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question about red shirting


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ds2 is a year and a half younger than ds1...but as a result of their birthdates ds1 is k this year and ds2 would be k the following year. ds one is an older k and ds 2 would be on the younger end.

ds3s birthdate would put ds3 at the older end of his year.

 

ds2 is on the little side sizewise...so that is faktoring in.

 

if i held bak ds2 one year i would hab a son going into k ebery 2 years...all on the older end...ds 2 being the oldest (already 6) when starting.

 

if i do not hold bak ds2, i hab one in k this year, ds2 sarting k in the fall (5 in june) and ds3 starting three years after that.

 

I would base their learning around their aktual lebel and readiness...not the teknikal grade...but if i eber put the kids in ps....would it be better for ds2 to be on the older end of his peers...espeshially if he is little. also i kindof like the idea of habing one start ebery 2 years.

 

any thoughts would be appreshiated?

for what reasons hab you red shirted?

 

thanks for reading if you hab read this far,

btw.. i hab a kold...so the typos are klose to how i would sound if i was talking.

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I am not sure how much it matters, unless the school district in your area is really hard core about matching up the grade you registered him under as a homeschooler with his grade on school entry. I'd expect that generally, they'd take him either in his age-based grade or one year behind, based on your request and an evaluation they might do. It would probably get dicier if you wanted a child to be in a grade higher than their age-based grade.

 

As long as you're always meeting him where he is academically (including letting him start kindergarten materials next year if he wants to), I don't see where his official grade makes much difference.

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My two oldest have fall birthdays and the PS cutoff here is 12/2. I started both in Kindergarten the year they turned 5. My oldest was ready to move on to 1st the year she turned 6, but my DS will do a "transitional" year between K & 1st. He's reading pretty much fluently but not yet writing and I had to shelve K math (Right Start A) & go to a pre-K one (MEP Reception). Technically he will be repeating K at the virtual charter in which he's enrolled but that's just because they don't have a way to officially designate it "transition".

 

My oldest may do a "gap" year between high school and college if she's not ready to go off to college at 17. One of my cousins has a late August birthday and he did the community service program City Year between high school & college. He simply needed more time to mature and figure out what he wanted to do with his life.

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I call my kids whatever "grade" they are by the public school cutoff (so they are the same grade as aged peers). I teach them at whatever level they are at academically and don't worry about the grade designation. I think of the grade level as more of an answer to a social question.

:iagree: Exactly.

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I call my kids whatever "grade" they are by the public school cutoff (so they are the same grade as aged peers). I teach them at whatever level they are at academically and don't worry about the grade designation. I think of the grade level as more of an answer to a social question.

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal

I looked at what age I wanted my kids to graduate and "named" their grades accordingly. I prefer that they be a minimum of 18 when the graduate so most are (or will be) on the "older" side according to what the public school cut-off is but since many where I live prefer their children to be on the older side their ages are really the norm (a large percentage of their "class" will graduate high school at 19). If I started them according to the public school cut-off they would be on the very young side. Their "grade level" has no bearing on the level of their school work.

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What does being little have to do with being ready to start school?

 

Would you start a dc who was large for it's age earlier than the age/grade requirements?

 

Size has nothing to do with school readiness.

 

Is your ds showing signs of being ready to learn?

 

My dc are spaced the same way yours are. My dd is in first and is an older first grader. My ds is in k and is on the younger side. My k'er was very ready for school. My next ds is 3 and will be 2 grades behind my other ds.

 

All my dc are very small.

 

Judge me by my size do you?-Yoda

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
What does being little have to do with being ready to start school?

 

Would you start a dc who was large for it's age earlier than the age/grade requirements?

 

Size has nothing to do with school readiness.

 

Is your ds showing signs of being ready to learn?

 

My dc are spaced the same way yours are. My dd is in first and is an older first grader. My ds is in k and is on the younger side. My k'er was very ready for school. My next ds is 3 and will be 2 grades behind my other ds.

 

All my dc are very small.

 

Judge me by my size do you?-Yoda

I think she is thinking in terms of how his size might affect his relations with his peers as she said that she would base his learning on his readiness and not his technical grade.

 

ETA that one of my "red shirted" kids (late September birthday, will graduate at 18) is just the opposite, on the large side. He's the only 6'2" 9th grader in his "class," LOL. If we were into sports I'm sure someone would accuse me of red shirting him so he would have an advantage on the sports field but we are not a sports family so instead we have people asking why he's not in a sport. Guess you can't win, LOL.

Edited by Cheryl in SoCal
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I'm very glad that my parents were able to start me "early" despite my small size. I missed the cutoff by just 29 days. I was very definitely ready and mostly found school pretty boring.

 

My dh's parents got him started early as well. He missed the cutoff by 41 days. He ended up skipping another grade later on, so he was two years ahead of his cutoff grade when he graduated.

 

I placed my middle dd ahead of the cutoff. She missed the cutoff by 27 days, but she's very definitely ready and needs to be in the higher grade. She needs to be able to start classes at the cc this summer. Having to hold her off for another year would NOT be good for her. She has always been and will always be small. She has finished growing and is just barely over 5' tall. For most of her life people have thought that she was 2-4 years younger than her actual age until they started talking with her.

 

I am also quite small at 5'1.5". I was always the smallest in all of my classes, but if I'd been in the next lower grade, I still would have been the smallest in all of my classes, so that really didn't make much difference.

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ds2 is little and ds1 and ds3 are big...so they will all be on one end or the other.

 

i was thinking sinse his bros would be big and old in their grades, adjusting ds2 a little would eben things out. i do not think differenses are bad...i just do not want ds2 to be the odd one out.

 

i need to deklare in april wether ds2 will be in k or that i will be postponing k, so i do not hab to deside yet.

 

thank you for your thoughts.

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I don't think size really matters at all. In a ps classroom, there will be kids of all sizes. And some kids will be small even if they're held back (one of my son's classmates in first grade has a brother in third grade who is shorter than the first grader in the family... the kid is just short and always will be, but he wasn't held back, since he was well ahead of the academic curve).

 

I think for labeling purposes, if you plan on putting him in ps at any point, you would want him to go into either the grade level you labeled him or the grade behind that. It'd be more difficult to put him into a grade level above what you declared, and you don't want your child bored to tears because they've been placed in the wrong grade level. Since you're homeschooling, the social aspect really doesn't matter, as you will be meeting your child where he is academically.

 

Incidentally, I have a Nov birthday child that may be ready for K before he's supposed to start K. We'll probably stretch K out over 2 years, if he lets me. We have a Sept. 1 cutoff date here, so I won't declare him until then, and I'll decide at that point what to declare him as. He's about to start reading, and if he follows the rest of the family in math, he'll be ahead there too by that time. The nice thing about homeschooling is that I won't have to have him sitting through "Let's count to 10!" when he's ready for double digit addition. :D (BTDT with one child already, who was on the younger side for his age and was NOT red shirted)

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If it we me, I'd just go by readiness: is ds2 ready for K?

 

Pros to red shirting:

if ps is likely and he's likely to be in sports

if your state pays CC costs and you want an extra year of free college coursework

 

Pros of NOT red shirting:

ds might feel "smarter" if he's the youngest of his peers (I did, lol) vrs feeling "dumb" being the oldest (dh did), feeling he was "held back" (not so much an issue hsing, but I'd be on top of his siblings if they start teasing)

 

start earlier, finish earlier (I graduated hs @16 and was ready for college where age was never an issue; had BS @ 20 and on to grad school -- easier to focus on school younger)

 

Clearly, I have bias based on personal exp, but YMMV and only you know what's best for your clan. My only advice would be to think about what is best for you NOW and not worry so much about long-term what-ifs. *IF* you put him into ps in the future, deal with which grade THEN. Have you asked ds2 what he'd prefer? If it's a toss up why not let him decide? If he's raring to go, go. If not, red shirt. If he complains later, tell him it was his choice. :)

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If it we me, I'd just go by readiness: is ds2 ready for K?

 

From my perspective, being ready for K is less of an issue than being ready for 1st. A student needs to have a certain level of writing ability IMHO to do first grade work. My oldest was okay with writing so I started her in 1st when she was not quite 6. My DS can't even write his name yet. The fine motor skills just aren't there. I'm gently working through the HWOT pre-K program with him but he's definitely going to need a "transition" year in between K & 1st. I just can't pass him along to 1st if he's lacking the writing skills.

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My DS can't even write his name yet. The fine motor skills just aren't there. I'm gently working through the HWOT pre-K program with him but he's definitely going to need a "transition" year in between K & 1st. I just can't pass him along to 1st if he's lacking the writing skills.

 

Calvin couldn't write his name at six. He was ferociously bright, however, so it would have been a shame (and would have caused problems in our home education) if I had only used a pre-K curriculum which matched his motor skills. I certainly used easy materials for his handwriting, but otherwise allowed him to advance. He used dictation, copying, stickers.... any way that we could find to allow him to express himself. By the time he was about nine, the mental and physical skills were coming together. He still writes slowly now - that will probably never change - but I have no regrets in letting him move forward intellectually while his motor skills caught up. He is now grade skipped in private school: the school gives him extra time for exams. It's not a big deal.

 

To the OP: My second child is small for his age and is also young for his year. He is in the right grade by ability, which is - to me - the important thing.

 

Laura

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal

To me "grade level" has nothing to do with academic level. My children work at whatever level they are at regardless of what grade they are labeled. If they were in public or private school their grade level would dictate what they learn but when you homeschool it doesn't. That's the beauty of homeschooling. Just because my child is labeled Pre-K doesn't mean they are doing Pre-K work. My ds who is in 9th grade and turned 15 at the end of September is academically advanced and works well above his "grade level." Well, in all areas except spelling:001_huh::lol: Not only will he be able to complete what is required for graduation but he will be able to complete many advanced courses, which will be to his advantage.

 

I'm not saying everyone should red shirt their children. I'm just pointing out (or trying to point out) that when you homeschool the child's "grade level" has nothing to do with their academic level because as homeschooler we tailor their education to meet there needs.

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Calvin couldn't write his name at six. He was ferociously bright, however, so it would have been a shame (and would have caused problems in our home education) if I had only used a pre-K curriculum which matched his motor skills. I certainly used easy materials for his handwriting, but otherwise allowed him to advance.

 

I guess I was unclear- he is only using pre-k materials for handwriting (HWOT) and at the moment math (MEP Reception). He'll be starting K math probably after the holidays and will continue on to 1st grade math whenever he's done with that. He's using 1st grade materials already for LA (AAS 1, FLL 1) just adapted for his lack of writing. Science & history he's tagging along with his big sister.

 

But I do expect a first grader to be able to do a basic level of writing. The kind of copywork found in WWE1, the kind of simple dictation found in AAS, writing at least some of his answers in math, etc. If he struggles to write even his name, I just don't feel right passing him along to 1st grade. I can always do a grade skip later on if the situation warrants.

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i would wait a year to declare him K, why not give him the extra year before calling it official? i don't know how reporting goes in your state, but even if he knocks out K work if he is taking a little more time to catch on to a skill your state considers 1st grade or even 3rd grade there is no pressure because you have that time built in. and i don't think you would be penalized ever if he ends up accelerating.

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As the sister of a boy who was the youngest in his class and as the mother of two kids who are the youngest in their classes, keep him back.

 

You can always do academics any way you want but socially he is more likely to be a leader, not give in to peers and in general function better if he is on the older end of the range in peer groupings. There are a ton os statistics to back me up on this. Kids who are older become the leaders more often than not.

 

As a mom teaching her kid the issues are more subtle. I have to remind myself that my son is young for his grade and less maturity and ability are to be expected. It would have made our relationship easier if we had waited a year. Now he is just too old to make that kind of change. Academically he can do it, sure, but it is harder for him than if would be if he were a year older. Even homeschooled kids have to learn to be organized and get their work done completely and accurately. At this stage in the game, I really wish he had another year to mature before having to do High School and all that goes with the "this really counts" stuff. He can do it, he's a great kid, it's just harder than it needs to be.

:iagree:

 

My oldest son was born just 5 days prior to our state cut-off (at the time). He is technically in the same grade as cousins and df's children who are 11mos and ,1, 2 and 3 weeks older than he is -- and it really shows. It didn't show so much at 5... but at 11? YIKES.

 

Please know, this isn't the case for *all* children. I would have been fine with a whole grade skip (or more), socially, emotionally, and academically -- other children's personalities don't fare as well (my mother is one).

 

Yes, teach them whatever their level may be at the time, but if I had it to do over again I would have gone with my gut -- and despite academic readiness -- held my son back for other reasons (writing, maturity, etc.) It is really biting us now, and some things are much more difficult than they need to be.

 

We are taking our "gap year" next year -- and hoping the radical curriculum changes, and some deconstruction (and our new home) will help remedy the areas that have always been lacking, but now that he's so much older are glaring issues instead of minor ones.

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As the sister of a boy who was the youngest in his class and as the mother of two kids who are the youngest in their classes, keep him back.

 

You can always do academics any way you want but socially he is more likely to be a leader, not give in to peers and in general function better if he is on the older end of the range in peer groupings. There are a ton os statistics to back me up on this. Kids who are older become the leaders more often than not.

 

 

 

But, unless you have twins or something like me, there is no "class." There's no one to compare the kid to. The kid is his/her own class. I understand the arguments, but do those statistics even apply when we're talking about homeschoolers? It's just a social designation as much as anything. My kids are at the lowest age end of 1st grade - we do things with kids who are "K" and kids who are "1st" (not to mention kids who are "2nd" or "pre-K"). But even that is mostly sports and fun activities - not something academic that might invite comparisons.

 

That said, if one wants to "hold a kid back" then whatever. As it's primarily a social designation, I still don't think it really matters.

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But, unless you have twins or something like me, there is no "class." There's no one to compare the kid to. The kid is his/her own class. I understand the arguments, but do those statistics even apply when we're talking about homeschoolers? It's just a social designation as much as anything. My kids are at the lowest age end of 1st grade - we do things with kids who are "K" and kids who are "1st" (not to mention kids who are "2nd" or "pre-K"). But even that is mostly sports and fun activities - not something academic that might invite comparisons.

 

That said, if one wants to "hold a kid back" then whatever. As it's primarily a social designation, I still don't think it really matters.

 

I am dealing with this right now with my 11yo. My son has always been homeschooled. The pressure is seen/felt whenever we are with people who are in his same "grade." Meaning... scouts, church, with friends and relatives (which is quite often). If we had called him a Ker vs. a 1st grader (regardless of the work he was doing at the time), and put him in those actities when he was "grade ready" based on his adjusted grade -- some things would not be an issue right now.

 

For years, people assumed he *was* a grade lower than he was (not because of "smarts" or academics -- but because of his age-appropriate behavior that was viewed as immature, because compared to his "class-mates" he WAS (err, is) immature). He is a natural-born leader, but those insticts are often conflicted by his very social (wanting to be liked) nature.

 

He is always comparing himself to the "other kids" in his relationships (outside classes, cousins, friends, scouts), and now feels dumb, inferior, lacking... his confidence is being eroded. As a parent, I can only do so much. He is socially immature compared to other 6th grade boys and oh so much more immature to other 6th grade girls. He notices it, and thinks it's a problem with him. He's always been a sensitive boy, but right now this is being magnified.

 

I am spending HOURS working on this with him, helping him learn to deal with certain situations -- that I honestly feel that had I kept him back early would not be an issue today.

 

*I* never had to deal with this... my mother (a woman of 64) still laments over not being held back a year as a child (she was born on 11/24 ... 8 days before the California deadline). She was no dummy, in all the "smart kid classes," but says she always felt dumb, and that she felt like things were a struggle. She was also popular, but had to be told that as an adult by her "baby" sister. She sees a lot of herself in my son -- and I see it too. I just wish I had gone with my gut when he was 5.

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As the sister of a boy who was the youngest in his class and as the mother of two kids who are the youngest in their classes, keep him back.

 

You can always do academics any way you want but socially he is more likely to be a leader, not give in to peers and in general function better if he is on the older end of the range in peer groupings. There are a ton os statistics to back me up on this. Kids who are older become the leaders more often than not.

 

As a mom teaching her kid the issues are more subtle. I have to remind myself that my son is young for his grade and less maturity and ability are to be expected. It would have made our relationship easier if we had waited a year. Now he is just too old to make that kind of change. Academically he can do it, sure, but it is harder for him than if would be if he were a year older. Even homeschooled kids have to learn to be organized and get their work done completely and accurately. At this stage in the game, I really wish he had another year to mature before having to do High School and all that goes with the "this really counts" stuff. He can do it, he's a great kid, it's just harder than it needs to be.

 

Thank you for this post. I want to "redshirt" my son who will make the cutoff by just 3 weeks. I am a ways off from making this decision but if the current trend continues I want to hold him back. My reasons will most likely not be academic so that makes it a hard call for me but I think it will be easier to grade skip later rather than hold back later. Reading this reminds me that academics is ONE part of an overall consideration. I will always teach my kids at their ability level.

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:iagree:

 

 

Yes, teach them whatever their level may be at the time, but if I had it to do over again I would have gone with my gut -- and despite academic readiness -- held my son back for other reasons (writing, maturity, etc.) It is really biting us now, and some things are much more difficult than they need to be.

 

 

We're having the same experience here as well. We have one in 4th and one in 3rd, though they are nearly two years apart in age. We wish it was 4th and 2nd. They both do great academically, but as homeschoolers you can always let them do work at their ability level. We're more concerned now with how much younger our 3rd grader is than her peers. She is quite a follower, and is really not ready for some of the social issues that are starting to crop up. She attends school for art, library, music, etc. and there are girls wearing bras and otherwise rapidly approaching puberty. Also, she'll be one of the last ones to get her license, and she'll graduate at 17. She'll have years and years and years to be an adult, I wish we had thought to set her up to have an extra year to be a child.

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But, unless you have twins or something like me, there is no "class." There's no one to compare the kid to. The kid is his/her own class. I understand the arguments, but do those statistics even apply when we're talking about homeschoolers? It's just a social designation as much as anything. My kids are at the lowest age end of 1st grade - we do things with kids who are "K" and kids who are "1st" (not to mention kids who are "2nd" or "pre-K"). But even that is mostly sports and fun activities - not something academic that might invite comparisons.

 

That said, if one wants to "hold a kid back" then whatever. As it's primarily a social designation, I still don't think it really matters.

 

Well, unless your kids only hang out with other homeschoolers, it can matter. My middle is a 7 year old first grader while her friend across the street is a 7 year old second grader. The difference is only a few months but her mom has expressed surprise that her child would want to play with a first grader! Parents can be not so nice, using grade level to judge a child. Also our church uses grades to handle the classes for Sunday School, and that means mine have to know where they go in those situations, as well as being placed socially with the correct ages.

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If you don't think he is academically ready, then give him an extra year. We gave our oldest an extra year, and it has made a wonderful difference. He did two years of kindergarten and now is in 4th grade. He is a bright child, but socially awkward.

 

If you plan to homeschool through high school, it might not matter, but if you think you will send him to ps or private school, then I would take a year now and not later.

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I red shirted my ds with a late June birthday. We know he will go to school eventually, so it was easiest to just do it when he was little. I didn't want him being the youngest in his class. Either way, he was going to be ahead academically, so he works where he's at.

 

My brother (Aug 1 b-day) was red-shirted, and it was the best thing that ever happened to him.

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What is your 2nd ds birth month? What is your states cutoff date for k? Maybe that info will be helpful.

 

My states cutoff is September 1st. My k'ers b-day is the end of April. My 1st graders b-day is end of October. Because I don't see my k'ers b-day as being really close to the cutoff, I would never hold him back. If his b-day was end of August I would think about it and decide based more on readiness, but never size.

Edited by Tabrett
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I am going to suggest doing a bridge class with him. Here we have a bridge kindergarten class for those that don't make the cutoff or are very close to the cutoff. They do kindergarten work. At the end of the year, they can either test into 1st grade or do kindergarten. They don't feel held back b/c it is always called a bridge class or a bridge year.

I personally had a child that missed the cutoff and he did kindergarten at ps and passed. In 1st at home though, he did a mix of k/1st grade work depending on the subject. This year he is in all 2nd grade work.

Doing a bridge year is beneficial in many ways. Sometimes a year makes all the difference. Sometimes our kids surprise us in their abilities and maturity when given the chance. Sometimes the opposite is true and they need more time.

The bridge class does a different curriculum than the regular kindergarten class. They both use a kindergarten curriculum, but this way if a child isn't ready for 1st grade after the bridge class then they aren't repeating the same work. I have a son who has a December birthday and I plan to do this with him. We will have a bridge year next year. If it goes well, great on to first grade work. If not, I will have a different curriculum for his kindergarten year. And if he is like big brother, he may have some k/1st mixed together after his bridge year and then move into 2nd grade.

If you are worried about getting burned out from doing kindergarten back to back, then pick a different curriculum for each child.

As for outside activities, I would go with the appropriate grade for the state cutoff. That way no matter your child's abilities or maturity, they should be in settings with children of similar capabilities and maturity.

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What is your 2nd ds birth month? What is your states cutoff date for k? Maybe that info will be helpful.

 

My states cutoff is September 1st. My k'ers b-day is the end of April. My 1st graders b-day is end of October. Because I don't see my k'ers b-day as being really close to the cutoff, I would never hold him back. If his b-day was end of August I would think about it and decide based more on readiness, but never size.

 

ds2 end of june...the kutoff is sept 1

 

his brothers are okt and nob...so they are klose to 6 when they start k (and bigger)

 

size is not the single issue...in relation to his brothers he is little and putting ds2 in k in the fall has hin kloser to 5. if i red shirted ds2, he would already be 6 and a bigger ker.

 

i feel like i an splitting hairs a bit...but i see how it kan help in a few situations.

 

i hab to deklare plans in april for the fall...either k or postpone k

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I almost *always* say, go with your gut. If your gut says, hold him back (officially) now, do it. That is *always* easier to remedy by moving ahead later. It just does not work so well the other way around.

 

Yes, I can "hold back" my son academically, but socially, he's been in these groups now for years. So, while I can accomodate one thing -- we are really stuck (unless I want to add to his issues by forcing him to stay with the 6th graders next year in SS, vs moving up with the 7th graders). So, we have to keep everything quiet, and work doubly hard on giving him tools necessary to cope with the situations he is in.

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What I am trying to say is that there is more to "grade level" then just academics and those other less tangible things need to be taken into account when a discussion is made.

 

Also, moving a child up a level is easer to do later then moving him down. You can always red-shirt now, do academics at whatever level is appropriate and then in 7th grade decide he is ready for High School a "year early". Most kids would take that as a complement, the opposite situation (holding back) not so much.

 

:iagree:Oh, do I agree with this oh, so much!

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so what would *ready for k* generally entail?

 

For me personally, it has to do with reading. One of the reasons I started my Nov. birthday DS in K this year (CA cutoff is 12/2) is because he was very motivated to learn to read. I had been undecided about whether to do pre-K with him this year & K the following, or whether to start him in K this year & then do "transition" the next. But then in July he showed not just readiness for but serious interest in reading. I then felt comfortable starting him in K this year.

 

My oldest has an October birthday and there wasn't any question in my mind about her readiness for K the year she turned 5 because she was reading Magic Treehouse type books by that point.

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I think there is a difference between what you tell the school district for paperwork, and what you tell the child for home/co-op/whatever.

 

I don't know how a school would interpret the situation when a student enters a school after homeschooling for a number of years, but if the school/district in any way interprets moving up a grade down the road to be whole grade acceleration, a.k.a. a grade skip, you could end up with quite a fight on your hands. Many schools do not take kindly to such measures, as often plays out with gifted kids trying to move up to an appropriate level. Some schools simply don't allow it, and many require extensive documentation (i.e. professionally-administered achievement test results, possibly IQ testing, etc.). Just something to be aware of.

 

Personally, if possible I'd keep the grade level corresponding to age on all school district paperwork. Then tell the child whatever grade you like.

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I think the biggest thing to consider is if your DS is ready for K-level work. If so, then by all means, go ahead and declare him a K-er. If he could use another year before doing K work, then take it. Being a late-June birthday, I think you'll be fine either way.

 

My DH and I were always the youngest in our classes. He has an August birthday and mine is late-July. We are also small people. My mom even was cautioned against starting me in K at 5 because of my size. Both my DH and I enjoyed being youngest in our classes. I think it made us feel smarter :) We graduated at age 17, 2nd and 10th in our classes of 400+. It really didn't bother us about driving later than others. Just thought I'd share for another point of view.

 

My DD is also young for her grade, but we proceeded with homeschooling K at age 5. She struggled through private school 1st at age6. This year we are homeschooling a 1st/2nd level. We'll see whether or not she moves on to 3rd next year or does a bit more at the 2nd grade level. Despite working below grade level, we do say that she is in 2nd grade. If she were to repeat and do 2nd again next year, we would just say that she is a 2nd grader again. So, your decision doesn't have to be set in stone, is the point I'm trying to make.

 

I hope that I made myself clear...currently battling a head cold so some things might be slightly muddled :)

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Of course it matters. It matters for every sunday school class, every grade segregated field trip, every outside home academic class. It matters when you are looking at maturity and going off to college.

 

I didn't think it mattered when my oldest was the age of your kids either. Now that we are on the cusp of High School and looking at college in a few short years - it matters.

 

The fact of it is, our kids will be in outside activities eventually and in some way. These are often age segregated and activities and direction are often set by the oldest kids in the room, not the youngest.

 

As a parent it is all too easy to fall into the trap of "for goodness sake 5th graders should be able to do xyz!". It takes conscious effort to think "He could be a 4th grader, he could be a 4th grader...". Even if you pull off that delicate balance, could'a, should'a, would'a does make a stitch of difference on a high school transcript. The college admissions person isn't going to say "oh it's no big deal that he got a D in this class because his organizational abilities are a bit behind, we will just let that go".

 

What I am trying to say is that there is more to "grade level" then just academics and those other less tangible things need to be taken into account when a discussion is made.

 

Also, moving a child up a level is easer to do later then moving him down. You can always red-shirt now, do academics at whatever level is appropriate and then in 7th grade decide he is ready for High School a "year early". Most kids would take that as a complement, the opposite situation (holding back) not so much.

 

I completely :iagree:! Ds could do some academics last year (late July b-day, would have qualified for K cut-off) but he was so wiggly and emotionally immature. Teaching him this year is so much easier in every respect!

 

He just was not ready at all to do academic work at 5 and we used to fight to get through 1/2 a page of OPGTR each day, where as now he will do a whole lesson without batting an eye.

 

Waiting until he was 6 to officially enroll him in K was the best thing I could have done for him! He is excelling for a K'er, while I think he might struggle with 1st grade expectations. If his brain somehow jumps ahead in maturity in mid-elementary, I can always grade skip him.

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I think social awkwardness has little to do with age and more to do with personality. My son is not a leader. He's one of the youngest in his class at school (late June bday, and if he hadn't been a preemie, he'd have been after the cutoff and forced to wait a year). He acts the same around kids his age and kids a year younger. He has friends at church that are a year younger (one is in his class and is exactly 1 year younger... the class has K and 1st grades in the same class). My son still does not lead when around that child. In fact, that child ends up taking the lead, and it's always been that way, even before my son started school.

 

I think all kids are going to have issues of some sort in school at some point, and assigning blame to "I should have held him back a year" is probably just putting more mama guilt onto ourselves than we really need to do. I had social issues in school, and I was right in the middle of the age range (March... we have Sept cutoff here).

 

I'm really glad I did NOT hold my son back last year. He's bored enough in school as it is. I can't imagine what it'd be like for him to be in K right now. And I can't see that changing later on. If he goes back to school at some point, he'd be placed by academic ability, and I can assure you that wouldn't be a year behind his age.

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
I think social awkwardness has little to do with age and more to do with personality. My son is not a leader. He's one of the youngest in his class at school (late June bday, and if he hadn't been a preemie, he'd have been after the cutoff and forced to wait a year). He acts the same around kids his age and kids a year younger. He has friends at church that are a year younger (one is in his class and is exactly 1 year younger... the class has K and 1st grades in the same class). My son still does not lead when around that child. In fact, that child ends up taking the lead, and it's always been that way, even before my son started school.

 

I think all kids are going to have issues of some sort in school at some point, and assigning blame to "I should have held him back a year" is probably just putting more mama guilt onto ourselves than we really need to do. I had social issues in school, and I was right in the middle of the age range (March... we have Sept cutoff here).

 

I'm really glad I did NOT hold my son back last year. He's bored enough in school as it is. I can't imagine what it'd be like for him to be in K right now. And I can't see that changing later on. If he goes back to school at some point, he'd be placed by academic ability, and I can assure you that wouldn't be a year behind his age.

Is he in school now? If not, what grade level work he does has nothing to do with his official grade.

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We're in a lot of activities - but they're primarily socially driven - art, sports, co-ops - but no sit down and do seat work classes. Often they include a range of ages anyway. Eventually the kids get to be the youngest and the oldest. Plus, we're part of two small, family co-op groups - one is "K" and the other is "1st" - in one they're the oldest, in the other, they're the youngest. I signed them up for 1st grade Sunday school, because they're mature and pay attention well, but K soccer because they're not the most athletic of children (gee, must run in the family...). My kids know that this is the case and don't see any issue with it. Anyway, this is just to say that I still don't see that, for homeschoolers, that it's such a big deal. My kids just met the cutoff - there's no deferment form here for K as in many places and the age of compulsory schooling is 4.5. I just figured let them the grade they're "supposed" to be, even if they're young for grade. Fewer calls to the homeschool office that way.

 

My kids are twins so everything they do invites comparison. They're in very different places with reading and have different approaches to math and generally to learning. I know that inevitably many people have grade level expectations, but I honestly don't even know what those are supposed to be. I taught as a professional educator for many years and I encountered middle schoolers who may as well have been on different planets with their abilities. The school where I worked also met kids where they were and moved them forward. Only if there was a severe deficiency or an extreme giftedness did we talk about grade level. I got over the idea that grade level tells you much of anything about a kid a long time ago. I'm sure the rest of the world hasn't, but honestly, I can't control that and I'm not even sure what "they" are thinking anyway - different people have very different ideas about what different grade levels mean. There's not a clear standard.

 

We don't emphasize grade. Pretty much none of the homeschoolers we know do either. We emphasize doing things when we're ready and able and trying our best. I hope that can continue up to college - I've taught many kids in my former life who took a gap year or who didn't go to college at all. In my mind, there's no stigma attached to that and one of my goals as a parent is to help my kids know that too. I would even go so far as to say that those attitudes are one of the things that drives our homeschooling. If someone feels that there's a benefit in labeling a kid as K, 1st, or 2nd or whatever, then more power to them. I just don't find that it matters that much.

 

 

Of course it matters. It matters for every sunday school class, every grade segregated field trip, every outside home academic class. It matters when you are looking at maturity and going off to college.

 

I didn't think it mattered when my oldest was the age of your kids either. Now that we are on the cusp of High School and looking at college in a few short years - it matters.

 

My son is a first born. He knows his own mind and homeschooling has given him the option to keep that mind and not be as influenced by others. However, they are not influenced by him either. If he was the oldest in his 8th grade boys Sunday school class I think he would have a better shot at influencing the others instead of just being on the outside.

 

The fact of it is, our kids will be in outside activities eventually and in some way. These are often age segregated and activities and direction are often set by the oldest kids in the room, not the youngest.

 

As a parent it is all too easy to fall into the trap of "for goodness sake 5th graders should be able to do xyz!". It takes conscious effort to think "He could be a 4th grader, he could be a 4th grader...". Even if you pull off that delicate balance, could'a, should'a, would'a does make a stitch of difference on a high school transcript. The college admissions person isn't going to say "oh it's no big deal that he got a D in this class because his organizational abilities are a bit behind, we will just let that go".

 

What I am trying to say is that there is more to "grade level" then just academics and those other less tangible things need to be taken into account when a discussion is made.

 

Also, moving a child up a level is easer to do later then moving him down. You can always red-shirt now, do academics at whatever level is appropriate and then in 7th grade decide he is ready for High School a "year early". Most kids would take that as a complement, the opposite situation (holding back) not so much.

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
Yes, he is in school now, and we're pulling him out at the end of this semester. He'll then get to do more advanced work.

Thanks for clarifying! Now it makes sense.

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Of course it matters. It matters for every sunday school class, every grade segregated field trip, every outside home academic class. It matters when you are looking at maturity and going off to college.

 

I didn't think it mattered when my oldest was the age of your kids either. Now that we are on the cusp of High School and looking at college in a few short years - it matters.

 

Yes, I think this is one of those things you see as your kiddos get older. As co-ops and outside classes become more academic, and as you do things with non-homeschoolers, grade levels become a necessity. There are always a few homeschool kids who say "we don't do grade levels" the first time they show up to something, and then someone subtracts and figures it out for them. :D I said the same thing when my oldest two were little. :001_smile:

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Of course it matters. It matters for every sunday school class, every grade segregated field trip, every outside home academic class. It matters when you are looking at maturity and going off to college.

 

I didn't think it mattered when my oldest was the age of your kids either. Now that we are on the cusp of High School and looking at college in a few short years - it matters.

 

My son is a first born. He knows his own mind and homeschooling has given him the option to keep that mind and not be as influenced by others. However, they are not influenced by him either. If he was the oldest in his 8th grade boys Sunday school class I think he would have a better shot at influencing the others instead of just being on the outside.

 

The fact of it is, our kids will be in outside activities eventually and in some way. These are often age segregated and activities and direction are often set by the oldest kids in the room, not the youngest.

 

As a parent it is all too easy to fall into the trap of "for goodness sake 5th graders should be able to do xyz!". It takes conscious effort to think "He could be a 4th grader, he could be a 4th grader...". Even if you pull off that delicate balance, could'a, should'a, would'a does make a stitch of difference on a high school transcript. The college admissions person isn't going to say "oh it's no big deal that he got a D in this class because his organizational abilities are a bit behind, we will just let that go".

 

What I am trying to say is that there is more to "grade level" then just academics and those other less tangible things need to be taken into account when a discussion is made.

 

Also, moving a child up a level is easer to do later then moving him down. You can always red-shirt now, do academics at whatever level is appropriate and then in 7th grade decide he is ready for High School a "year early". Most kids would take that as a complement, the opposite situation (holding back) not so much.

 

:iagree:

 

I have 3 late summer birthday kids. I've looked at this issue for years. To tell you the truth, I've never met anyone IRL that regretted redshirting. I do know folks who wished they had or who made the decision in high school to add in an extra year. I also have friends that never redshirted their summer birthday children and all was fine. :iagree:

 

Lisa

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I looked at what age I wanted my kids to graduate and "named" their grades accordingly. I prefer that they be a minimum of 18 when the graduate so most are (or will be) on the "older" side according to what the public school cut-off is but since many where I live prefer their children to be on the older side their ages are really the norm (a large percentage of their "class" will graduate high school at 19). If I started them according to the public school cut-off they would be on the very young side. Their "grade level" has no bearing on the level of their school work.

 

I should've quoted this above! Age at graduation and heading off to college was a primary factor for us as well. Especially since they were starting dual-enrollment as a junior in high school. There was a HUGE difference between my 17-yo son and my 18-yo son. He matured so much the year he turned 18 and I'm so happy that was his senior year and not his freshman year.

 

Ultimately, b/c of dual-enrollment and AP credits, my kids (and many homeschooled kids) enter college with as much as 2 full years of college credit. I did not think it would be in the best interest of my son (or my other summer bday kids) to be a just-turned-18-yo college junior.

 

Lisa

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To tell you the truth, I've never met anyone IRL that regretted redshirting.

 

I very much regret that my parents refused a suggested grade skip when I moved from private to public school in 3rd grade. I have a January birthday and missed the cutoff by 3 weeks. So I was the oldest person in my grade except for those who had repeated a year. My parents refused the skip out of the social concerns mentioned in this thread. Well, I would've been socially better off had I skipped because I wouldn't have stuck out so much academically and especially in hitting puberty. I was on the younger side as it was, and wound up developing 18 months ahead of the norm for girls in my class. Had I been in the grade above, I still would've been a bit ahead of the curve but not so conspicuously. Middle school was a nightmare for me because I experienced horrible s*xual harassment from the boys and ostracism & bullying from the girls.

 

And I didn't even get to have my driver's license ahead of everyone because my parents made me wait until summer (I agree with their reasoning now as an adult but at the time it galled me no end).

 

I really wish my parents had gone ahead & okayed the grade skip then had me do a "gap" year between high school & college.

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So if the concern is about social groups... How do you mesh that with the 'S' word that non-homeschoolers are always worried about? Homeschoolers will defend it, saying that their children socialize with adults and children of all ages, and IME with the families I personally know who homeschool (at church and in various mom groups), that has held true. So if they're so well socialized, why should it matter if you stick them with the same age or a year off child? :confused: The children I know (some of which are high schoolers), hang out with kids of various ages.

 

This whole conversation just has me a bit confused, since homeschoolers talk about how kids shouldn't be forced to socialize with only their age, but here people are saying they want their kids to only socialize with kids their age rather than a year older. :lol:

 

Btw, my son's Bible class at church is 2 grades in a class (and in the high school years, it's a high school class, so grades 9-12 are in one class), his hockey team spans about 3-4 grades... and if we ever do a co-op class, I would think I'd need to place him by academic level. I think the only thing he does right now that's one grade only is Boy Scouts, and I think there will be more than one grade there once he's above Tiger Scout level (though I could be wrong - I'm still figuring out Boy Scout terminology :lol:).

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:iagree:

 

I have 3 late summer birthday kids. I've looked at this issue for years. To tell you the truth, I've never met anyone IRL that regretted redshirting. I do know folks who wished they had or who made the decision in high school to add in an extra year. I also have friends that never redshirted their summer birthday children and all was fine. :iagree:

 

Lisa

 

I regret being redshirted. :p I was the oldest in my classes, and bored out of my gourd with the academics. Having to fill out mindless pages of work that was way too easy is enough to drive anyone mad. :tongue_smilie: Some teachers were merciful and let me read a book when I whipped their busywork out. Others squawked at me for it.

 

 

That said, the decision to hold back or not is a very personal one. You need to weigh the personality, maturity and academics of the child, and the area you live in. I just did this with my third child to have a close enough birthday to sway it. :tongue_smilie: All three were put in without redshirting, but all three had a different situation.

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
I regret being redshirted. :p I was the oldest in my classes, and bored out of my gourd with the academics. Having to fill out mindless pages of work that was way too easy is enough to drive anyone mad. :tongue_smilie: Some teachers were merciful and let me read a book when I whipped their busywork out. Others squawked at me for it.

 

 

That said, the decision to hold back or not is a very personal one. You need to weigh the personality, maturity and academics of the child, and the area you live in. I just did this with my third child to have a close enough birthday to sway it. :tongue_smilie: All three were put in without redshirting, but all three had a different situation.

I think I'm beginning to see that red shirting a homeschooler is different than red shirting a child in public/private school, or one that will end up in public/private school. The problem you mention above would be a non-issue for a homeschooler because they would be working at their own level regardless of their age/grade but a very possible (maybe even likely?) one if in public/private school.

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So if the concern is about social groups... How do you mesh that with the 'S' word that non-homeschoolers are always worried about? Homeschoolers will defend it, saying that their children socialize with adults and children of all ages, and IME with the families I personally know who homeschool (at church and in various mom groups), that has held true. So if they're so well socialized, why should it matter if you stick them with the same age or a year off child? :confused: The children I know (some of which are high schoolers), hang out with kids of various ages.

 

This whole conversation just has me a bit confused, since homeschoolers talk about how kids shouldn't be forced to socialize with only their age, but here people are saying they want their kids to only socialize with kids their age rather than a year older. :lol:

 

Btw, my son's Bible class at church is 2 grades in a class (and in the high school years, it's a high school class, so grades 9-12 are in one class), his hockey team spans about 3-4 grades... and if we ever do a co-op class, I would think I'd need to place him by academic level. I think the only thing he does right now that's one grade only is Boy Scouts, and I think there will be more than one grade there once he's above Tiger Scout level (though I could be wrong - I'm still figuring out Boy Scout terminology :lol:).

 

As your dc get older, theory meets reality. Almost everything my dc do is by single grade level. Just two examples: Our Cub Scouts go year by year until they go to Boy Scouts - Tiger, then Wolf, then Bear, then two separate dens of Webelos. My older dds are in music groups, and they go by grade level. Their LEGO team is about the only thing that is age determined.

 

Some co-ops have instituted rules that limit classes by grade level because of previous problems. We were in one that did and one that didn't.

 

We do plenty of things with mixed age groups, and that is beneficial, but those are usually either social activities or just hanging out with other families. There are enough things that are for specific grade levels that it does matter.

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