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#1 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, a bunch of moms and I were talking today. Several of us have kids with late summer or autumn bdays. I was saying that I was afraid that for my youngest (whose bday doesn't meet the cut off at the local school district) that I am afraid that 2 yrs of preschool would be too boring for him. One mom says that a new trend now is that ppl are letting their, "young" 5 yr old attend K and then letting them repeat it again when they are 6 and basically the same age as the rest of the students. This struck me as a very strange thing to do, but she mentioned that a lot of ppl are doing it, b/c K is, "free" compared to pre-k, so it is cheaper. Everyone in our area seems to hold kids back if their bdays are anytime after the month of may!!! So, the majority of kids in our area who go to K are no longer five yr olds, but mostly six yr olds. Then we got into a discussion about how some moms felt it was not good for a child's self esteem to think that they, "failed" K and had to repeat it, etc.. Thoughts?

Is this something that is happening in your area too? It just seems bizarre to me, but then again I thought it was shocking that kids born in may were being held back too. As a may bday person myself, yes I was one of the youngest kids in my class, so I guess this holding back thing has been going on for a long time. It seems kind of crazy. I feel as if they should just move the age of K to six or something, b/c that seems to be what is happening anyway and now I am thinking that my feb child will end up being one of the youngest ones in his class (and I am already worried about his social/maturity level compared to other kids his own age), b/c of this whole, "hold back" thing catching up with itself...
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#2 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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It doesn't really surprise me - especially if parents are working and trying to make ends meet. But why would a school let a child in if their birthday was after the cut off date if this was such a prevelent behavior in the area? Personally I'm planing to put my child in K when she is 5 and she is an August birthday. I don't think she will have a problem with it. But I'm also lucky in that I live in a school district with free 1/2 day pre-K for 4-year-olds. And K is full days.

My SO on the other hand would rather hold our DD back so that she would have an edge in sports by being the oldest vs youngest in the grade. And in theory be bigger/stronger than the majority of her peers.
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#3 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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My six year old (late b-day) is going to K this year. We'll eval. after a month or two and see if he needs to be elsewhere because at this point he's clearly ahead of the game for kindy. However, socialization-wise dh (longtime educator) and I felt another year at home would be best. So we did some modified kindy stuff at home, tons of field trips, etc., but I still wouldn't put him in 1st. There's more to school than academics. I think learning how to be in school is just as important. For the record we chose not to do another year of waldorf preschool because he was bored to tears and they refused ds access to books, which he was very interested in, so that wasn't a good fit.
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#4 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It doesn't really surprise me - especially if parents are working and trying to make ends meet. But why would a school let a child in if their birthday was after the cut off date if this was such a prevelent behavior in the area? Personally I'm planing to put my child in K when she is 5 and she is an August birthday. I don't think she will have a problem with it. But I'm also lucky in that I live in a school district with free 1/2 day pre-K for 4-year-olds. And K is full days.

My SO on the other hand would rather hold our DD back so that she would have an edge in sports by being the oldest vs youngest in the grade. And in theory be bigger/stronger than the majority of her peers.
See, and the topic of the child's size came up too. I have two boys, they are both very small for their age, smaller than most girls. My friend who brought up the topic told me that her DH was small for his age, he did not even start to shave until he was 21! She said that he wants to hold back his boys (who are also very small), b/c he thinks that it's hard for a boy to be the smallest one in their school. In some respect, I have to agree with him. My brothers and I were all the shrimpiest kids in our class. To a degree, I did get discriminated against for sports, b/c I was so small, but I know for sure that my brothers dealt with a lot more crap in school (bullied around quite a bit and the sports issue), b/c of how small they were compared to the other boys in their class. So, I guess I can understand more when it comes to boys, since I think that size often does end up making a big difference at that age...
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#5 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It doesn't really surprise me - especially if parents are working and trying to make ends meet. But why would a school let a child in if their birthday was after the cut off date if this was such a prevelent behavior in the area?
To answer your question, I think that there are a lot of parents who are self imposing their own cut off date. Like our school district, I believe aug 1 is the cut off date for bdays. However, like I said there are parents whose kids' bdays are anywhere btwn may-aug who feel that their kid would be at a disadvantage, so the parents hold them back a yr. I think that these are the parents who are double dipping K. It is a noticeable difference, b/c I guess that the school district my friend is in (next one over from us) has had to, "overflow" their K to another school, b/c there are more kids than, "normal" in K, due to the # who are repeaters (by choice of the parents)...
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#6 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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One mom says that a new trend now is that ppl are letting their, "young" 5 yr old attend K and then letting them repeat it again when they are 6
I've read of a trend of holding back kids so that they are older when they start K ... and I know plenty of parents who have sent their kids to two years of pre-K (for three-year-olds, then for four-years old, NOT repeating). Repeating K, though? That sounds strange. I can't imagine the PS that would allow a child to start before the cut-off date for birthdays, and if the parents did work out an exemption to get their child in early, the only reason I'd see the school putting them back in Kindy again is if they were assessed and felt to be unready for 1st grade. Which I think would be quite traumatic for any child, at any age.

My son is going to be older in K -- turning 6 end of Sept -- and while I'm glad he'll have that social confidence, etc, I'm worried that he'll become bored. It's also been strange to have most of his buddies already in K while he was still in pre-K -- even though they are pretty much at the same place academically. The age cut off thing is awkward on both sides of the birthday divide.

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#7 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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our school district actively discourages parents putting their kids in kindy for 2 years, because it messes up their enrollment projections/class sizes and their budget as well.
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#8 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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I notice a common trend here to send boys to a private "transitional" kindy program and then to public/private school kindy. In the transitional one, they teach them to read and basic math. I can't tell if this is to prep them to be ahead in kindy or to just get them up to the expected level for K.

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#9 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I notice a common trend here to send boys to a private "transitional" kindy program and then to public/private school kindy. In the transitional one, they teach them to read and basic math. I can't tell if this is to prep them to be ahead in kindy or to just get them up to the expected level for K.
I think that most ppl want their kid to have an advantage in school, so all the extra reading/writing/match in prek is so their kid will, in their opinion, start out ahead. Someone on another birth month forum I belong to was advised last school yr to start her dd on the bob books over the summer so she would be ready for prek! I don't know... that kind of just shocked me, to think that you already should be reading by the time you enroll into prek??? Crazy!
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#10 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 05:16 PM
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Interesting. I haven't run into anyone planning to repeat K.

But everyone I know with a summer boy is doing an extra year of preschool. We are. DS is special needs and even though he's basically at age for "academic" stuff, I feel like his anxiety and resulting problems with social skills, etc warranted an extra year of pre-K. He'll likely end up being on the tall side as he is 90th percentile in height anyway. But I didn't do it for sports (though I think that is part of the motivation for some people.)

Part of the reason we went for an extra year of pre-K is that I felt like it was the absolute last time we could hold him back without him really feeling like a failure over it. I would definitely not plan to have a child repeat kindergarten.

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#11 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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My daughter is repeating Kindergarten. Her birthday is in August, so last year she was a "young 5". Her repeating is not something I wanted but for her, I felt like it was best. She's repeating because of her immaturity along with other factors. It was NOT an easy decision and I felt like the worst parent, and that it was my fault.

And self esteem was definitely a biggie for me too. I felt that her repeating K was better than her struggling through first grade.
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#12 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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It was NOT an easy decision and I felt like the worst parent, and that it was my fault.

And self esteem was definitely a biggie for me too. I felt that her repeating K was better than her struggling through first grade.

I was in the exact same boat.

DS1's birthday is Aug. 6, so I enrolled him in kindergarten the year he turned
5. For the first couple of months we were still in FL and he did okay, but then we moved to NC for the rest of the year and he was completely lost. They were way more advanced than FL (in FL they were learning the sounds of the letters, in NC they were doing spelling tests with words like "purple").

Last summer we moved to CA and I enrolled him in kindergarten again. I felt horrible because he already is taller and looks older than most kids his age, but it turned out to be the best thing ever. He was able to keep up with everything and, having done alot of things the previous year, he was ahead of alot of the other kids. This really helped boost his self-esteem (he wasn't the slowest in the class anymore.) Plus, there were three other boys repeating kindergarten, so it didn't really have the same stigma that older kids would make of it.

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#13 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 07:59 PM
 
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Aug 1 cut off date? Interesting. Ours is December 1st.

I think that it can benefit children who may struggle in first grade provided that if the child makes big leaps in learning that they could move up.

My brother repeated 1st and it really helped him and now my old school district class it 1.5.

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#14 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 08:38 PM
 
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I can't imagine the PS that would allow a child to start before the cut-off date for birthdays, and if the parents did work out an exemption to get their child in early, the only reason I'd see the school putting them back in Kindy again is if they were assessed and felt to be unready for 1st grade.
This. The PS's are actually agreeing to do this?

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Aug 1 cut off date? Interesting. Ours is December 1st.
Interesting how different they are. Ours is October 1st. DS's birthday is October 3rd. He's in preschool this year and he'll be in Kindy next year (he'll be 5, just about to turn 6 when he starts). He'll probably be one of the oldest in the class. Even if he had made the cut-off, we would have kept him back a year. He's not socially/emotionally/behaviourally ready for Kindy. But he has special needs (autism) too so that comes into play. He was in a preschool when he was 2-3 (turned 3 right after it started). Last year he didn't do any schooling. This year (4, he'll turn 5 soon) he's in preschool.

I can't imagine having a child repeat Kindy for the reasons mentioned in the OP. Seems a bit crazy to me.

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#15 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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Gosh -- don't K teachers have it hard enough already? To purposely put a child into K when you know you're going to have him/her repeat seems like a big burden to place on a K teacher. If the K teacher's job is to get the child ready for 1st grade -- along with the rest of the class -- it just seems like a cruel thing to do.

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#16 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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This. The PS's are actually agreeing to do this?
I'm not sure if you were asking me, or what you were asking -- ? I was theorizing that the only reason a PS would allow a child to 'repeat' K was if the PS didn't think the child could manage 1st -- as a pp mentioned was the case for her daughter. (and hugs to her for a tough decision!)

It doesn't make sense to me that a PS administration would allow parents to purposefully send their child to K two years in a row unless there was some kind of issue/problem.

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#17 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 09:46 PM
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Oh gosh. I hope I didn't sound judgmental. For those whose kids ended up repeating K, I don't think you are bad parents at all. I suspect you are great parents who were able to put your child's needs above pride, etc. I just meant that I wouldn't plan it that way. But I really, really know that life, especially life with kids, doesn't always go according to plan.

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#18 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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I have never heard of purposely repeating K. It is not really happening around here. Our cutoff is December 31st, my daughter's birthday is December 16th. She was still 4 when she started kindergarten. I did consider keeping her in preschool another year but she was ready for kindergarten.

Can parents "force" the school to hold the child back if the teacher says the child is ready for 1st grade?
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#19 of 42 Old 08-25-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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I haven't read all of the responses on this thread yet, but I wanted to respond quickly. I have a friend who lives in a small town where the trend is to start the kids in kindy a year late so that they have an "academic advantage." She started her ds when he was 5, and he was one of the top in his class.

In my case, my ds's birthday is about 3 weeks before the cutoff. I know that he is going to be ready academically, but I also know that he is socially immature. I debate whether to start him when he is almost 5 or when he is almost 6 - he'll either be the youngest in the class or the oldest. And we can all remember that social aspects play a major role in the schooling experience. So one of the things I have considered doing is sending him through the kindy program at his Montessori, and then making a decision about where his maturity level and academics are by the end of that year. Then, I could always switch him to a ps kindy or to another private, if I felt he could use another year to catch up socially/maturity-wise. This would avoid the stigma of repeating a grade, and he wouldn't be learning the exact same things.

I guess I haven't heard of it as a "trend" and retention in general is not shown to significantly benefit children, in most cases. But there are some instances, when the children are on the cusp, that it might benefit. I wouldn't "plan" on sending him twice (esp. at the same school), but I do leave my options open. I certainly don't agree with it for childcare purposes - that's not in the child's best interest.
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#20 of 42 Old 08-26-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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I haven't heard of parent's actively trying to hold back their kiddos - but 'redshirting' is become more common in certain neighbourhoods (holding kiddos back a year).

Our cut-off is December 31. I have a Jan. 5 baby (a boy) and was overjoyed he was born on the 5th instead of 6 days earlier. I think he will do well with the extra year to grow up more (OK - he is only 2 now so no real idea how he will do, but I am still happy to be the eldest in the class, instead of the baby.)
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#21 of 42 Old 08-26-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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I have never heard of purposely repeating K. It is not really happening around here. Our cutoff is December 31st, my daughter's birthday is December 16th. She was still 4 when she started kindergarten. I did consider keeping her in preschool another year but she was ready for kindergarten.

Can parents "force" the school to hold the child back if the teacher says the child is ready for 1st grade?
I'm in the same boat, although the cut off here is 12/2 and my daughter's birthday is 11/18.

We started her in K just before she turned 4, and she did just fine. She's starting first grade on Wednesday.
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#22 of 42 Old 08-26-2008, 01:27 AM
 
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New York Times Magazine article on "redshirting" from spring 2007

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#23 of 42 Old 08-26-2008, 01:31 AM
 
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I'm not sure if you were asking me, or what you were asking -- ? I was theorizing that the only reason a PS would allow a child to 'repeat' K was if the PS didn't think the child could manage 1st -- as a pp mentioned was the case for her daughter. (and hugs to her for a tough decision!)

It doesn't make sense to me that a PS administration would allow parents to purposefully send their child to K two years in a row unless there was some kind of issue/problem.
No, it was more of a general "I can't believe people do that" kinda thing. Just thinking out loud

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#24 of 42 Old 08-26-2008, 09:05 AM
 
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Our statewide cut off just changed from November 1st to August 31st (i think). At first I thought that it was a good idea.

I have several friends whose children have been in preschool for a few years and now are faced with another year of preschool at the age of five. The preschools don't really want these five year olds (turning five in Fall) and the kindergarten won't take them yet.

There were a couple of children in kindergarten with my dd who did repeat it but they weren't especially young. I don't think that repeating kindergarten is a bad idea but I can't imagine planning on it.
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#25 of 42 Old 08-26-2008, 10:26 AM
 
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Our public school district has a "Young 5's" program - it's especially for kids that might not be able to handle a traditional K program, but are beyond preschool. They work on things like social skills, more basic academics that's a step down from K expectations, but more than a lot of preschools. After they complete the Young 5's, they go into K. I'm sure it's spendy to offer this, but it alleviates a lot of frustration and anxiety for a parent that truly doesn't know if their child is able to handle K, but knows the dc is beyond preschool.

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#26 of 42 Old 08-26-2008, 10:56 AM
 
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My six year old (late b-day) is going to K this year. We'll eval. after a month or two and see if he needs to be elsewhere because at this point he's clearly ahead of the game for kindy. However, socialization-wise dh (longtime educator) and I felt another year at home would be best. So we did some modified kindy stuff at home, tons of field trips, etc., but I still wouldn't put him in 1st. There's more to school than academics. I think learning how to be in school is just as important. For the record we chose not to do another year of waldorf preschool because he was bored to tears and they refused ds access to books, which he was very interested in, so that wasn't a good fit.
That really surprises me that 6 year olds are going into kindergarten. My daughter is turning 6 on November 9 and is going into Grade 1. I think she would be very offended if I suggested she should go to kindergarten! When I was in school kindergarten was for 5 year olds. What day is the cut-off? Here is it 5 by December 31 (well actually the start in Junior Kindergarten here which is 4 by December 31 but we homeschooled until this year).

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#27 of 42 Old 08-26-2008, 11:43 AM
 
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I have never heard of repeating Kindergarten. There is an Aug 31 or Sept 1 or somesuch cut off date in my school district. My oldest has a Jan 7th birthday and just started kindergarten at age 5 1/2, which seems perfect to me. It would make sense that he would be in the middle range for age, but some of the kids in his class are HUGE. I don't know if they are just really big for their ages or if a lot of people are sending 6 year olds to kindy.

My younger ds has an Aug 27 birthday and is turning 3 tomorrow. I'm already worried about what things will be like when he goes to kindergarten. We had planned to send him right after he turns 5 and hope to stick with that. I just hope he is not a year or more younger than most of his classmates. My dh has a Sept 6th birthday and was one of the youngest in his class throughout school. He didn't have any problems, so he doesn't really even consider waiting a year to send ds2 to school.

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#28 of 42 Old 08-26-2008, 11:44 AM
 
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That really surprises me that 6 year olds are going into kindergarten. My daughter is turning 6 on November 9 and is going into Grade 1. I think she would be very offended if I suggested she should go to kindergarten! When I was in school kindergarten was for 5 year olds. What day is the cut-off? Here is it 5 by December 31 (well actually the start in Junior Kindergarten here which is 4 by December 31 but we homeschooled until this year).
Here (MD) it is five by September 1st. DS turns 6 three weeks after school starts. Some of his classmates will have just turned five the week before school starts, he'll be older by a full year.

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#29 of 42 Old 08-26-2008, 12:06 PM
 
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We are personally dealing with this and it's a very difficult situation. The cutoff in my state is Oct. 16th, but as of next year it is changing to aug. 31st. Going by current law, my son (late Sep bday) was legally old enough to attend K this year. I researched the pros and cons of "redshirting" and it seemed the expert opinions were pretty mixed on whether a child should be held back or not. From my POV the cost of another year of childcare was a significant factor (I work FT and we just had a second child who will be in daycare). There was also the fact that DS was extremely bored at his preschool and seemed ready for something new.

So, we started him in a year-round public school that began in July. After 4 weeks his teacher called us in for a conference to discuss her concerns that he would maybe do better if he were a year older. It seems he is not starting assignments, but tending to just do his own thing, or stare off into space, that kind of thing. Although, I can tell by what he is talking about at home, that he is learning new things. And as far as what the goals were for the first quarter (writing letters, counting to 20, etc) he already knows how to do those things. Academically he is very ready, developmentally we share some concerns that the teacher has but having seen him at preschool and at home, and with the family history of profound ADD, I don't think the concerns are going to resolve on their own in a year. I think if anything we need some intervention sooner rather than later. So I have been pushing for an evaluation for him.

Honestly I WOULD take him out at this point if I had a better place to send him. But we live in a small town and our options are few. We have visited the other preschools/daycares around here in the past and honestly they are not great. The "teachers" and the "curriculums" really do not impress me. Keeping him home is not an option. What is a parent to do? Legally he is the school system's responsibility at this point, he is entitled to "a free and appropriate public education" just like every other child.

I don't think K is really meeting his needs right now, but I think the other options would be worse.
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#30 of 42 Old 08-26-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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Wednesday - It seems the teacher is more concerned about what would be easier for her not what is best for your son. It is normal for little kids to have attention span problems and to need reminders to stay on task. He's just started and I think she is jumping the gun a bit to tell you that he should be held back a year.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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