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#1 of 38 Old 03-18-2011, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't posted to these boards in a few years (got busy, I guess).  Some of the other boards I use to participate on have all migrated to Facebook - and now I am looking for advice.

 

I am Canadian (so different school system and cut-offs) and have just moved to a new province (Alberta).  I have four kids - 8, 7, 5 and 3.

 

My third child is a January 2006 baby.  The school cut-off in our old province was December 31 and has a junior kindergarten program (1/2 day), a senior kindergarten (again, in many cases 1/2 day) and then the children move to Grade 1.  My child started in junior kindergarten in September 2010 as per the normal age cut-offs as one of the oldest in his class.  He is a boy, a busy one - no known learning issues - just a happy, busy, sometimes doesn't pay attention normal boy.  I was very happy with him being the oldest kid (I searched the site and found a post I placed a few years ago suggesting how happy I was not to face the redshirting questions).

 

We moved in late December.  The new province has a cut-off of February 28 (yes, compared to many states cut-off of September 1 or 30th - very very young children in kindergarten).   However, it doesn't have a junior kindergarten program - just a kindergarten program (1 year of 1/2 day kindergarten and then on to full day Grade 1).  We didn't want to pull our son out of school and send him back to preschool.  His first school said he was ready for kindergarten so to place him in kindergarten. (i.e. in essence, skipped a grade, albeit kindie, half way through the school year) I am now regretting the decision (2.5 months later). He will be 5.5  years going into Grade 1.

 

Our son is struggling - I think it is mainly the lack of interest in learning his alphabet, sitting at circle time, fine motor skills, as well as social skills.  I don't believe it is a learning issue or attention deficit issue (however, he can be wiggly and a bit of skatter brain ... need to repeat instructions in many aspects of life).  He wants to play.   HIs teacher hasn't suggested holding him back but I know when we first met the teachers they don't like the Feb. 28 cut-off (the children are so young to be in Kindie) and inferred that they would hold back their own kids (and one did hold back).  

 

We are now working more intensely with him - reading Bob books, playing letter and sound recognition games, math games.  He has made a lot of progress in the past few weeks.  His teacher has also noticed that since mid-February he has been more engaged in the classroom etc.  

 

One issue is the level of Grade 1s at this school.  My second child is almost two years older but is only in Grade 1 (again, the age cut-offs - February 2004 boy in Grade 1).  He is reading at Grade 3 - Grade 4 level, knows multiplication, is a mentor in his Grade 1 class.  While he is performing well above Grade 1 levels, given the level of performance of the school (very strong school), he has a lot of peers in his class that are at the same or higher level (well above average Grade 1 class).  I cannot imagine his younger brother will be anywhere near that level next year.

 

Do we contemplate holding him back?  Do you finish out the school year or pull him now (I could send him to a preschool, attached to the current school for three days a week in a kindie prep program)?  How do you ensure we don't rock his self-confidence, think he 'failed' kindie?  (We have just moved here so have very few friends or kids that know us well.)  What do we tell his older siblings who, like most siblings, can tease or say inappropriate things?

 

One truly odd thing about this province (a few more, I might add) is that sport teams have a December 31 cut-off - so at this rate, he will play hockey/soccer etc with the kids in one lower grade (if he continues on) - so holding back has a social advantage in sports.

 

What is best for him?

 

Sorry this got so long.

 

Ann

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#2 of 38 Old 03-19-2011, 10:02 AM
 
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I would hold him back.  I think that would do less "damage" then having him struggle.  Have you talked to his teacher? 

 

I would probably pull him now, put him in the prek preschool program, and play it as, "I'm moving you so you have more time at home to play.  Now you only go to school 3 days.  And next year you'll do 5 half days and have the afternoon off to play, how cool is that?"


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#3 of 38 Old 03-19-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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I'm  not sure this will be a popular response, but given what you have said (behind in both academic and social skills for his current class) I would really consider repeating kinder.  I would be honest with him--- you made a mistake and put him in the "wrong" class.  Now you're correcting that mistake and putting him in the "right" grade.  With the right attitude,  I don't think it will have any negative consequences. 

 

Additionally, I think it will help with sibling issues long term.  His next oldest sibling is almost two years older but only one year ahead--- he will *always* feel not as smart!  DP & his brother are almost three years apart, but because of school cutoffs are only two years apart in school (DP was one of the youngest, his brother one of the oldest).  I think that was hard on DP when very young because he was always comparitively behind where his brother had been at the same grade.

 

I want to be clear that *I* don't think you actually made a mistake or were wrong to put him in kinder this year.  You went with the information you had and the advice of professionals.  But for DS I think it is important to hear that it isn't anything to do with him, per se, but rather just a change in your move.  You can easily explain that he was "supposed" to have two years of kinder and now he will, just like his siblings did.  I say this as a parent who chose to enter my DS on time (8/31 birthday in a school district with an 8/31 cut-off and a lot of red shirting).  We ended up opting to have him repeat 2nd grade for social reasons and this is exactly how we addressed it--- WE made a mistake sending him when we did and were just trying to get him in the right class for him (he went to being way younger than most of the kids in his class to still having two kids older than him in his class).

 

Good luck with whatever you decide.


 

 

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#4 of 38 Old 03-19-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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I would not pull him & put him in a preschool.  Keep him in kindergarten.

 

Go in & talk to the teachers about their thoughts.  They may not have any yet though, as there is ALOT of time for him to progress in the next 5 months before he goes into Grade 1.  You have until then to decide.    

 

He is not necessarily going to be in a sports team with kids in the lower grade.   Whether you hold him back or keep him in Grade 1 there will be kids who are in the younger/older grade on the sports teams.

 

My dd's dance & the older one just turned 10. She dances with girls who just turned 8, most are turning 9 this year.  It hasn't stopped any friendships from forming.

 

You can't compared the 2 boys to each other.  They will develop in their own way.  While the younger one may not be advanced now, he could be at the same level when he gets to similar grades/ages.  

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#5 of 38 Old 03-19-2011, 11:13 AM
 
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We are considering having our DS repeat Kindergarten next year (he will be attending summer school, and we'll probably decide then).  Our situation is different from yours, and he happens to be in a 3-6 Montessori classroom where many of the kids are younger and so they are staying in the same class next year - so, if he does, too, it won't be as big of a deal as it might be to hold him back in a traditional setting.  Of course, we are looking at switching him to a regular Kindy class as well; just exploring all options, wanting to do the best for our DS (who happens to have some special needs that are impacting him academically and socially). 

 

Anyhow, from what I've read and from talking to teachers and other parents, it is a lot easier on the kid and gives them the best opportunity if they are retained at a Kindergarten level vs. later on.  If you think he could be lost or fall behind in 1st grade (at least here in the US, many 1st grade programs are pretty intense), then by all means, I would give him the benefit of an extra year - especially since in your case, he was put in Kindergarten a year early.   It's kinda similar to how many experts say boys are often better off waiting an extra year to start school - especially if they are close to the cut-off date. 

 

Best of luck figuring it out; I know it can be a bit stressful.  I am torn b/c our DS's teacher thinks he'll be fine either way, yet she does have some concerns as do we.  I  am leaning towards playing it safe, so to speak, and figuring a bonus year of the funnest and by far easiest year of school will lead to a bigger love for learning and success down the road, but it's definitely still something weighing heavily on my mind.  We meet with a team of specialists and his teacher at school once a month to discuss his progress and IEP -- if you don't already, can you do similar?


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#6 of 38 Old 03-19-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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I think holding him back makes sense for many reasons that PPs have already mentioned and I don't think it will have long-term negative consequences. I say that having watched friends of mine go through school as the eldest in their grade and considering holding my son back/repeating K this year and talking to educator friends and older parents about the pros/cons of it.

As far as how to make the decision: what does he feel about school now? If he loves K and wants to finish out the year and you don't think that will be harmful to his educational development, then go with that and then just repeat him in K the next year as well. OTOH, if he's struggling, if school is difficult for him, if it seems like him being in K right now is going to make school seem like a bad place to go, I would pull him out now and frame it as a PP said "we made a mistake, this is not your fault, let's try something else that will make this better for you" while totally talking up all the fun things that will go on with his new situation, whether it's more playtime or more time with family or less fear about school.

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#7 of 38 Old 03-19-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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Have you asked the teachers what they think at this new school?  If he is starting to make progress then he may be ready for the move up by the end of the year, and especially by the end of summer.  I suggest holding off on a decision until the end of the school year.  A few months can make a lot of difference once the subject clicks for a child and it sounds like you may have reached that point. 

 

You may find that when he moves up he is more motivated to try harder because he is surrounded by kids who have jumped a lot in their academic abilities over the summer and he wants to keep up.  My dd also could be labeled as ADHD if she had a teacher who is into labeling instead of teaching (and she was by her 1st grade teacher who let her get away with a lot), she wasn't very focused on being a good student until this year because she wasn't in an environment where it was expected or where kids were capable of really amazing levels of learning until this year.  She has realized that she is in an academic environment, that there are expectations for behavior and learning that she is very capable of living up to, and what the other kids can do and she really strives to be like them academically and behaviorally.  She is doing an amazing job of learning and keeping herself on task.  She still sometimes struggles to pay attention but she tells me her plan for paying attention better when she starts slipping then she follows through and succeeds.  I really think that giving him a chance to be challenged may turn out well.  His teachers and the teacher for the next level up should be able to give you a good idea of whether they think this will really happen though based on where he is at when the school year is over.

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#8 of 38 Old 03-19-2011, 04:13 PM
 
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My sons school has a September 1st cutoff. A few of the kids are already 6 by the time your son turns 5. Quite a few are turning 6 in november, december and january. My son turned 5 in August, just below the cutoff. That makes him one of the youngest in the class. I would love to hold him back, because i would rather he was one of the oldest, or at least in the middle. But academically he is strong, so that probably wont be recommended. He often says,'i wish i was 6' Hell, i want him to enjoy being 5. he can enjoy 6 next year (when his classmates turn 7)

 

Why should a child struggle with children almost a year older than them? How is that fair?

 

In your shoes, i would hold him back.

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#9 of 38 Old 03-19-2011, 05:19 PM
 
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I'd hold him back in K. I'd most likely explain that you were planning on him doing 2 years of K, which is completely true.

 

The difference between cutoffs and expectations in K is WILD in different states/provinces. We were living in Canada when my oldest was old enough to start K there, and she would have done just fine in the schools K program, which was fairly "play based". But we moved back to the states, where she did not meet the cut off and where she would have been a mess in the program, which was a "sit down, read, write, and do math" kind of program.

 

I think you need to do what makes sense for your child where you live right now. And it sounds like for your little guy, K would just be a better fit next year. Which makes sense, he'll be 5.


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#10 of 38 Old 03-21-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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My DD is just a month younger than your DS and she will be K age in the fall.  I think that you were given bad advice when you moved, actually, but that's JMO.  Your DS isn't K age yet - he's Junior-K age - which is preschool age.  I don't even see this as "holding him back" - it's getting him in the "right" grade.  I mean, if he was really into academics and sailing through then sure, leaving him in the grade would be a good idea.  But it would be a grade skip into a grade ahead of where his age-matched peers are.  Having him in K next year is not holding him back. 

 

I agree that you should explain it as a mistake that the school and you made.  Help him get to know some kids that will be in his class next year, and go for it.  If his siblings give him a hard time explain the system to them.  They should be able to understand that he is actually not the right age for the grade he was put in.  Make a timeline or something.  

 

Tjej 

 

 

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#11 of 38 Old 03-21-2011, 11:06 AM
 
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Wow, the whole thing sounds very stressful...I bet you'll feel a lot better once you figure out what to do!

 

I agree with the posters who said if you are going to pull him out, do it now. It seems like it would be easier next year than if he stays there several more months and goes through end of year activities like kindergarten graduation, etc.

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#12 of 38 Old 03-21-2011, 11:29 PM
 
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Wow and I thought our Dec 31 cutoff was late!

 

I would give him another year of kindy. It's very common here (school starts in 1st, kindy is under the preschool umbrella and in small local school buildings). My twins and Avraham Tzvi are all born in Feb, and I can see the advantage of going in one of the oldest (although I guess if we move to Canada they would all skip a grade, YIKES).

 

I can see this year as my twins started 1st. They are doing great. A lot of the younger kids are struggling, or just getting by (yes, there are exceptions. I know a few fall birthdays thriving in 1st), but I would say for the average kid 5.5 is too young for 1st grade. I'd give him another year now, much better than struggling in school. One of their friends stayed back in kindy and it was 100% the right thing. She's not even so young, but I see a different child this year from last year. 

 

Good luck!


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#13 of 38 Old 03-25-2011, 08:53 PM
 
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We know several families who repeated kindergarten for their children, and everyone (the child, the parents, the teacher) felt very good about the outcome. In our area, there's no stigma attached. Good luck with the choice.heather


 

 

 

 

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#14 of 38 Old 03-26-2011, 03:59 PM
 
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Are there any other families of younger children who may have their kids repeat K?  It is not uncommon where I live for kids who would be young for K to either do it twice or to wait a year.  We didn't go that route and actually had one of our kids start as the youngest and then skip a grade.  I say that only b/c I usually am the one arguing against holding younger kids out a year and I didn't do it myself.

 

However, if he's at risk of being pathologized due to his energy and age and is behind where you'd like him to be academically, I might consider it.  If you're going to do it, doing it now also seems much better than waiting for later.  Like TiredX2 said, if you go that route, I'd tell him that he was supposed to do junior K this year but you made a mistake of essentially skipping him a grade and want to put him back where he belongs.  I'd be inclined to finish up the year of K, though, and then have him do K again next year rather than pulling him this late in the year and putting him in preschool/pre-K. 

 

Talk to his teacher, though, and see if her perception of his social and academic placement is the same as yours.

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#15 of 38 Old 05-01-2011, 08:06 AM
 
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I know this is an old thread but I wanted to share that my DS repeated kindergarten this year. It has not been a big deal at all. He's blossomed this year and being one of the older kids has been a really good thing for him. He just wasn't ready last year. As for sports, I've talked with the program and he participates on the kindergarten soccer team instead of the one for sixes and sevens. So, he's with his peers.

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#16 of 38 Old 05-01-2011, 10:07 AM
 
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 My son was made to repeat KG.  It was a terrible experience that really hurt his self esteem.

 I would not recommend it for anything in this world!

We finally insisted that he go into the grade he was supposed to be in at grade 3 and he caught up.  Although it was a lot of hard work, we and my son are glad we did it, because there definitely IS a stigma toward kids that have stayed back and are older than the others.

Just want to add that my son is born in March.  Had he stayed back he would have been at least a year older than all his class mates.

 

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#17 of 38 Old 05-04-2011, 03:32 AM
 
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I do not think there is any stigma in holding your child back at this age.  It is better to do it now rather than later when he has more established friends and is more aware of the concept of "holding back".  This all doesn't have to be presented as a failure either, it is up to you to present it as enrichment or the like.  It is not his lack of ability, but the change in the school structure that has caused this problem.

I have been debating as to send my son to kindergarten or another year of Montessori and have read too much, if that is possible, on the subject of - holding back a year, repeating K etc.  Overall it the opinions on the approach to start are different, but no matter what the advice is per when to start your child, the consensus is to hold back now if there are concerns rather than later.  Let him finish out this year, without pressure, and start fresh next year.  Too many changes at once if you take him out and send him to preschool right now.

 

Good luck!

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#18 of 38 Old 05-04-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noworries View Post

I do not think there is any stigma in holding your child back at this age.  It is better to do it now rather than later when he has more established friends and is more aware of the concept of "holding back".  This all doesn't have to be presented as a failure either, it is up to you to present it as enrichment or the like.  It is not his lack of ability, but the change in the school structure that has caused this problem.

I have been debating as to send my son to kindergarten or another year of Montessori and have read too much, if that is possible, on the subject of - holding back a year, repeating K etc.  Overall it the opinions on the approach to start are different, but no matter what the advice is per when to start your child, the consensus is to hold back now if there are concerns rather than later.  Let him finish out this year, without pressure, and start fresh next year.  Too many changes at once if you take him out and send him to preschool right now.

 

Good luck!


That would really depend on the area.  My dd jumped to the conclusion that the kids who entered Kindergarten a year late were too stupid to get through preschool when she was in first grade.  She missed the cutoff by two months and she sometimes gets teased because she is 8 and in second grade.  I have taught her to explain that she missed the cutoff and to be matter of fact about it but it still worries her sometimes.  It isn't something adults worry about but it can be something other kids do and our kids go to school with other kids not adults. 
 

 

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#19 of 38 Old 05-04-2011, 07:02 PM
 
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I think there is a stigma too. Having being held back in first because I was small and right on the cut off day I felt older as I grew up. My teachers treated me differently and peers certainly did. I never found work hard but teachers expected less of me because I didn't try. My son is born a few weeks before the cut off day like me, he on the other hand is in his correct year. He is doing well, in fact at the top of his class.

 

Teachers give grades within an abartary system. I found when I was at university my score was at the top of the class (when I was just a name) but in k-12 my teachers misunderstood shyness with lack of understanding and marked me accordingly. 

 

My son can see some kids are up to 1.5yrs older and wonders why. When he asks, we tell the truth, that some kids are held back (ususally because their parents think they need an extra year). He understands that he is in the correct year for his age. What we do see is that the kids disrupting class are the ones who are a year older or the ones who are repeated. If this is because of boredom, or some underlying cause is holding them back, who knows. My experience tells me it didn't help in any case only intensifys the problem.

 

Please don't underestimate the stigma with the parents with what the child will go through. 

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#20 of 38 Old 05-05-2011, 04:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post




That would really depend on the area.  My dd jumped to the conclusion that the kids who entered Kindergarten a year late were too stupid to get through preschool when she was in first grade.  She missed the cutoff by two months and she sometimes gets teased because she is 8 and in second grade.  I have taught her to explain that she missed the cutoff and to be matter of fact about it but it still worries her sometimes.  It isn't something adults worry about but it can be something other kids do and our kids go to school with other kids not adults. 
 

 



But wait until she gets to HS and can get her license, etc. before all of her friends. They won't be teasing her about being old then! My b-day was the end of April and all my friends in HS were telling me I was "too young", etc.

 

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#21 of 38 Old 05-05-2011, 04:58 AM
 
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I don't think any of us who are at the age to have children can take our experiences in school and match them up to what our children will experience.  Yes, there are similarities, but the schools have changed, with standardization and the level of requirements to be met being pushed down a grade -aka kindergarten is the first grade of our experience (at least in traditional schools).

 

There is a stigma of being either the oldest or the youngest at to that point it is the individual child that points the parents to what they should do.   And for that matter children can be tough in their honest assessment of others, and this is part of the task as parents we need to help them understand that everyone is coming from individual circumstances.  As for thinking older children are stupid just because they older, it is something I will have to teach my son to address when he enters public school.  As far as I can tell, being six at the start of kindergarten is a norm in our school district, and the practice of repeating kindergarten for close to cutoff age (esp boys) is common.

 

I have yet to come across a teacher or administrator who has suggested boys at the elementary level will thrive if they are close to school cutoff.  As they get into the higher grades advanced placement classes can be used to keep them interested.  I personally would rather the option of advancing if need be then holding back once they are part of an established grade level and have their cohorts. 

To the original post, it would seem her son is currently struggling, and the change of school system cutoffs caused by the move has created the struggle.  In this case it would seem best to me to let him catch up before moving him forward.

 

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#22 of 38 Old 05-05-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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This is always a contentious issue and I think the the onus is on us parents not to allow our children (or ourselves) to look down upon other children for whom a different decision has been made.  My dd10's 5th grade class includes kids from dd who turned 10 about six - seven weeks after the school year started to 12 y/os.  From what I've seen, the older children are more likely to be viewed as smarter and be in the GT pull-outs.  On the other hand, there are younger kids like dd who are also in the GT classes so being the oldest or the youngest isn't a guarantee of academic success or failure.  We've not seen the older kids to be socially stigmatized, at least at her school.  Many of them are quite popular.

 

I did want to say, though, that being the oldest shouldn't be assumed to be a no harm intervention for all.  The mention of AP classes, etc. as a means of keeping a child engaged does not always work and may be too little too late for some kids.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, my oldest started as one of the youngest in her grade with a late summer/early fall bd and still ran into a lot of trouble with the pace and level of instruction.  She was a very unhappy kid in 1st grade to the point that we homeschooled for a while b/c she was too young emotionally to cope well with her school setting at that time.  She is still coasting in some areas even post skipping a grade and she is now up to 2.5 years younger than the oldest kids in her grade.  For her, holding her out to be one of the older kids would have been a poor choice.

 

The OP's child, however, is in a different spot.  He may be a very bright kid, but he is also very, very young for kindergarten and, for whatever reason, it isn't working well in his mom's opinion.  I look at it from the perspective of, 'what does my child need right now?"  If right now, her son is feeling like an academic failure, that isn't good for his self image.  We can't know sure how her son will feel about himself in five or 10 years if he is one of the older kids in middle school or high school, but we can have a reasonable idea of how he's feeling right now about himself.  If having him do another year of K isn't the choice, something else should be in order to support his self image such that he doesn't develop a negative attitude toward school simply b/c he is younger and not yet developmentally ready to sit still for much of the day  and learn to read, etc.

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#23 of 38 Old 05-05-2011, 07:20 AM
 
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 What we do see is that the kids disrupting class are the ones who are a year older or the ones who are repeated. If this is because of boredom, or some underlying cause is holding them back, who knows. My experience tells me it didn't help in any case only intensifys the problem.

 

 


I haven't seen this.  What I've seen are kids who are struggling with classroom expectations, or with the curriculum, or generally not really being ready for the demands of the academic day, being "disruptive".  They're frustrated, and sometimes not interested.  For the most part, these are not the older children.

 

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But wait until she gets to HS and can get her license, etc. before all of her friends. They won't be teasing her about being old then! My b-day was the end of April and all my friends in HS were telling me I was "too young", etc.

 



That will be a very nice time.  She only told me about this a few weeks ago and it really shocked me and it kind of still does because I had no clue the kids were like this now.  She has so many kids in her class who missed the cutoff and who were held back a year that I never imagined she would think that there was anything odd about it.  When she told me I set her straight but this has really been bothering her for a long time and I am so surprised by how much she sees as normal and not worth telling me even though to me it is disturbing and I want to make sure she understands situations correctly.  I really hope there is a silver lining someday.  I am also cursing our district for having such a strict cutoff.

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I think it's important to note that the long-range studies show that grade retention is actually more detrimental than positive. Certainly, there will be some kids that do well with it but on the whole, most kids only do better the first or second year after. The cases that are successful are those where a specific issue was identified and then repaired or treated during the repeated year. Being held back just because they seemed immature or were behind doesn't seem to pan out well long-term for the majority of kids.

 

Who knows if this will be the case for the child in question. Certainly none of us here can say for sure. I just thought it was important to point out that research does not support the idea that being older due to retention is beneficial.

 

The driving thing really isn't as powerful these days at it was when we were kids. Honestly, in our area, the trend is to wait until 18 or later. It's really expensive not only to take the driver training but the gas, the insurance, the vehicles. Plus, there are so many restrictions on underage drivers than it can be not so worth it to kids. Of my 4 nieces and nephews, none were driving in high school.

 

I have to agree with another poster that we've seen lots of problems with kids "too old" for grade but I would say that the issues aren't so much with "retained" kids (as it's rarely done here) and more to do with large quantities of developmentally on target kids being held out of kindergarten an extra year. There were two kids in DS's class that turned SEVEN during kindergarten. Yes, certainly there have been some real problems. It's not just school either. Activities are trying to adapt too. For example, the kids theatre program ends at age 18 but with so many kids being 19 and still in highschool, they have to re-evaluate. Sports as well. They go strictly by age in our area to avoid these kids 1 to 2 years older competing with kids in their "grade." It's just problematic because it's no longer a couple kids being held back because they aren't ready. It's mass quantities of kids who are absolutely ready but being held back to "give them an edge."

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#26 of 38 Old 05-06-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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That will be a very nice time.  She only told me about this a few weeks ago and it really shocked me and it kind of still does because I had no clue the kids were like this now.  She has so many kids in her class who missed the cutoff and who were held back a year that I never imagined she would think that there was anything odd about it.  When she told me I set her straight but this has really been bothering her for a long time and I am so surprised by how much she sees as normal and not worth telling me even though to me it is disturbing and I want to make sure she understands situations correctly.  I really hope there is a silver lining someday.  I am also cursing our district for having such a strict cutoff.



That seems so strange that kids are teasing her. If she missed the cut off by 2 months, I can't believe she is the only 8 yo in her class with all the holding back to start kindergarten that goes on now. Hopefully kids will quit bugging her as she gets older.

 

 

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Quote:
My son can see some kids are up to 1.5yrs older and wonders why. When he asks, we tell the truth, that some kids are held back (ususally because their parents think they need an extra year). He understands that he is in the correct year for his age. What we do see is that the kids disrupting class are the ones who are a year older or the ones who are repeated. If this is because of boredom, or some underlying cause is holding them back, who knows. My experience tells me it didn't help in any case only intensifys the problem.

Many parents who hold back children do so because the child is showing they are not ready.  The "disruption" may have a lot more to do with the root cause of not being ready.  Also keep in mind the extreme lateness of this cut-off.  I'm living in NS, Canada where we moved from a September 30th cut off to December 31 cut off and the teachers noticed a tremendous difference in school readiness.  Feb. 28 cut-off as the poster describes is the latest cut-off I've heard of.  Starting primary at 5.5 years is average in much of North America.  I would tell my child that I planned on two years of kindergarten so he could enjoy playing and being a kid  longer the way his Mom and Dad did.  (Let's face it, even in Canada, the majority of our generation didn't have to grow up this fast)

 

Quote:
 

 

 

 

Quote:

 

Quote: Please don't underestimate the stigma with the parents with what the child will go through.

 

I think the stigma sometimes has more to do with how the important adults in the child's life approach the topic.  I'm not judging how it was for you, but the children I know who were held back didn't get much notice from the kids at all about it.  The teachers, if many of them don't approve of the new cut-off date, certainly won't judge the child poorly based on that.  They will probably just think that his parents are doing what they feel is best. 

 

Also, there are some really scary stats about lower school success but more importantly much higher depression and suicide rates in young for grade children.  My psychiatric nurse neighbor was relaying the research to me and it was truly frightening.  I'm sure it's different for kids who are young but obviously ready, but many young boys simply aren't ready at that point, especially socially. 

 



 


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#28 of 38 Old 05-07-2011, 05:05 AM
 
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Also, there are some really scary stats about lower school success but more importantly much higher depression and suicide rates in young for grade children.  My psychiatric nurse neighbor was relaying the research to me and it was truly frightening.
 

 


Although I am generally understanding of why the OP is considering repeating K in this instance and agree with you that a late Feb cut-off is unusually late, I did want to address this quote.  I've never seen any studies that indicate that young for grade children have higher depression or suicide rates, although I haven't looked for studies recently so would be open to seeing what new is out there.  However, a review of the studies on grade retention and holding out age eligible children so they'd be older (published in 2003) did find that old for grade children were more likely to suffer from depression, be involved in bullying, have other behavior problems, and not graduate high school.  All of the social issues showed up much later in the schooling experience (age 12 and later).

 

I wouldn't view the OP's child as old for grade should he repeat K given the very late cut-off and that he didn't make the cut-off in the other province.  There are also, of course, always exceptions to the rules.  I have a family member who was retained a grade and for whom it was not a bad thing.

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#29 of 38 Old 05-07-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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I don't know which stats my neighbor was given for the mental health clinic, but here are some I found.  Some studies are directly related to suicide, while others are related to school performance, self esteem and employment rates, which of course inter-relate with suicide.  All but the last study report positive findings for older relative age for grade, the last article reports the opposite.  Interestingly, it is the one US study I found and I am wondering what cultural differences between countries might be affecting this.  The Japanese study was especially interesting in that most variables were able to be accounted for due to much more homogeneity in age for grade, as retention is uncommon there, as is parents waiting to enter children.  The variables they couldn't control were very clearly stated.  I also noticed that in most of the studies, there were more negative effects for males than females if they were relatively young for grade.  I'm definitely not implying that there is a cut and dry "right age", and I certainly think that parents have to go by the individual readiness of their children.  I also think that in North America, where parents have a little more say about what age they enter their children, these results could get skewed because parents (who, like myself with my oldest DS) notice their child does not seem ready for school, might have a child with underlying learning/neurological differences.  I can't speak for everywhere, but around here in Nova Scotia, many parents who waited a year on the old Sept. 30th cut-off, had the children who were diagnosed with ADHD, in the autism spectrum, etc, later.  I'm not sure with the new cut-off date, because these kids are too young to notice that.  This could throw off the results of the last study reported, and I'd have to research the citations to know what variables were accounted for. Anyway, here are some links to studies so you can see what I was talking about (the OP's situation has such a late cut-off compared to other places that of course mothering instinct can and should take more precedent than any study, anyhow).

http://www.socialproblemindex.ualberta.ca/SuicideRelage.pdf
http://www.socialproblemindex.ualberta.ca/Relage.htm#Academic
http://www.socialproblemindex.ualberta.ca/Relage.htm#Esteem
http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~edhuey/dhuey_lipscomb_relativeage.pdf
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/5/102
http://www.econ.hit-u.ac.jp/~kawaguch/papers/birthmonth.pdf
http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/1609


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#30 of 38 Old 05-07-2011, 08:04 AM
 
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Just wanted to say that I read the link to the study provided by ChristiaN's post and I thought it was excellent.  I certainly agree that having skills readiness and appropriate skills scaffolding from adults matters more than chronological age, and children certainly acquire varying skills at different rates.  I was struck how if screening  for school readiness was the norm rather than age, we could be much more sure of our childrens' readiness. This was also a good study in relating which variables couldn't be accounted for.


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