WWYD? K for next year

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by KCMichigan, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    Right now DH is one of the final applicants for a job in a state that has a Sept 1 cut off date for K. (My girls have an OCt Bday). MI cut off is Dec 1 so we were all geared up to go to K next fall. They are in a public PreK right now. If we DID move there we 'could' test into K early (as 4 yrs turning 5). or we could do PreK (or 4K as they call it there) again.

    Academically they are so ready for K. Both are at or above grade level in reading/math. Socially they are doing great as well- they are of an average size, though slender/skinny. One has an IEP for gross motor and sensory issues- but neither are likely to change much if she is given another year (she has mild cp). Their teacher is very strongly recommending K (instead of JK or developmental K for young 5s) for next Fall if we stay in MI but will not give us an opinion concerning another state.

    Soooooo......do I try to get them into K if we move (test in) or repeat PreK. They would be the youngest or the oldest depending on what we choose. No matter what they would get a program of some kind- but it may be 1/2 or all day depending on what school district we walked into.DD1 may be a behavior problem if she gets bored/restless(we face some of this now). But do I really want them at least 3 months and up to 1+ years younger than some of their peers???

    Any insight? Suggestions? BTDT??

    I know it is all 'what if' but both jobs that DH is looking at right now are the same scenario, both states allow testing in early if you are within 60-90 days of cut off date---different states.

  2. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    We kept Lennon (our oldest) out of K last year because his birthday is July 14 and the cut-off is August 1st. I really didn't think it was necessary to "rush" him into K just because he met the age-cutoff. My mom taught K for 38 years and she has always said that it is always helpful (and never hurtful) for your child to be one of the oldest kids in the class.

    Academics are only a small piece of the K experience - social and emotional maturity are *so* important too.

    I'm sure you'll get a variety of responses....do a search for "red-shirting" and you'll find some very interesting conversations here on TS, right Sharon, Kim, Renee, and Sheryl? LOL :laughing:
  3. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    This is my main concern---though right now DD1 usually takes a leadership role in her class and is very outgoing- just one of those 'friends with everyone- take charge' personalities. DD2 has some quirks socially, but they are not a maturity thing--rather they are related to her PDD_NOS dx. They have fantastic attention spans and are able to sit/follow directions/ recall rules/ share/take turns/etc and no trouble seperating from mom/dad. They both function very well in their current PreK class.

    If I went by a readiness checklist--they are ready on all levels (DD1 more so than DD2, but only due to personality types and quirkiness of DD2). But their age is what makes me stop and think (they would be 4y 10 m in Sept 2010).

    If we were in MI- there is no doubt they would go to K. There are no indications that they would benefit from another year of PreK. But actually testing them 'in' to K seems different somehow.

    reshirting is NOT common in my area at all (many- if not all- of their peers that have summer/early fall bdays in PreK are going on to K), dont know how prevalent it is in the areas we are looking at though.
  4. Juj

    Juj Well-Known Member

    Just a thought: How will they handle the process of moving? How do they handle change? Kindergarten and moving are two big things.
  5. Mellizos

    Mellizos Well-Known Member

    I personally don't understand a Dec cutoff. Most states have moved to a summer or Sept cutoff. IMHO, fall birthdays should start at 5 turning 6. Yes, there are a few kids who ready at 4 turning 5. But the vast majority are well-served by that extra year.

    I'm a Nov birthday and started at 5 turning 6, way back in the 70s. I did better in school for being one of the oldest in the class. My college roommates, both fall birthdays one year younger, struggled in college to some degree. (Not knowing them in HS, I don't know how they did).

    My boys also have a Nov birthday. They were ready socially and in many ways for K at 4 turning 5. But thankfully our cutoff is Sept, so I didn't have to make the choice. They are in K this year and thriving. The majority differences between the fall and spring/summer birthdays are readily apparent in many ways. We had an open house "museum" last week, so we saw their work on display. I could see that they are more advanced - not necessarily smarter - than their peers that have later birthdays. (All the birthday months are displayed in the room, so it's easy to put the timeline together). It's little things like better penmenship (ie more advanced fine motor skills), better grasp of numbers and math (ability to count is a poor measure of ability with numbers, I think), quicker to learn the concepts, etc. I don't think either of my boys is gifted. I just think that the extra 6+ months they have on many of their peers is to their advantage.

    My vote is to wait for an additional year if you move. Like an PP said, moving is a big deal. Taking on two big deals within a few months of each other is tough. Waiting a year won't hurt them and may just help them.
  6. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Another option would be to send them to K in a private school. If they are truly ready and do well, the school district will usually allow them to go right into first. If they have any problems, they can repeat K in the public school the following year.
  7. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    We dont have the $ for private school unless they got a complete full financial aide and I thought of homeschooling and entering them as either K or 1st depending on how they were doing, but financially I need to go back to work.

    I think the move will be OK. We are used to having family far away, so that will not be an adjustment. It looks as if right now we would move in june-ish so that leaves a few months to settle in.

    I think I struggle with the fact that they are one of the youngest now and it does not show at all emotionally, academically, or socially. Though I know it can have an impact in later years so that is my big 'if' factor. The PreK teacher says in MI to do K- they are ready (she has taught 15+ years)- but another state is a whole different 'mindset' esp since around here there is not a lot of 'red shirting' or repeating K for 'young' eligible kids even with the late start date (Dec).

    But to have no one their age is different than having a few classmates that have Fall Bdays as well. The earliest other Bday would be late August- and that is if red shirting is not common. Their is potential for them to be in with 6 yr olds when they are 4 turning 5. Yikes--that is a developmental stretch for anyone.

    I am not against repeating K either (1/2 day one year and full the next so it is still 'different') since both areas have both options (1/2 and full).
  8. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    I have to say, it goes more to the maturity of the kids than the age itself. My boys are late June birthdays, and many people told me to hold them. Well, yes, they are among the youngest in their class, but if you didn't know their birthdate, you would never know that. Both are leaders in their respective classes academically and socially. I knew two boys with Sept. birthdays, 3 days apart. One was soooo ready for K, and the other one really needed that year! And knowing him the following 2 years, he really did need that extra year.

    Since you have the option of 1/2 day or full day, sending them this year at 1/2 day sounds like a great idea, then you still have the option of moving on, or repeating later.
  9. BRMommy

    BRMommy Well-Known Member

    We faced the same question when we moved from NY (cut off at Dec 31) to New Jersey (cut off at Sept. 30) and talked to alot of parents and read alot of articles on this subject. We decided to put them in to Pre-K instead of K this year and are not regretting the choice. Academically, it's been a breeze for them and I had to supplement extra reading time at home and enroll them in extra curriculars at the community center to keep their brains stimulated. But socially, they have really matured quite a bit and my shy boy has become a leader in his class, taking care of some of the younger kids.

    Most of all, I know I made the right decision when I talk to some moms of older children. Many moms who have kids with birthdays close to the cut-off date have told me that their kids are struggling in school. They say that if they were to do it over again, they would have started K a year later. They also say that K was not so much a problem, but it becomes more of a problem in 1st and 2nd grades as the curriculum gets more academic. (Which was a big surprise to me since I thought the difference in age would begin to disappear as they got into older grades.)
  10. jamey

    jamey Well-Known Member

    I would contact the administration at the schools you are considering, and ask them about redshirting in the area. It will make a difference. Parents are holding back kids with birthday's as early as February, so if that is happening in the areas you are considering, your children could be 18mos younger than some of the other kids.

    I started my girls at 4 (turning 5 on 8/30). I went on the advice of their Pre-K teacher & their principal. The fact that redshirting isn't prevalent in the area influenced my decision. They are the youngest in the class, but there are several spring birthdays, so it's not like the entire class is a year older than they are.

    My girls are both doing really well academically & socially. I'm sure they would've been fine if I would've delayed them, but there was no reason not to send them.

    If I would've had a choice, I would've done 1/2 day, though. It's just my preference for K.
  11. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    I would also ask how common redshirting is in the area you'd be moving to. The thing that resonated with me the most was your comment that in MI, they would have other kids in the class with similar birthdays, but in the other state, not only would they be very young for K but they might be the only kids that age in the class. That makes a difference.

    Re: the "two big changes" issue -- I actually think starting K right away might be easier from that angle. (I know, that contradicts what I just said...) Going from pre-K to K is a big transition, involving a new school building, entirely different friends, etc. (Unless the pre-K is at the elementary school where they would be going for K.) So since they would be moving and having to make new friends anyway, maybe it would be better to just send them straight into K where they can get settled for the next several years, rather than sending them to pre-K and then making them go through another huge transition the very next year.

    On the whole, though, I think the age thing would be the deciding factor for me. I was always young for my class and had no problem with it (at the time or in hindsight), but things are very different in our kids' generation.
  12. summerfun

    summerfun Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I am not one for starting K at 4 or testing kids to try and get them in early, JMO. I don't see what the rush is. I guess that comes from teaching for 10 years and seeing it affect many kids in 2nd and 3rd grade. I had many students (when MD had a Dec. 31 cut off, it is now Sept. 1) that had those "late bdays" and saw many of them struggling in the later grades. Another thing to think about is maturity, not just academics.

    My oldest DD is Oct. 11, I had already decided before MD moved their cut off to Sept. 1 that I was starting her late. Academically she would have been ready to go to K at 4, but I did not want her being the youngest in school all her life. I did not want to send my 17 year old off to college either.

    Then MD slowly started moving up the cut off and the year she turned 5 she missed the cut off by 11 days. I chose not to have her tested because again, no way did I want her being the absolute youngest kids all through school.

    Now she is the oldest and it's much better. You can definitely see she is more mature than those kids that have a late Aug. bday.

    If it were me, I would not test early or start at 4, but that is just me.
  13. Lisa1+2

    Lisa1+2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with other posters that say to check in the area you may move to. In my area the official cut off date is mid October. I would say at least 85% of summer and fall birthdays (4 turning 5) wait until the following year. I have not ever heard anyone use the term "redshirting" in my city. Nonone even thinks of it as holding back really - it is just customary, almost as if the cutoff date were June.
  14. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    Thanks ladies,

    I asked and redshirting is not common to one of the areas we are looking at (the more likely one). It is not common around here where we are now either. Most kids go to PreK (free through the state---4 by Sept 1st) and then on to K at 5 (with testing in at 4 turning 5 within 90 days of cut off)---if the kids are 'reshirted' they would have to stay at home or attend a private PreK for another year.

    Now to think about it some more.......
  15. 4jsinPA

    4jsinPA Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Mine will be 5 tomorrow (yikes!) and I am still hesitant about sending them in Sept. Our cutoff is Sept 1st. I think mostly bc they are my babies but I couldn't test up. Kenna is reading already and Mitchell is doing great.
    My daughter has 2 friends with late sept/earl oct bdays and both tested up to go to k faster. They are both struggling academically right now. They were fine in kindergarten. One has to stay after school 3/week bc she is struggling, the other is in middle school and is really struggling. Where I live a TON of people test up and put their kids in school early and I just haven't seen anyone with really great outcomes. I am sure there are a lot out there I just haven't come across them.

    Good luck, I know its such a tough decision!!
  16. latb611

    latb611 Well-Known Member

    Ok I would suggest that you go ahead and have them tested, see what the results are and then decide. As for me I would put them in K all that stuff about being older is better is just not true. I have a Nov birthday and had to wait a year it sucked. Throughout my ENTIRE public schooling other kids always thought I was older b/c I was held back. It was very frustrating to have people constantly thinking I was stupid.
  17. RachelJoy

    RachelJoy Well-Known Member

    You might check if all districts in the state have the same cutoff.

    We live in MA, and I thought it was Aug. 31 cutoff for the whole state, but I just noticed an announcement from a nearby town that said Dec. 1. I googled it and found a list for every district in the state. The cutoff dates vary widely: Aug. 30, Aug. 31, Sep. 1, Sep. 8, Oct. 1, Dec. 1, Dec. 31, and maybe even a few others.

    If you end up in a new state, perhaps you could find a district with a cutoff that works better for your kids.

    Good luck!

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