Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,357 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son turns 5 in October. Our school district has an early entrance option for kids who turn 5 between Aug. 31 and Oct 31. My son is big for his age (looks 6-7), chooses to play with kids who are a year or more older than himself, already knows general K curriculum (knows all letters and sounds, numbers to over 100, teaching self to read, knows a lot about science), is good socially, and loves learning and being in school.

I think he will hate being in preschool for another year (he would be among the oldest), and that is the main reason why we are trying this early entrance thing.

Anyway, today was the first "assessment" for early entrance, and he wouldn't do it. Flat out refused. All of us were sitting in an auditorium, and then the teachers walked in and started calling names. The kids were supposed to line up and go with the teacher who called their name. All of the other kids did it.

I was frankly surprised that everyone else did it. My son has never just had to go with an adult to a place he has never seen before to do something he knows nothing about. Does this mean he's not ready for Kindergarten?

My son has been to daycare briefly, two different preschools, swimming lessons, soccer lessons, zoo camp, all with no problems/shyness/separation issues. But he had a little time with a parent in the room with him to get used to it. He said he felt shy today. They may not let us try again.

My husband and I are upset, because we think he will really dislike preschool if he is one of the oldest, and dislike kindergarten eventually when he goes because he will be that much older and that much more ahead. I would homeschool for next year, but I don't think he would like that. He loves being around kids and school. All of his friends will be in Kindergarten or full-time daycare next year, which will limit his socialization opportunities.

So we are going to see if they'll let us try again (if they do, how do we get him to go along with it?), but if not, we are thinking about private kindergartens or multi-age non-traditional schools. We are big public school people, though, and it will hurt to do that.

What would you do? Do you think it was wierd what they did?

Thanks, L.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,696 Posts
I dont understand what "early entrance" means. Here, all the kids have to be 5 before October 12th. No exceptions. So your school district says 5 before October 31st then?

I am sure if you called the school and tell them you missed the appointment you could have another. Surely they would let you enroll him (if he wants to go) "late", right? I did not register my son until August (here school starts in mid august), and it was not a problem. I dont think that your son's refusal was odd... I took my son on a quick tour of the school before we enrolled him. Maybe something like that would help? Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
We have a young one here as well. Sammy will turn 5 on September 13th. October 15th is the Kindergarten cut off. I agree with rescheduling the appointment, and also touring the school before the meeting. You can probably visit the school a few times in the summer. Most schools have staff their 3 or 4 days a week, just give them a call. Also do a few visits to the school playground, I'm sure he'll be fine.

We had a few reservations putting Sammy in this year, however we feel he's very bright, and is extremely social with his peers at pre-school. I think he'd be truly bored in pre-school another year. Plus he has a 6-year-old brother in the 1st grade. The pro's weight out the cons, and we're going for it.

We talked with the school's guidance councilor and they said even though Kindergarten is a whole day thing now, (for the past 3 years I think) we do have an option for him to go 1/2 day, although I don't think that's anything I have to accept. They also met with Sammy and the way he interacted with them and his future teacher; they see no reason for him to go that route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,357 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The wierd thing is, this is a district-wide assessment, and it is not at the school he'd be going to, and it's with teachers he's never seen and will never see again. I think it would be much better if it was at the elementary school he'd be attending, with teachers who he could meet beforehand. Hello, bureaucracy......

And all the paperwork says, "the meetings cannot be rescheduled" and "no late applications will be accepted" in very non-friendly ways. This from a school system facing declining enrollments and losing many families to private schools......ug. I am going to try to reschedule, as sometimes bureaucrats are able to transcend their bureaucracy, but I will not hold my breath.

L.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Wow, that sounds like a difficult and annoying process. How on earth do they expect our little ones to get comfortable with their settings? I'm sorry for what they are putting you and your DS through. I hope your able to reschedule your appointment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,375 Posts
I'll give you my take on this.
It would be great if a kindergarten teacher could give their perspective too.

I've been told that willingness to go with the teacher is part of the assessment. The teacher who told me this said that they understand that it depends on personality and previous experiences as well, but they are concerned if the child won't leave the parent. And often different kindergarten teachers do the assessment, in our district it falls under voluntary overtime so you get whoever wants to do it.

Not agreeing, just sharing what I understand.

I would contact the person in charge of kindergarten enrollment and tell them you need to schedule an early enrollment assessment, that your child wasn't feeling well that day and couldn't complete the process. I would also bring up that his preschool teachers really feel he is ready for kindergarten, if true. Their opinions have more weight than yours.


If they agree, and you might have to go up the line a bit and keep asking why not, then start prepping your son for the separation. If he does attend school he will need to accept all the teachers/staff as safe adults, so you may as well start now.

If they don't agree, I would look into either private K (my first choice) or preschool with an pre-K class specifically for older preschoolers. My daughter attended one, all the kids were 5 yo before January and I think it helped as compared to a regular 4/5 yo class. If you do private K, check on the process for enrolling in 1st grade after private K if your child has a late birthday. From what I understand, the policy varies by district.

If your best choice does turn out to be homeschooling, can you use the summer to connect up with a homeschooling group to provide the social aspect? And again, check on enrolling in 1st grade next year, it can be different for homeschoolers too.

Isn't it amazing how a moment's indecision can turn your options upside-down? Good luck working through this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,476 Posts
Our dd misses the new cut-off date (will go into effect in Spetmeber) by 3 weeks. She too is very tall, articulate and social. Unfortunately our school district doesn't care whether the child is ready-or-not. Just where the child's birthdate falls.

We are sending our dd to a private kindergarten. I can't even imagaine her going back to nursery school again.

You son sounds completely ready to me. It sounds like the testing procedures are flawed.

I would say not to stress, but if you are anything like me you will. Can your son be retested? In the retest he may be one-on-one or in a small group with a teacher. That should be a lot less stressful on him than the cattle call he experienced.

Please keep us updated. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
512 Posts
It sounds like an unfortunate screening process but I do think PP is right that they are testing whether the kids have separation issues. In our district, I'm starting to think that people who go against the teachers' advice (such as by advancing their child to the next grade when the teacher has recommended repeating the current grade) usually end up where the teachers originally recommend. I'm not sure if this is because the teachers are right, or if the teachers retaliate against parents who defy their advice. Anyway, if the school is very resistant to letting your son reschedule the appointment, maybe it's best to do kindergarten elsewhere- can he test again next year to see whether he can go straight to PS first grade? We don't have early entry, but my son is the youngest in his class, in a district in which most parents "redshirt" their kids, and I feel he has had to overcome a lot of preconceived notions to prove that he was ready for school.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,357 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I definitely get that they are looking for separation issues, but have these other kids just been left at unfamiliar places and expected to follow an adult they have never seen before?

I am a teacher, and my experience has always been that kindergarteners are exposed to the classroom and meet the teacher before the school year starts, and their parents are allowed to bring them to the classroom, at least for the first week or two. I am not saying that they have to go through all of this for the testing, but I don't think it would be out of line to let the parents walk to the classroom with the kids.

This is a kid who I have to seek out and remind him to say good bye to me when I drop him off at pre-school. Ug. It's just frustrating.

Thanks for all of the replies. We will see what is up tomorrow, when we can call.

L.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
512 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kari_mom
I've been told that willingness to go with the teacher is part of the assessment. The teacher who told me this said that they understand that it depends on personality and previous experiences as well, but they are concerned if the child won't leave the parent. And often different kindergarten teachers do the assessment, in our district it falls under voluntary overtime so you get whoever wants to do it.
This is ridiculous. My 8 1/2 y/o isn't just going to go with a stranger willy-nilly. Even if I say it is ok. She is going to be hesitant. She is an outgoing child who has been in school before. I think the expectations are squewed.

I feel the later the better. My oldest is one of the youngest in her class despite having a birthdate early in the school year. Out of 24 kids in two classes, there are only 5 kids younger than she is. She turned 7 just after staring 1st. My youngest makes the cut-off but, I have held her back. She will be 7 prior to starting first grade.

As to homeschooling, my kids did more socializing and being with friends they actually enjoyed than they ever have in school. Academically they were on par. Socially, they surpassed schooled kids a lot. They had such a wide variety of friends and experiences. They hate being placed with age-mates now. My oldest has said many times she much preferred homeschooling. Once money is under control again, we hope to get back to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,157 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by mpeel
I feel the later the better. My oldest is one of the youngest in her class despite having a birthdate early in the school year. Out of 24 kids in two classes, there are only 5 kids younger than she is. She turned 7 just after staring 1st. My youngest makes the cut-off but, I have held her back. She will be 7 prior to starting first grade.
It is such a tough spot to be in when your kids will always be the youngest or the oldest. My girls are both in that spot too; their bds are at the end of August & the end of Sept. We did/will start both of them in kindergarten right before they turned 5. It is really too soon to know how it will work with younger dd (she'll be starting kg this upcoming fall & will turn 5 on Sept. 27th), but I am sure that it was the right choice with my older dd. She is the youngest in the class by a bit, but there are a few other kids close in age to her.

There is always going to be a year or more of an age span in each grade &, although I would love my kids to be right in the middle, they weren't going to be no matter what I did. It was either youngest or oldest. I, personally, am much more comfortable with them being the youngest, but, of course that is going to vary from family to family as to what is right for their kids.

I have actually never heard of a district that tests the kids who are on the cusp of the age requirement to decide if they let them in. It does seem like a lot of pressure & there is no research to support that as a good means of determining whether the children will be successful.

I do hope that they give your little guy another chance. If not, and you really feel he is ready, I'd go for the private school if you can. That was our plan for our younger dd. She missed the cut-off until they changed it for the upcoming year. Ours is now Oct. 1 (changed from Sept. 15), so she makes it by 3 days.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,789 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by ChristaN
I have actually never heard of a district that tests the kids who are on the cusp of the age requirement to decide if they let them in. It does seem like a lot of pressure & there is no research to support that as a good means of determining whether the children will be successful.
I think it is actually fairly common. I know early entrance testing is available in our district (DD did the test but we have homeschooled the last two years. But, since she did the test she will be going into the 2nd grade next year instead of the 1st when she starts school). I think it varies district to district and some districts have more stringent standards (in our district you only have to be at the level of an average 5 year old on the day of the test--- which can be up to 4 months before school actually starts. In other districts I know kids are expected to be at the level of an average 5.5 year old--- so actually ahead of the older kids to balance out their age).

DD had *never* gone w/strangers before her test but we knew what would occur (that part of the assesment was that they went with the adult and did the test w/out a parent present) and so had prepared her. She was ready to be done with preschool and wanted to take classes through our homeschool group, but to do so she had to pass the test. When she understood that, she had no problems going w/the adult to take the test and actually really enjoyed it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,255 Posts
Here the cut-off is February 28th. They must turn 5 by February 28th durring the school year they are to attend. DD's b-day was April 19th and she was 5 1/2 when she started kindergarden. She was way advanced for her age. She could read going into kindergarten. She had/has wonderful social skills and has no anxiety at all when it comes to strangers. I was upset at first because I thought she was ready at 4 1/2. However, I am glad she went when she did. It really gave her time to prepare herself for kindergarten. She is now the top student in her grade 1 class. She is way ahead of everyone else and she loves school.

I realize that your son would be almost 6 when he starts kindergarten, but I really think it's a good idea to wait. I think he will only hate pre-school if you make it an issue. Will he really care? At 5 isn't just important to be able to play with friends and have fun?

Our ds was born on February 28th. We have the choice of putting him in kindergarten at the age of 4 1/2. I can honestly say that regardless of the level he is at, I will not put him in at that age. I feel I will just be setting him up for a tough ride, even if he shows signs of being ready. I think that the age restriction is a must. It's important for the child's school career that they enter at the appropriate time. His experiences in kindergarten and the early grades will set him up for the rest of his school life. If for some reason he's not ready, even if he shows all the signs of being ready, it will make his school life difficult.

There is nothing wrong with him being older or bigger than the other kids. It's only an issue if YOU make it an issue. I know we all expect great things from our children and want them to excell at everything they do. It's for this reason that I feel early addmitance into kidergarten is not a good thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,157 Posts
I'm originally from CA & I know that the cut-off there is in December (one other state has a cut-off that late), but I thought that CA & the other state that I can't remember were the latest in the US. I haven't heard of anywhere with a Feb. cut-off, either. Although I have gone for sending my kids when they just made the cut-off, I agree that I would not do so if they were not going to be 5 until the spring. That seems awfully young for kindergarten!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,357 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
As to homeschooling, my kids did more socializing and being with friends they actually enjoyed than they ever have in school. Academically they were on par. Socially, they surpassed schooled kids a lot. They had such a wide variety of friends and experiences. They hate being placed with age-mates now. My oldest has said many times she much preferred homeschooling. Once money is under control again, we hope to get back to it.
I know that many homeschooled kids have a very strong social life and lots of great opportunities. In our particular case, though, with me being somewhat introverted and caring for a high needs toddler, I don't think I could provide all of those opportunities. Not yet. Maybe when my daughter is older. Connecting with homeschooler groups around here will entail a lot of driving, and my daughter screams in the car. So, no knocking of homeschooling here, just don't feel that I can do it well at this point.

CJR - I have to respectfully disagree with you, while I fully understand your points. I was the youngest (and largest) kid in my class, gifted, and my mother would never skip me a grade, even though it was recommended twice. I was bored, bored, bored. Hated school until college. My husband was the youngest (and largest) in his class, gifted, and they held him back to repeat kindergarten for social issues, and he was bored, bored, bored. Hated school until college.

Our personal experiences, as well as watching our son choose older children as playmates repeatedly, perform end-of-kindergarten academics of his own volition, seek out all manner of intellectual stimulation constantly, lead us to believe we are making the right decision for our son. Sometimes when you wait, you are missing an important window of opportunity for your child to be really excited about school and learning.

He does not want to play with younger children and be the oldest and the best at everything. He wants a challenge. That's the type of kid he is. I know that there are kids who aren't that way. If I had any inkling that he would struggle with any aspect of kindergarten, I would can this entire plan.

His preschool teacher really supports his going to kindergarten next year, and offered to write a letter on his behalf. That will help.

L.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,255 Posts
Quote:
CJR - I have to respectfully disagree with you, while I fully understand your points. I was the youngest (and largest) kid in my class, gifted, and my mother would never skip me a grade, even though it was recommended twice. I was bored, bored, bored. Hated school until college. My husband was the youngest (and largest) in his class, gifted, and they held him back to repeat kindergarten for social issues, and he was bored, bored, bored. Hated school until college.
We were concerned about DD being bored. We enrolled her in a bilingual school and that solved that problem. She's doing very well and it's just enough of a challenge for her that she's not bored, yet still at the head of her class. I still don't think she would have done as well if she had entered before she did. There were younger kids in her kindergaten class that were always acting up and disrupting the lessons. Even in our youngest dd's class there are children that should not be there. They are not bored, they just don't have the capability of sitting without being disruptive. Talking to her teacher, it's frustrating for her to have to deal with the constant interuptions. These children are not learning what they need to and consequently next year will be a stuggle for them. Every year she has to deal with children that enter school too early, even though their parents feel they are ready, she says that most are not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,339 Posts
Being ahead now doesn't mean they will always be ahead. My oldest son went to Pre-K instead of Kind. the year he turned five (June baby). It was the best thing to do with him. He was age eligible for Kind, but we decided to wait. His preschool teachers also agreed to should have gone when he was five. We disagreed and put him in a private pre-k. He went to Kind. knowing how to read, and already knew most of what they did in Kind. This year he just finished third grade and we have noticed to is no longer ahead of all his peers. He still is ahead for reading, but math and such have got up to him. My youngest son will be facing the same age/readiness issues. He will be five next year, but I will not send him at five. I think you risk them being put at a disadvantage later in their school career. You will also have a young teen who will not be able to drive at the same time as their friends. Depending on your house rules, he may not be able to stay out with his friends. I think it eventually catches up to them. My youngest is ready for Kind. now, but I still wouldn't send him until he is six.
As it turns out, we will are now homeschooling so this isn't an issue anymore. All of my kids can work at their own pace and not have to worry about the schedule followed by the school.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top