 Old 04-06-2012, 08:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LitMom View Post

 

And I know what you mean about wanting to know what you consider to be their grade level, even when homeschooling. People always ask you, or the child, what grade they're in, and it does make it simpler to just say "Pre-K" or "K" instead of "Sort of around Pre-K or K" or "We don't need grade levels," even though it's technically true. 

We get those questions sometimes, and I never feel the need to say anything more than their equivalent.  I have a first grade and pre-K.  Doesn't actually or necessarily require an answer that reflects reality.  I don't base it on knowledge or skills or anything, but what the general grade is according to their age only, the grade people would perceive her as being in were she in school.  It's a bit of a sham in so many ways.  No one asking me ever needs to know the details.   I understand it's a different situation if a child is being evaluated for admission into school.
 

 


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#17 of 19 Old 04-06-2012, 09:06 AM
 
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Haven't read all the responses. But isn't one of the great things about homeschooling the fact that you have more options? I'd keep as many options open for as long as possible.

 

To me that means registering the kids as in K at 5. So say that you decide to send your kids to public school at age 8. If records indicate that you kids have completed K, 1st and 2nd the the school will really have no issue enrolling them in 3rd. Even if records indicate that your kids home schooled K, 1st and 2nd the school is going to be fine with you enrolling your child in 2nd. However, if at 8 your records indicate that the kids have completed K and 1st only and for whatever reason putting the kids in 2nd no longer seems like the best idea and you feel they are ready for 3rd the schools are unlikely to want to enroll the kids in 3rd without a big fight

 

So by listing them as being in K when they are 5 you are keeping all your options open. You just don't know what the future holds. Just because your child seems now like they'd do better in a lower grade in the future doesn't mean that you'll feel the same way when the time comes. Just because you have your kids listed as homeschooling K doesn't mean that you have to actually do anything. You are homeschooling so you can call the shots. In your curriculum academics like reading and writing may very well not start until 2nd grade or ever.

 

I would list them as K at age 5. Start whatever program you feel fits your kids needs best (preK, K, no program, whatever), then progress at their pace. When they hit 7 or 8 I'd look at their maturity then and at where they are academically, and socially. At that point decide to enroll them in either 2nd or 3rd, based on the kid standing in front of you, not based on your hypothetical future child now.

 

edited for clarity


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#18 of 19 Old 04-06-2012, 09:40 AM
 
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I fully support the idea of summer birthdays waiting a year. THere is a lot of reading (I'm thinking Michael Gurian books) on boys and education. He's writing from a public school perspective, but there's a lot of benefit in giving more time to mature.  As it becomes more common to have kids with "late" birthdays wait a year, those that don't wait become at times more than a year  (sometimes almost two years) younger than their classmates.  My boys are february birthdays, and somone commented about how they'd be "young" for their grade.

 

As a homeschooler, you can decide that you are not actually really kindergarten this year, but do work that is appropriate for them, even if it's kindergarten type of work. You could also do an exploring year, where you visit as many (museums, state parks, whatever) in your area and do activities around those visits.

 

I also am a mom of twins, and an educator by trade. When I was teaching, I never would have thought I'd be homeschooling my own kids. But I realized that after my boys were born, I didn't want to turn their early education over to someone else. I didn't like what had happened to kindergarten, the academic push down, and the test frenzy.

 

From a personal point of view, I am a late august birthday, and was almost the youngest in my grade. Academically, I had no problems, Socially, I was akward for many years, until some point in highschool. I probably could have waited a year.  My sister has a boy with the same late august situation. He was so ahead as a kindergartener that she went ahead and sent him.  He has really struggled with immaturity, but it is now too late to hold him back without serious complications.

 

Good luck making your choice. I will say I absolutely love homeschooling my twins.


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#19 of 19 Old 04-16-2012, 12:22 PM
 
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DS has a spring birthday, but we still opted to wait a year.  I just wanted another year of not being "accountable". Was this the right decision?  I don't know.  Now that the school year is over I sometimes find myself wondering if I should have started him after all.  I feel like most of K is stuff that is pretty easy to do in an unschooly way and we could have easily met the requirements with what we did over the past year. It would just be nice now to have K over with, ya know?  I guess it may be years before I know if we made the right decision


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