Would you/did you send your son to Kindergarten at 5? Would you do it differently in hindsight? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-08-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
I guess what I'm trying to say is that personality, age appropriate behaviors, and immaturity/maturity can all be a confusing hodgepodge to separate out.
Perfectly stated. : Likewise, had I waited until DD outgrew her personality, she'd still be waiting out the year. She's also in 3rd. It turns out kindergarten teachers know this personality type because they see it all the time, and they know how to work with it. School is a place to be presented new ideas, skills, and experiences in a safe and progressive manner.

DD is very young for grade, exacerbated by the fact that few around here send their young-for-grade kids on time. DD wouldn't put pencil to paper before starting school. She wouldn't attempt to sound out words despite being cognitively ready long before kindergarten. School was a safe environment for her, and she learned fast. A little too fast.

On the flip side, DS will be old for grade, because he misses the cutoff. I fear he will be a disruption in kindergarten, as he will already have mastered kindergarten skills by that point by nature of having an extra year at home doing what we normally do as a family.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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I think either way can work. We held our DS out for Kindergarten. He did what is called Transitional Kindergarten at age 5 in a private school setting. It was a terrific experience for him. He thoroughly enjoyed that year and did wonderfully.

Then he did K last year at age 6 at the local public school. In hindsight, I think he would have succeeded at 5 or 6 in Kindergarten. The kids are all over the place with their talents and abilities. Some kids are reading, others are barely writing their own names.

The problem is Kindergarten is highly academic nowadays. As a result, the social and emotional aspects of student growth are not cultivated the way they need to be. In our school district the Kindergarten is only half-day, so there really is NO play time. It is nearly all academic. And, honestly, DS got turned off by that. Don't get me wrong, they did have fun, when it could be squeezed in, but overall it wasn't as positive an experience as it should have been.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LightToast View Post
The problem is Kindergarten is highly academic nowadays. As a result, the social and emotional aspects of student growth are not cultivated the way they need to be. In our school district the Kindergarten is only half-day, so there really is NO play time. It is nearly all academic.
I hear this all the time, and it must truly be some people's experience, which is terrible. Sometimes, though, it seems that today's kindergarten is portrayed as forcing the kids to sit rigidly in desks in rows for 3.5 hours, and that's far from my recent experience with it. I student taught kindergarten 5 years ago, and spent time in my DS's kindergarten class last year, and although the instruction was, of course, geared toward meeting the state standards and there were definitely things I thought were silly (like having to print out the instructional standard and post it next to any student work displayed on the wall, even artwork created during free time ), the "academic time" was mostly fun, game-oriented instruction, and there was a good amount of free play built into the daily schedule. A typical 3.5-hour day looked something like this:

9:30: Latebirds arrive
20 minutes: Math instruction (using manipulatives in small groups)
20 minutes: Free play
40 minutes: Centers (4 tables of 6 kids each to rotate between for 10 minutes each: science, math, language, and art, mostly involving craft projects or parent-led interactive activities)
10 minutes: Clean up, gather things, end-of-day song for earlybirds
30 minutes: Snack time and recess, earlybirds go home
20 minutes: Circle time for latebirds (calendar, songs, chat with kids)
20 minutes: Language instruction (with a puppet, songs, and games like sitting in a circle and playing "spiderweb," rolling a ball of yarn from person to person while thinking of words that start with the letter of the day)
20 minutes: Free play
20 minutes: Story time/discussion
10 minutes: Clean up, gather things, end-of-day song for latebirds
1:00: Latebirds go home

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Old 09-08-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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Likewise. While DD's kindergarten class covered in 2.5 hours a day what I covered in 1st grade, it was done in a developmentally appropriate way. No seat work lasted more than 5 minutes, lots of learning through groups and hands on work. Recess everyday, plus music, art, gym, library, guidance...

Kindergarten was hectic - no naptime, but it wasn't sitting in quiet rows.

And too bad, DD would have loved it if that class would sit down and shut up so she could focus on her own thoughts.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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I'm in Ontario, and here you can start JK if your child will be four by December 31st of that same year (there are two levels of kindy - JK & SK - then grade one).

My oldest is a January baby and is the oldest in her class (over some kids by almost a year) and is a leader, developmentally ahead in all areas, blah blah blah.

I see most of the December babies in her class struggle with both the work and their peers.

My youngest is a late December baby, and I will absolutely be holding her back the extra year in order to give her an advantage.

I realize this is anecdotal, and you absolutely have to go by each individual child's needs, but in my (albeit limited) experience, the older more mature children are doing better.

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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I did not hold my twins back (June b-day) and have had no regrets. "People" told me I should hold them back because they're boys and because they're twins. I'm very glad I didn't listen to "them". I think if I had held them back, we would have tons of behavioral and emotional issues because they would both be bored out of their respective skulls. However, in their class there are a few kids that were redshirted. To be honest, and it's probably because of the demographics of our particular class, I have seen absolutely no advantage or disadvantage to doing that in the kids--which means that their individual parents must have made the right choices for the individual kid. (They're 2nd graders this year, so I've observed this particualr group for awhile).
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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My son just started kindergarten at age 5 w/ a November birthday (ie. 3 months older than when your son will start). I just wanted to say that there is a HUGE difference in maturity between 4 and 5, and that your child will change quite a bit in the next year. Also, it's my observation that the kindergarten kiddos are still very, very innocent and young. I think it's OK for an August bday 5 yo to start kindergarten, since so many of the kids will be right there with him. However, he'll also be OK if you hold him back a year. He'll probably succeed either way.
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