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#1 of 16 Old 07-27-2010, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've posted about this before and thought I made a decision to send my ds to first grade this year. He meets the cutoff by 1 day and we decided to put him into the kinder at his preschool last year. We wanted to see how he did and if we didn't feel he should go on, we would put him in a kinder at the public school this year.
So, he actually did great last year (though at home was very emotional-not sure if this was due to too much academic time at school). I made the decision to put him into first, but now am having second thoughts again. He hasn't wanted to read all summer and says he looks forward to playing at school this year. Also, the cut off here is Oct 1. He will be the youngest. In most other states, he would be too young for first. Next year we plan on moving to another state, so he would definitely be the youngest. I'm not sure I'm okay with this.
Thoughts?
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#2 of 16 Old 07-27-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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I wouldn't put a kid academically ready and old enough for first grade in kindergarten.

Age differences even out as you get to higher grades. My dd is youngest in her grade (just meets the cut off in a district where it's very common to hold kids out up to 4-5 months ahead of the cutoff). It made a big difference in kindergarten, a smaller difference in first, and almost none in second. All the differences were social, which were as much her personality as her age.
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#3 of 16 Old 07-27-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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Do you know where you are moving to? There's a strong tendency in some areas to redshirt boys. Get in touch with some principals in your new school district and see what they say.
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#4 of 16 Old 07-27-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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I have to preface by saying I'm not a fan of redshiriting. It's fine when it's used sparingly and for kids who really need it. In our area, it's become the norm and it's caused SO many long-term problems!

If he's done well in kindie, I wouldn't delay 1st grade. There is something to be said for school offering some challenge. Being in class where everything is easy for you year after year is incredibly harmful. In our district, those who red-shirt for no real good reason tend to get frustrated in 2nd and 3rd grade when their kids are ready for higher level material but they are stuck with the younger grade level work. Teachers are frustrated that they have to differentiate for kids who really shouldn't be in her class in the first place. There are the self-confidence issues too. Even studies on kids who are held back because they are STRUGGLING showed that in most cases, retention was far more a detriment than a benefit in the long run.

It's quite normal for young boys to not want to spend their summers reading. My DS is 9 and going into 5th grade. He's a very advanced reader in 2 languages and he's only picked up ONE book this summer because I told him to! 1st grade still offers play. Ours were much like kindie with their stations, being up and moving around, 2 recesses and lunch, ect. Your DS is a month older than mine was when he started 1st grade.

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#5 of 16 Old 07-27-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post
It's quite normal for young boys to not want to spend their summers reading
Agreed. I know lots of little girls who love to read, and very few boys. If you wait until he spends a summer reading to send him to first, he might not ever go!

I really think it would be nice if instead of a cutoff DAY, there was a cutoff two-months, and all the kids who's birthdays fall one month on either side of the current cutoff day could be tested and the teachers could recommend which placement would be best for them.

However, it sounds like even if that were the system, your son's K teacher would send him on to first grade, that after spending a year with him, she thinks he is ready. He did great.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 16 Old 07-27-2010, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're not sure where we're moving, dh is looking for a job. I would hate to send him off to first and then move to an area where it is common to redshirt, so he would be really young compared to his classmates.

I've also thought about sending him to first, and then once we know where we're moving to, either have him do first again or send him to second.
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#7 of 16 Old 07-27-2010, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Linda on the Move and whatsnextmom, I didn't see your comments before I posted...

Thanks for the thoughts on reading. My husband agrees that what kid would want to be inside reading when there's so much to explore!

I don't see any developmental issues, so there shouldn't be any concern about sending him. He did do great, and I should just stop questioning everything. If I could just get past the age difference, I would be okay. All of your thoughts are so helpful in helping me make a decision.
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#8 of 16 Old 07-27-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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He is ready for first grade. I don't see you describing anything to indicate that he is unable to do first grade (either the dreaded and horribly vague "maturity" or actual academic ability).

You say he did great in kindergarten. Round 2 would likely be very boring and unnecessary. You literally would be holding him back.

What if you move to a Dec 1 state and you've held him back?
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#9 of 16 Old 07-27-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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I would put him in first grade. Where I live the cutoff is December 31 so my daughter (November 9) birthday has been the youngest in her class all along. There are some in her class almost a year older than her but it hasn't mattered at all. I am of the belief that unless there is a very good reason a child should not be held back.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#10 of 16 Old 07-27-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by greenbeing View Post
We're not sure where we're moving, dh is looking for a job. I would hate to send him off to first and then move to an area where it is common to redshirt, so he would be really young compared to his classmates.
We just moved for DH's job this summer, and our new city has some different and very cool options that our old city didn't have.

I think you should make the very best decision you can for him *for this year* and think positive thoughts about next year.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#11 of 16 Old 07-27-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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We have had the same dilemma with my DD whose birthday is August 30 and cutoff here is September 1, and we decided to go ahead and let her start K this year (she will be 5 next month). My DD is tiny for her age (some kids we know who are THREE are her size or larger and she is almost FIVE!), academically knows what she needs to for K, but maturity wise is a bit behind. But in her particular case, she seems to act similarly to the other kids around her, so if she was put in a class with kids slightly older, we think she will "rise to the occasion". She also really thrives on structure and routine, so we feel that K offers more of that than pre-K would for her. Plus, the way we see it, we would rather have her challenged and try, and if it is really too much, we could always have her repeat next year. I think in this area, redshirting is sometimes done, but is not overly common, so I think the other kids with summer birthdays will be really close to her age anyway.

Jill stillheart.gif Chris (7/96), mommy to 3 sweet redheads: jumpers.gif Matthew autismribbon.gif (12/02), Michelle (8/05) and Marissa (1/10). Nursing since 2002.
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#12 of 16 Old 07-27-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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You were worried about K, but it went great. I would expect 1st to go just as well as K went even though those same doubts have popped up again. The doubts were baseless for K, they are probably just as baseless for 1st.

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#13 of 16 Old 07-28-2010, 07:30 AM
 
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We had the opposite problem. DD missed the cut off by a two days. Last year, we were confident that she was more than ready for Kindergarten, so put her in private school. She did great. She was the youngest but did as well or better than her "older" peers, both academically and socially. Our intention was always to do public school and we just moved into a great school district. I met with the principal about her placement since, officially, the rules said she should be placed in Kindergarten. Fortunately, this school district allows principals to have some discretion so they reviewed her progress reports from the other school and did an informal assessment. Here are the things that they were concerned about (and that you may want to think about to make the right decision for your son):

1. Her reading ability (not her reading desire)
2. Her ability to interact with "older" children
3. Her grasp of basic math
4. Her ability to follow instructions, etc.

They ended up placing her in first for this coming year and I am confident that she will do great. In any classroom, there will be kids who are ahead in some areas and "behind" in others. Most elementary school teachers are accustomed to teaching to somewhat different levels - kids are often split into different reading and math groups, for example. So I would worry less about being the youngest in class. Age often does not correspond to ability. So my vote is not to worry about whether there is alot of redshirting and place your child where you think they will do the best.

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#14 of 16 Old 07-31-2010, 02:50 AM
 
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I will start off by saying that I am not a fan of redshirting. Our son was 15 days from the cutoff and we started him in K at age 5 and not regretted it at all. That isn't to say that it has been easy. We have stayed on top of things every step of the way. K was a year with social trials and academics had to take a back seat for him. But by the end of K the social difficulties were almost erased. 1st grade started out with him barely reading at grade level even though he is gifted but ended with him reading 1+ years above grade level in reading and math. Now the challenge is writing for which we are seeking OT and requesting a 504 plan in the classroom for 2nd grade in order to make sure his sensory processing needs are met.

Every situation is different. For you, if you know which state you will be moving to, then I would make the judgment based heavily on that state's cut off date. If he has an Oct. birthday and he came to MN which has a Sept.1 cut off, then the transition would potentially be awkward for him. I wish you luck with your decision. And remember at his age, he can have a lot of input in the decision as well. Talk about what he liked or disliked about the K experience. Talk about how 1st will be different and add that info to your final decision.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
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#15 of 16 Old 07-31-2010, 10:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by greenbeing View Post
We're not sure where we're moving, dh is looking for a job. I would hate to send him off to first and then move to an area where it is common to redshirt, so he would be really young compared to his classmates.
I have girls so it may be somewhat different, but my kids have bds just a few days or weeks before the 10/1 cut-off in our assigned district (depending on the kid). We changed districts locally when they were in mid-early elementary and my youngest actually doesn't make the cut-off in her current district. My oldest skipped 5th so she is quite a bit younger as well.

It is very common to red-shirt here. Dd9 (going into 5th and will be 10 at the very end of Sept.) has kids in her class who are as much as 18 months older than she is due to redshirting. Dd11 (going into 8th and will be 12 in early Sept.) has kids as much as 2.5 yrs older than her in her grade due to the combo of redshirting and her having skipped one grade.

I don't believe that their age is a detriment at this point in the game. I'm not looking at it from that standpoint of how my kids compare to the other children, but what the right placement is for them. The grade below for either of them would be academically inappropriate and probably socially inappropriate as well b/c they don't tend to develop significant rapport with kids who are at a younger stage developmentally at this point.

Quote:
I've also thought about sending him to first, and then once we know where we're moving to, either have him do first again or send him to second.
My parents did this with my brother, whose bd is in mid-November. In CA, where we grew up, you could turn 5 as late as December and start K. He started a few months before he turned 5 and then did a second year of 3rd when we moved over that summer. No one knew and it seemed to work out well for him although I know that statistically grade retention isn't usually a good thing.
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#16 of 16 Old 08-02-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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Redshirting is pretty common in our area. In fact, I think we are the only family on our block who did not redshirt a summer birthday.

My middle will start 2nd grade at the end of the month and he turned 7 at the end of June. There are children in his class more than 15 months older than him. He absolutely was ready academically for school. In fact, even though he is the youngest in his class, he is finding school to not provide enough of a challenge (something we're working on). However, I do see differences on the playground between him and his classmates. 8 year olds have slightly different interests than 6 and 7 year olds and that has been a bit difficult for him.

Hopefully that will level out over time, but it is still something to consider if redshirting is common in your area.
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