Hi everyone, I'm a total new mom to public school. I homeschooled my oldest for 2 yrs and he will now be starting at the PS and my youngest is old enough for Kindergarten but I'm having reservations about sending him.
He makes the cutoff by only 10 days, he's small for his age, and he's kind of immature (being the baby of the family and all). K is full day here. I'd really like for both of my kids to go to the same school and at least have the comfort of knowing they are together sort of.
So, I can just keep my youngest home with me for another year, send him to a part-time preschool, or go ahead and have him start K. We will likely be moving to another school zone next spring, so most of my family members are saying just to send him to K at this school and then again next year at the different school because he'll have different teachers and classmates.
What do you all think? Would doing 2 years of K be boring or hurt his self esteem? Or would it be a good way for him to transition? Anyone BTDT?
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My school district has a "junior" kindergarten option for kids like your son, so it is essentially 2 years of kindergarten. My son did that last year and is in regular kindergarten this year. It has been perfect for his maturity and abilities. You may want to see if your school has something similar, or look into a private kindergarten this year if you can afford it.
My biggest worry with my son starting kindergarten was that he wouldn't be ready for it and that he would start off his schooling years hating school. This was an ideal solution for us.
We've known several families who did a version of this. Some were private schoolers who would have their kids do a year of public kindergarten then repeat kindergarten at the private school they had always intended them to go to. They seemed happy with it. We know several ESL families who did this routinely as it gave their children an extra year to learn English. The parents we know that were unsure but were open to doing 2 years of kindergarten if need be, didn't end up retaining their kids.
Have you checked to see if the district as an EAK type program? In our district, those that are close to the cut-off or up to 3 months past it are offered a half-day program that starts in January. They do this program until June and then move into the regular kindergarten in the Fall. This could be a good compromise for you.
You can also just try it and see what happens. If it doesn't work, pull him out and try again next year. Even if he goes the whole year and you still think he needs another, the move will fix the akward social aspect. Making new friends in a new school is pretty easy in the early grades. Besides, if you send him to preschool, he'd likely be leaving all those friends in the Fall anyway.
Personally, I'm not in favor of red-shirting developmentally appropriate children. I taught preschool for several years and there were really only 2 or 3 kids I truely felt needed an extra year. I sent my youngest to kindie at 4 (late fall birthday) and he's in middle school now with no regrets. Yes, listen to your gut but make sure you have a real clear picture of what his peers actually look like. Your eldest has been homeschooling, it sounds like this one has been home and not at preschool. You may find that your DS isn't nearly as little and immature as you think he is next to his age peers.
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What about keeping him home this year, registering him as a homeschooler for K, then next year making the decision about weather to do K or 1st in the new school. I probably wouldn't do K twice, though I know people who have and were happy with how it worked out. I agree with a PP who said that you know him best and if you don't think he's quite ready then wait. But if you register him as a homeschooler in the meantime you will have more options once you get where you are going, learn more about the schools, and see how your son has grown or matured in the meantime.
Our school does 2 years of kindergarten on purpose :)
Mama to Nell (11/15/06) and Maggie (10/9/10) . AFTER 2.5 YEARS, I AM AN AUNTIE!!! HOORAY TEAR78 and welcome Anika and Brand New Baby Boy!!!! Circumcision: the more you know, the worse it is; please leave the decision up to your son!
Wow, I wish our school system had a Jr. K or 2 yr K program!
There are some private schools around here that offer this option but they are very expensive. I spoke with the registrar at our local school today and she said that they generally do not allow 2 years of K unless the child is very far behind, but that "that doesn't really happen because they always make sure they're kids are ready to move to the next grade". She said parents have the option of just not re-enrolling them for a year, which then means I either keep him home or send him to private K.
So now I'm thinking he'll just do a year of private Pre-K somewhere instead of 2 years of K..
Just thinking out loud here.. If I do private pre-k then I'll enroll him for 3 days a week, half day. I'll homeschool him on the days he's home.
Thanks for your thoughts!!
first *nice user name* ;)
I think private pre-k and homeschooling and then K next year sounds like a good plan. Also, can you skip K and go into 1st? We have a friend who did that (it was more an issue of not getting into the K they wanted) but the kid had a late August birthday, did his "5" year at preschool and will be starting 1st in Sept.
In my state K is not mandatory so you can skip it if you want. And you can also "put off" the deciding. He does prek this year and next year you see where he is at and decide if he goes to 1st or K.