Giving the "Gift of Time" - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 11 Old 10-18-2006, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS is 3 and has a June birthday. I have been planning on putting him in pre-K starting in September of next year for a while now. Since I work, I had kind of planned on finding a day care with a decent pre-K program and kill two birds with one stone (childcare and Pre-K rolled into one!). I feel that he needs to go to pre-K because he has a summer birthday and has never been in a group setting before. I don't want to dump him in full day Kindergarten without a runner-up year.

When I detailed this plan to DH, he flipped out. He is from Iran, where apparently kids don't start school until they're 6 or 7. Nobody is held back there at all unless there are extreme circumstances. So to him, having DS go to pre-K is ridiculous and wasteful. I see it as extremely necessary.

I am really worried about the summer birthday factor. He will be one of the youngest children in his class if he goes to school on time. He is a busy, active boy and I envision him becoming "that boy" in class that all the little girls (who can sit still and listen) go home and tell their mothers about. I had a terrible time in school and I really want his early schooling to be a positive experience.

I am considering holding him back a year and letting him go to K at 6. If I frame it right, DH may not be the wiser, and it COULD prevent some of these issues I'm worried about.

Has anyone done this with their summer children? How did it work out?

My main reservation is that I think most of the issues that are caused by him being "young" in K - 2nd grade would largely be grown out of by the time he is 8-10. However, I want thim to have a really good start in school. It's a problem.
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#2 of 11 Old 10-19-2006, 12:21 AM
 
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We are waiting until dd is older for kindergarten - we are going to a Waldorf school where the cut off date is a bit later - I think September 1st. I was so releived to hear that! I taught high school and there is a big difference between an eighteen year old senior and a seventeen year old senior. I already wanted to wait and not push her - at her presnet preschool she has already been put into the older group and I can see this pattern emerging that I want to stop: she is very verbal and tall for her age and more is expected of her at times than she is ready for. This makes her very self conscience and I HATE IT!!!!

Give your son more time to get used to the group setting, and let him be one of the older children. There really is no rush. Like the bumpersticker says "childhood is a journey, not a race"
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#3 of 11 Old 10-19-2006, 12:42 AM
 
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Here's my opinion. I don't "get" the idea of preparing children for school-- and I am saying this to you as a teacher (of young children). You have to really question WHAT you want your DC to learn from school that they can learn better there than at home.

Here are some typical things teachers say your DC will need-- which of these cannot be done at home?

-Listening skills
-Turn-taking (I prefer this over "sharing")
-Developing patience

All of them can be done at home, and IMO, BETTER. If your DS has problems with any of these at school, chances are it is because he is not DEVELOPMENTALLY ready for them in the way the school is presenting them, and that is OK. The school needs to change to fit him, though-- not the other way around. Just as he was ready to walk and talk at a certain age (and those took many, many steps) he will be ready, with your guidance and time, for all of the above.

I think the underlying message at schools is often about breaking a child's spirit in order to get them to follow the rules. That sounds harsh, and I certainly do not condone school without order . . .I just feel that schools have their own agenda most of the time (run by fear-- fear of failure) and have a hard time being truly child-centered.

I do not work as a teacher now (SAHM) but I will return some day and I know I will find it even more difficult now that I am a parent and understand this so much better . . .it is very hard to balance what parents and the district want vs what children NEED. Usually the 2 are on opposite sides of the spectrum.

Anyway, the bottom line is does he need pre-K? No. But if you want to give it a try for the fun of it, do it. If it is stressful for him, pull him out. There would be nothing wrong with him starting K at 6.

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#4 of 11 Old 10-19-2006, 01:25 AM
 
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lisa my dd hates academics. she will be on time to join k at 5. i am actually thinking of holding her back one year adn doing prek before she starts k.

that is if i cant hs her.

i am from asia and i agree with ur husband. BUT having said that unfortunately i have found preschools are fast becoming training grounds for K. i see what is expected of K at joining and i : : i have seen k teachers and aides quickly assess which children have gone to ps and which are directly from home.

if ur son is interested in alphabets and numbers and enjoys doing them then it is ok. but if it isnt then holding back might be a thought for u as u r thinking.

since u r looking for dcs yes u might as well look for a ps/dc setting.

my dd academically is totally ready for k. but emotionally adn because of her sensory issues she no way is ready for K or will be ready next year.

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#5 of 11 Old 10-19-2006, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius View Post

-Listening skills
-Turn-taking (I prefer this over "sharing")
-Developing patience

All of them can be done at home, and IMO, BETTER. If your DS has problems with any of these at school, chances are it is because he is not DEVELOPMENTALLY ready for them in the way the school is presenting them, and that is OK. The school needs to change to fit him, though-- not the other way around. Just as he was ready to walk and talk at a certain age (and those took many, many steps) he will be ready, with your guidance and time, for all of the above.

I think the underlying message at schools is often about breaking a child's spirit in order to get them to follow the rules. That sounds harsh, and I certainly do not condone school without order . . .I just feel that schools have their own agenda most of the time (run by fear-- fear of failure) and have a hard time being truly child-centered.
I get this, and I agree. I had sensory issues as a child and the schools were hell-bent on "breaking" me. Well, they broke me so well I ended up dropping out after 6th grade (with my parents support) for two years to heal. I was born in July and was so developmentally unready for school.

I agree that the skills you are referring to will come in time. He does already have to take turns at home, even though he is the only child. Listening skills will come in time, I hope. Likewise with patience... all that will come in time. I just really want to avoid a hellish K year at 5 to help us make this decision, KYWIM?

Quote:
am from asia and i agree with ur husband. BUT having said that unfortunately i have found preschools are fast becoming training grounds for K. i see what is expected of K at joining and i : i have seen k teachers and aides quickly assess which children have gone to ps and which are directly from home.

if ur son is interested in alphabets and numbers and enjoys doing them then it is ok. but if it isnt then holding back might be a thought for u as u r thinking.
I'm glad you gave me your perspective as an Asian person. It really helps me to understand where he's coming from!

I agree that what they are expecting of kids in K is just scary. If we kept him home until he's 6 he would most likely already be reading when he went to K.

Thing is, he does enjoy letters, numbers, counting, etc. But only if he can twirl around while he's doing them. At this time, he's just not the "sit down and listen" type.

My brother was born in August and my parents put him in a so-called "transitional 1st grade" for kids who had trouble in K. He could already read and do most of the academics, so he filled his time by misbehaving. It was a complete disaster and he ended up being put in regular 1st grade and did just fine. I am worried about the same thing happening to DS. If he can read at 6 then maybe we should try him out in 1st grade. If 1st grade doesn't work, then perhaps we could bump him back to K.
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#6 of 11 Old 10-19-2006, 03:28 PM
 
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My DS has a November b-day & I thought about getting him started in K before he was 5. He could do alot of the academic stuff for 1st graders. I waited though because socially he was not ready. This year he is in K, almost 6 and I am really glad we waited. He comes home very tired after school. A lot of teachers I spoke to also told me that boys who are older tend to fare better socially & academically in the long run.. Anectdotal, yes, but interesting.

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#7 of 11 Old 10-19-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisac77 View Post
I get this, and I agree. I had sensory issues as a child and the schools were hell-bent on "breaking" me. Well, they broke me so well I ended up dropping out after 6th grade (with my parents support) for two years to heal. I was born in July and was so developmentally unready for school.
I am so sorry.

I want to emphasize that there are no hard and fast rules and YOU know your son best. I was an August baby and one of the youngest in my class. But, I grew up at that school (my mom founded it and worked there) and was in mixed grades for several years, so eventually I skipped a grade. DH is also an August baby and did fine academically in terms of understanding the work, but he did not DO the work. His parents have wondered if they should have held him back . . .it might have helped him a lot in life to have had that extra time.

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#8 of 11 Old 10-23-2006, 09:43 PM
 
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I would suggest following your heart by listening to your mother's intuition.

Perhaps you can talk about your beliefs to your husband in a calm way and draw out of him why he believes the things he believes about children and school. Maybe a compromise can be made.

Has your son been to any playgroups or stayed at a friend's house on his own before? Introducing him to those situations would be a start.

Good luck!
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#9 of 11 Old 10-23-2006, 11:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisac77 View Post
My brother was born in August and my parents put him in a so-called "transitional 1st grade" for kids who had trouble in K. He could already read and do most of the academics, so he filled his time by misbehaving. It was a complete disaster and he ended up being put in regular 1st grade and did just fine. I am worried about the same thing happening to DS. If he can read at 6 then maybe we should try him out in 1st grade. If 1st grade doesn't work, then perhaps we could bump him back to K.
lisa in a sense i am facing the same situation with my dd who will be 5 next year. seh has sensory issues too. sensation craving. so far her need for physical play is much more important than academics.

and yes i am aware of ur bro's kind of situation too. which is why i really want not so much a good school but just to see hwo the teachers are. with my dd's personality its the teachers that will make or break her.

also just me but k is fun. and real school starts at grade 1. so i would much rather have her do k than grade 1. she still needs that transition into school that k provides. and then if she is ahead skip to grade 2.

but the key is gonna be her K teacher. and if my dd has learnt all that she has then hopefully the teacher will let her bring her own book to read or give her something challenging to do.

of course if i hs her this wont even be an issue.

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#10 of 11 Old 10-23-2006, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My mom and I came up with a game plan: private K as opposed to public school K. At least in a private school we can be sure of the kind of teacher he will get... we can visit the school and specify what we want. That way maybe we can give DS a good intro to school. Then the summer he turns 6 we will have him evaluated and decide whether or not to put him in Kindergarten or 1st grade. I think this may work without us having to sacrifice his inital K year to the public schools.
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#11 of 11 Old 10-23-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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I didn't read the full thread...

I read a study about a month ago (where or where is it....?) that children who have behavioral issues and depression in elementary school, as well as those who fall behind in reading skills are those on the YOUNG side of their class. I would hold him back a year and give him some time to mature. There is such a big difference between 3 and 4!

Marie
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