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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spoke with someone from our Waldorf charter today. It had been my understanding that the 1st year kindy was more like preK, where they took them at age 4.5. I found out that this is not true. I am not sure what age they take them, but ds who will be 4 in Jan. would not be eligible for 1st year kindy next year. He would be eligible to be a "senior kindy" the following year, making it only a 1 year kindy program for him. My ds who was 5 in June however, would have been eligible to be in the jr. kindy this year, then senior kindy next year. Is this making sense? Is this typical or just because it's a charter? This means that many children are really only eligible for ONE year of kindy, not two. Only the June, July, Aug., Sept. Oct. and Nov. birthdays are eligible for 2 years of kindy. Maybe this is because in public K in our state, they make the cutoff? Isn't it weird that they call it a two year kindy program but only roughly half the students are eligible for it? The only way the other kids would get two years is if they were found to be not ready for 1st grade upon evaluation.<br><br>
The office lady suggested I do the walk through in Feb. for prospective parents. They walk through all the classes. Then a teacher would evaluate ds 1 (a June 4th birthday, currently in public K) for 1st grade readiness. She did say though, that he stands a better chance of getting in for K. I really won't know until the end of the year. I have to see how ds does this year to really know anything. I'm just not sure it would be in his best interest to give him a full year of play next year. I could get him on the waiting list for 1st grade. This is making me crazy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut">
 

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Yes, you are making sense to me as I am familiar with this as a former Waldorf parent. One must be 6 by June 1st to enter first grade (without special evaluation). "Summer Birthdays" typically do two years of kindergarten, then; everyone else does not. Summer Birthdays are typically 7 years old when starting first grade. In public/other schools, one must usually be 5 by November 1st to enter kindergarten. So, someone with a Summer Birthday would be 6 entering (or closely thereafter) Grade 1 in a non-Waldorf school. In Waldorf, SBs <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> are a little over 7 entering grade 1.<br><br>
My child is a "Summer Birthday". I was unable to convince the school to allow an "advancement" to 1st grade despite what I thought were readiness signals. (One big reason they gave us was the lack of "change of teeth". They also tested many Kinder children doing various motor skills such as touching one's opposite ear over one's head, etc.). In our case, the 2nd year of kindergarten was not a good thing, really. But for some other SB's, it was quite fine. My child is the intellectual "in the head" sort, so it was really not a good fit. By February or so, it was apparent (to me and my DH and our kid) that we needed to change...we stuck it out and switched schools in the fall where our child was the oldest in the 1st grade.<br><br>
So, longwinded way of saying, yes, this is something to seriously think about as you are.<br>
Best!<br>
Aurora
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is the same thing this school told me when I asked about placement into first grade. That they look at things like how the child moves over the midline of his body, such as touching his opposite ear over his head. Ds can't do this yet, but he just started K in Sept. I'm not sure about the change of teeth thing. I lost teeth really late. I think I was 7 or 8 when I lost my first tooth and I'd been reading for awhile. I was a great reader, always loved to read and still do. I also tested gifted. So I don't really think the changing of the teeth means anything for a lot of kids.
 

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I don't know about the waldorf methods charter schools, unfortunately.<br><br>
It's typical at our school that the children spend two years in the kindergarten. I wouldn't say it's a firm fixed rule, but normally those children who will turn 7 before the end of first grade are placed in the first grade. The first grade teacher consults the kindergarten teachers and does an assessment of the student, as well as interview again with parents. In my children's classes, many if not most of the students hadn't lost teeth by the end of kindergarten.<br><br>
I only personally know of three families who wanted their children to go to first grade against the opposite recommendation of the first grade teacher. One of the students left at the end of first grade--it wasn't a very successful year for him. Another one has gone up and down two or three times in 11 years, neither the grade ahead nor her own age-grade has fit perfectly. And the third girl started the first grade, but by third grade her parents decided to have her join the grade below.<br><br>
If the teachers are recommending to you that your child start in the kindergarten, ask them to tell you what the benefits would be, as they see them. As a parent, I saw tremendous benefit from the two year kindergarten for two of my children. But I also saw children who joined the class for the first time in first grade, having gone to another school system previously, with probably just a single year of kindergarten in the other school, and they did beautifully without any Waldorf kindergarten.<br><br>
Linda
 

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Our school doesn't have those kind of age requirements. They go by how a child is developing emotionally and physically in order to decided where to place them. How frustrating for you!<br><br>
Jesse
 

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I think some of what you are experiencing has to do with the mix between standard Waldorf practices and public school policies. At our private school, Kindergarten is ideally two years but is sometimes 3 years or 1 year.<br><br>
My ds has a summer birthday and started Kindy at 4 so he was there for 3 years and was 7 when entering 1st grade. He would have done fine in public school at 6 for 1st grade but I wanted him to have the time and to be broadened into other areas other than his head where he would have preferred to stay all the time. He has benefitted greatly from the 3 years in Kindergarten and he is not the oldest in his class. At the time he was going to 1st grade, the cut off was 6 by April 1st with April and May birthdays considered. It has since been changed to 6 by June 1st with June and July birthdays considered.<br><br>
My dd started Kindy at 4 also but she is a winter birthday so she started after Christmas and spent 2.5 years in Kindergarten. She was 6 going into 1st grade and it would have been the same in public schools.<br><br>
Our Kindergarten typically is 4 to 6 years who stay approximately 2 years. This year, enrollment has been off and the Kindergarten took 3.5 year olds too. These kids will probably be there 3 years.
 
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