Age cutoff solution? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 05-26-2010, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My sister's DS is missing the age cutoff for kindergarten by a week and is way more than ready for kindergarten. She is a single mom and cannot afford pre school or daycare and my Mom watches her him when she can't take him to work with her.
Anyway, she doesn't feel that she would be good at homeschooling so she really doesn't think that is a long term solution for them.
I had an idea of what might work so that he can get into 1st grade next year but I want to make sure and am hoping to get opinions from all of you.

We are in PA and from what I've read, it looks like 1st grade age requirements still are turning 5 before September 1st but if they have completed a year of kindergarten they can get into 1st grade but might be required to be evaluated.

So, if she were to homeschool this year, filing it with the state and everything, do you think she could then send him to 1st grade next year?

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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#2 of 14 Old 05-26-2010, 09:31 AM
 
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Can I ask why she'd want to do that?

Speaking as a teacher of that age range, the advantages of being one of the older rather than the younger are huge.

Childhood's not a race to the finish. If she starts him on time she'll have more time to keep him home, enjoy spending time with him, pass on her values, etc . . . before he's off to college and the "real world".
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#3 of 14 Old 05-26-2010, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know really. In some ways I also think it would be an advantage to him to have him be the oldest instead of the youngest.
Maybe partially because my DD is 3 weeks older and going to kindergarten this year. Not that it is a race or competition kind of thing but maybe because they are close and it would be pretty weird to have them a year apart in school when they've always done stuff together.

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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#4 of 14 Old 05-26-2010, 10:01 AM
 
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I did that with my daughter this past year (she was just past the cut-off, we homeschooled and she will be going into first grade in the fall). She was way more than ready this year and I fully believe that it's the right choice.

You really need to check with your district about whether on not that would be allowed. My state has an age cut off for 1st, which my daughter didn't meet, but they till let her do it. They also did "above level" testing on her -meaning they used ending first grade materials at the time when she would be ending pre-k based on age (or ending our homeschool K) to make sure they felt she was advanced enough to justify advancing her a year.

That said, there are certain districts in my area that would not have considered accepting our homeschool regardless of where my daughter was academically.
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#5 of 14 Old 05-26-2010, 10:16 AM
 
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My understanding is that your idea will work. Whether that's the best solution is another question, but I do think it's an available choice.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#6 of 14 Old 05-26-2010, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies.
I don't think it's a bad idea for him, whether it is the best, I don't know.
He did get to attend a preschool for 6 weeks this past semester because it was a college student program that they ran for their project/credit course or something. It was great and he loved it so much.

Thanks for your experience, CyclingMom, I will make sure she checks with the district. Did you use a formal curriculum?

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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#7 of 14 Old 05-26-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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That doesn't work in our state and there are no was to test a child into kindergarten, even if they have a birthday a day after the cutoff and are academically ready for first grade. They have to be 5 by a certain date for kindergarten and 6 by a certain date for first grade whether in public or private school and there is no way around it. They may test an academically ready child, after a lot of pushing, and put them in first grade the next year but that is hard to get them to do. They mostly go by the age of the child whether they are homeschooled or not. A lady I know had her child in an unaccredited Montessori school for Kindergarten a year early and they still wouldn't take her in public school so I think you should check with the school district to see if that would work before deciding to do it, unless it would be something fun for all of you.

Head Start is something to look into if she can't afford childcare. It is free and where we are they pick up the child and drop them off on a bus that only contains the children in the preschool. The bus has a restraint system that is like the five point harness on it.
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#8 of 14 Old 05-26-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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Our curriculum varied. We used Singapore Math for math, Hooked on Phonics for reading. For writing we first used a Handwriting without Tears workbook for letter formation and then just bought a notebook and did daily journaling. We read books and visited museums for science and studied the holidays as they came for social studies. That was pretty much it. It never really took more than an hour (excluding reading that I did, but my kids could listen to me read books all day long).

We had a sit down meeting with the principal to go over everything we had been doing all year. We also had IQ and acheivement testing results that my daughter had to take to apply for another school and I really think having those was what made the process so easy for us. We were welcomed with open arms and no one ever suggested we were making a bad move.

I think your sister needs to figure out where she thinks her son will be ability wise in the classroom this year or next. If she thinks he will be among the best students either way, then pursuing this might be a good idea. However, I would not try to put him in early if she's not sure where he would fall. (Of course, there are all sorts of social questions, too, but I would start by thinking about where he is academically relative to the other kids.)

Also, she could always go ahead and homeschool for the year and then decide what she wants to do in the spring -- whether she wants pursue a K or first placement the following year.

Good luck! I agonized over this exact decision for 18 months and will have the same problem again as my son's birthday is 9/8.
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#9 of 14 Old 05-26-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
They have to be 5 by a certain date for kindergarten and 6 by a certain date for first grade whether in public or private school and there is no way around it.
This is quite common. Many kids can master K material a year early and yet not have the *readiness* to be successful in first grade which requires more fine motor skills, attention, etc.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#10 of 14 Old 05-26-2010, 02:28 PM
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My son misses the cutoff by almost 3 months, but we have decided to send him early. He's 4 and reading at a 4th-5th grade level, and doing 1st grade level math and handwriting. He has been in a preschool class full of kids who *do* meet the kindergarten cut-off, for 2 years and is one of the more socially/behaviorally mature kids in the class (according to his teacher). We really feel he is ready for kindergarten (or even 1st grade, but we don't want him to miss K). The private school we are sending him to does testing and interviews of all applicants and said we could apply despite the cut-off (and the have taken kids who missed it by <1 month before). He did well and was accepted. I feel secure knowing that he tested into the grade, and that his preschool teacher (who has had him for 2 years) thinks he should go to kindergarten. Also, he has been complaining of boredom at preschool.

After a year of private K we will have to decide whether to try to switch him to public (which would be a fight against the 1st grade cut-off) or keep him at the private school.

I really think that outside assessments are needed before choosing a grade skip. (or I could just say "yeah" to everything cyclingmom just wrote). Being a little ahead and one of the oldest (within the cut-off) usually goes great for kids. Being several years advanced in kindergarten is less likely to work out, IMO.

My 7 yr. old is one of the oldest in his class and I love it. He is super popular, excels at sports, and has better behavior/social skills than many of his classmates. We're moving so he won't be one of the oldest anymore (cutoff is much earlier) but I think the confidence will stay with him.
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#11 of 14 Old 05-26-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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I dont know the PA rules,

but right now my DDs will be 4 when school starts (K) and although they make the cut off (Dec), they will be some of the youngest.

I would try homeschooling and/or she can see if her area has a free PReK program (that is what my DDs are in now) for kids that qualify- it is different from Headstart and is a PreK program, but ours has been VARY adaptable. Both my girls are reading at 2nd grade+ and doing advanced math-the PreK has been great and adapted all academics for them (and another advanced student).

She also could do a private school and see if they could get a scholarship??


It is likely we will move in the upcoming year---so we are hoping to start K here and then continue K in anther state. I dont know how that will work- but it will be interesting to find out.


I would ask around and see how flexible the districts are- some are more so than others.
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#12 of 14 Old 05-26-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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Here you could apply for early entrance for K.
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#13 of 14 Old 05-27-2010, 04:13 PM
 
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That would not work where I live. Here to get early admittance into 1st grade, the child must have completed kindergarten in a certified program, have teacher reccomendations, and obtain board of education approval.

She could look into scholarships at private schools. Private schools are often more flexible about cut off dates. If he is really advanced (as opposed to, he'd be OK in kindergarten and it would be convenient to send him next year) then he might get a merrit scholarsip. He also might qualify for a need based on since they can't even afford preschool.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
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#14 of 14 Old 05-27-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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My DD2 misses the cutoff here by 12 days. We called the district and arranged to have them test her for entrance to K. She passed. We then also found a private school that has a later cutoff date anyway. When my oldest DD was going in to K she also missed the cutoff by less than a month. We put her in a Montessori school for K and then since she completed K she moved seamlessly into 1st the next yr, regardless of age.
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