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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son turned 5 on 8/15 and after much diliberation, I decided he<br>
was ready for public kindergarten. In our district the cut off date is 12/1 (a date I find outrageous). Today was day two and it has gone pretty well. He's not as tired as I thought he would be (it's full day) and he seems to be really rising to the occasion. It's not easy for him though as he is used to spending much of the day with me.<br><br>
His complaints are they make him sit too much and don't let him play enough. My complaint is today he came home with a worksheet with <span style="color:#FF0000;">red</span> pen correcting his name where he had used uppercase letters for his name.<br><br>
I know an awful lot of people who have decided for one reason or another to hold their child back due to a late birthday. My question is has anyone had a similar experience with deciding to send a child to school when they were not 100% sure. How do you know if you've made the right decision?
 

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Oh mama,<br><br>
they really expect five year olds to start the year using both upper and lower case letters? That sends a very specific message in itself. If you feel that your little one has the skills, or won't be discouraged while learning them, maybe things will be fine. If however, you are concerned about lack of playtime and a strong emphasis on developmentally inappropriate skills, maybe you could delay for a year, or find a better fit? Corrections on the second day seem awfully discouraging... I won't try to hide it, I believe that early childhood education should focus on learning through play, not worksheets, but if this is the model available, just make sure your little one is there at the right time for his needs. There's no shame in waiting another year.
 

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nolansmom, what a hard decision. My heart goes out to you because starting k-garten can be such a joyful time. It sounds like you are really struggling.<br><br>
The corrections with the red pen do sound a bit unusual. I agree with Wemberly, that k-garten should be play based and still pretty PRE-academic. Do you know what the philosophy is at your son's school? Does he like the kids and the teacher? Would it make sense to go in and discuss your concerns about his readiness?<br><br>
Keep us posted!!!
 

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Wow can I totally relate. My ds bday is on 8/14. I think about this every day. He went to the preschool program at the elementary school and he did great. I did my research on the subject about holding back or not. Based on my findings and his personality I decided to have him go to Kindergarten. The first week was awful. He cried, but that was only because he didn't want to go all day. We pulled him out of all day on the 3rd day. Now we save $270 a month.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Ever since this has happened I have been doing a lot of research on what type of school I want my kids to go to. Kindergarten is so academic at our school. I went in to help and I can't believe what she has them doing. There just 5 years old. Many people love how much the teacher is teaching and how organized she is. I'm torn, I'm starting to question public education, especially with this No Child Left Behind. I'm trying to look at charter schools or alternative schools where it's not so academic and geared towards test scores. I have even considered homeschooling.<br>
What I'm trying to get at is that I would fine out what your alternatives are. Does he have to go all day? Can you meet him for lunch? I can not believe that he had his name crossed with the red pen. Our teachers have them do it the way the do it and they eventually learn the right way. They don't want to discourage them.<br>
I'm still not 100% sure about our decision. We are moving to PA next year and I Knew I could 1- have him go to first grade, 2- hold him back or 3- homeschool. Right now I'm sticking with him staying half day kindergarten and I'm trying to find out about our options when we move.<br>
Good luck, I really know what your are going through.
 

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I have a friend whose daugter has a August birthday as well. She decided to put Emily in kindergarten last year and has really regretted the decision. It was obvious by Christmas that Emily was having trouble with the work (very academic kindy) and Emily started not wanting to go to school. By May the teacher had my friend get Em a tutor THREE DAYS A WEEK so that she would be ready for first grade.<br>
My friend is really worried that Emily's school experience has been shaped in a negative way. Emily is feeling bad that she can't read yet and makes excuses to leave the classroom all the time and she doesn't want to go to school. If my friend had waited a year, Emily would be having a much easier time of it.<br>
How do you know if you made the right decision? I don't really know, you just have to go with your gut.
 

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Unfortunately, this is a decision that is so personal to each child it is hard to give advice.<br><br>
MIL has always regretted putting DH in school (august b-day) "on time" instead of holding him back. In reality, I think he was ready, it would have been better if she had put her first DS in school early (november 18 b-day, cutoff at that time was nov 7). They were only two years apart in school, but three in age and so had a lot more competition w/each other than was probably good.<br><br>
I can't believe the teacher expects them to write their name correctly this early on. I didn't think that was a pre-requisite for kindy anywhere (and this is from a school district where reading is a prerequisite for 1st). We have decided to homeschool, and are having DD start in the homeschool group this year at 4.5 because she is definately academically ready. I am very against academics at this age, though, and would really hesitate w/a full day kindy. Perhaps you could homeschool kindy and then just let him start 1st (also full day) next year if he stays academically on grade?<br><br>
Good luck,<br>
Kay
 

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I think just-five can be a very difficult age to start kindergarten, especially for boys (maybe this is just a stereotype but it's what I've heard over and over again from teachers and parents). My son is going to turn five next month. We went back and forth about what to do because we've always felt that we'd wait until he was 5 (almost 6) to start kindergarten, but he'd been getting so bored (he literally would say "I'm bored") with preschool, it was too easy for him, he craved more structure and challenge. I visited our neighborhood public school and talked with the kindergarten teachers. One teacher told me she didn't know what was best for Eli, but shared a story about her own son and how he had a fall birthday and how she was so glad she waited a year with him because later on in 4th grade he had some trouble with learning and she was able to get him through it much easier than if he'd been a year ahead.<br><br>
As it turns out, my son did start kindergarten this fall, but it's at a Waldorf charter (public) school that has a two-year kindergarten. So next year he'll be in kindergarten again.
 

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I agree with other posters.<br><br>
When I read your subject line, I thought "if you have to ask then he is probably not ready". In my state the cutoff is 8/31 and I think that is still rough. Those summer birthdays (especially boys) would be better served with a 6/1 cutoff. A friend who was a preschool teacher for 20 years feels strongly that the cutoff should be changed to June 1st.<br><br>
All three of my daughters have summer birthdays. Only one is old enough for elementary yet and she started on time shortly after turning five. The best school here doesn't have a half day kindergarten program so we had to do full day even though I really didn't think it was best for kids in general. The fall was rough. Academically she did fine (our school is very academic) but she would get tired and frustrated by afternoon. She also said she missed me which is unlike her - she is usually quite independent. By January she was great and loves school to this day but those first months were tough.<br><br>
I think if I were you I would look into other options for school. Expecting that he would know upper and lower case letters and which are to be used when on the second day of kindergarten is ridiculous! Even my dd's very academic school didn't expect that! And every kindergartner was reading before year's end. Why squash their attempts at writing like that? I don't know if he should be in kindergarten this year or not (follow your gut instinct) but I think at the very least he should be in a different class and/or school!!!!<br><br>
I didn't pull dd when she was having a rough time originally because I feel so strongly that her school is wonderful - the best there is. I have the best gut feel about this place that I was willing to work through the transition when she was a young five. You have to listen to your gut - it is rarely wrong.<br>
Kirsten
 

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If you think that it would be better to wait, then do so. You know your child better than anyone else.<br><br>
I'm a little surprised to hear that the school even expects the kids to write their names themselves on the first day of kindergarten.<br><br>
I could and I <i>vividly</i> remember that no one else could even write their whole name in the class. And most couldn't read by the end of the year. Of course, I went a loooooooong time ago.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone for your relplies. We are now into week two and things are going okay. Ds say's he wishes he were back in preschool because he does not get to play enough. He says he does not like school because it's boring. His teacher spoke to me on the playground and said he is having trouble keeping his hands to himself ( an old problem) and she often has to seperate him because he disrupts the kids at his table. She was very understanding though as she spoke about her own ds having similar issues. Teacher says he is ready, and would not have held him back year as this often leads to behavioral problems and he is plenty smart.<br><br>
My husband and I have discussed putting him in another school but I don't think this is reality based. Not many choices around here. Homeschooling is not for me, so I guess I will have to live with the decision I made now and pray for the best. The school is too academic for me though. I honestly did not think it would be this bad. <span>Do kids ever really love school?</span>
 

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My experience is that kids usually do love school at the k-garten age, and then it gradually wears off after a couple of years. I wish they loved it forever, and I wish they'd reform schools so that kids DID love it....
 

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I don't know whether your ds is ready or not, but wanted to comment on the 'correction' of his writing. Are you sure it was a correction? It depends on how it was done, and why.<br><br>
Maybe the teacher showed him how to write it in lower case, and did so in a friendly, informative way that gave him help and didn't knock his confidence. Many teachers use red pen as standard, and that in itself doesnt mean anything. They feel that it is clearer for the child. Red pen is only a negative if the spirit of the marking is negative. Does that make sense?<br><br>
Re upper and lower case, many chidlren learn to write their names in UC at home, and the teacher reteaches it in lower case. Not a biggie. If he can already write his name, he'll correct it quickly. There is no reason to believe that she 'expects' children to write their name, just that when he showed that he can, she showed him how to do it in LC. Again, no biggie.<br><br>
The biggie for me is the nature of the classroom, if there is too much focus on 'work' and no real opportunity for play. But if he is ready academically, he'll have to make that transition next year if not now, if you can't change schools to one with a more play-based curriculum. Only you can weigh up the pros and cons.<br><br>
Good luck, with whatever you decide.<br><br>
BTW, although I have taught many, many children to write their names in lower case on arrival in school, dd types hers in capitals - I put on the cap lock, as she finds capitals easier to recognise as the keyboard is in caps. It's honestly not a big deal, she'll correct it before she starts school, and if she doesn't, the teacher will raise her eyes to heaven, and use a red pen to show her how to write it in lower case. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Just my experience<br>
We started kindergaten when ds#1 was 4 1/2, Our school year starts in February so he would have been 5 half way through the year. anyway HUGE MISTAKE, by the beginning of 1st class I was struggling to get him to school every morning. I finally woke up and pulled him out of school, I did not want the stigma of repeating so we left school for a while, during this time we moved to a new area so when he went back to school he wasn't behind all the kids that were in his class before. we sort of homeschooled, basically I just let him be a kid. He is back at school now and thoroughly enjoying it, he is doing really well in all his subjects. Ds#2 will be 5 1/2 at the beginning of the next school year and he is keen to go to school, I have enrolled him but have also let the school know that if I am not 100% sure on him going then he wont go. They are cool with it and have basically said that even if he does start and we find he isn't ready to pull him back out<br>
If you aren't 100% comfortable with the decision to send him it wont hurt to hold him back a year.<br>
The first years at school are the most important and if they don't go well it makes it so much harder later on.
 
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