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Why do so many people redshirt their bright, normally-developing kids?


SKL
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I am hoping this is a safe place for this conversation, because I can't think of any other safe place. Everywhere I go, a lot of my friends have done this. I know sometimes it's because they have a young boy who really can't handle the formal school environment, but other times that's not it.

 

I hear a lot of people saying that kids have to be reading very well in PS KG and they are afraid their kids will struggle with that. But it seems to me that fear is overblown. Even my vision-impaired, early-entry, average-intelligence child learned to read well enough in KG that she could very easily read the first reading book in 1st grade.

 

There are other people who think they are doing their child a favor by making school "easy" for them, thinking that if they go into KG / 1st at the head of the class, they will be happier and learn more. I'm not sure about that, either. I was at the head of my class and hated constantly waiting for others to catch up. But maybe I'm weird that way.

 

(Normally I don't care what others decide, but I feel a little awkward right now as friends with 6yos are announcing their kids' 1st day of KG. We have a big get-together in November and I guess I'll have to find something else to talk about. No biggie, but it got me thinking how different mainstream philosophies are.)

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In my experience, because everyone else is doing it and they don't want their kid behind.

 

When DD1 was a baby I joined a playgroup with babies born in July-September. Of those 11 babies, 2 were born in September and so they miss the cutoff (September 1s). 2 are starting kindergarten this year: my daughter (not in the PS, obviously), and a SN child who will receive services through the school. The other 7 kids, who are all perfectly bright and social kids, are being redshirted. One can even already read. And I've had frank conversations with these people, and the answer really just is "because everyone else is doing it."

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I think it's nuts. Around here, it is almost standard procedure to redshirt boys with birthdays from May on (Sept 1 cutoff). My son has a June birthday and is not redshirted and all of the boys in his (admittedly very small) class are approximately a year older than he is.

 

What's really amazing is that my son was one of the ones for whom redshirting was invented (I mean before people redshirted to give their children advantages in sports). He has ADHD and dyslexia and was a mess in K and 1st grade. (Now, at age 16, he scores at the 99th percentile for his grade on standardized tests.)

Edited by EKS
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In my experience, because everyone else is doing it and they don't want their kid behind.

 

When DD1 was a baby I joined a playgroup with babies born in July-September. Of those 11 babies, 2 were born in September and so they miss the cutoff (September 1s). 2 are starting kindergarten this year: my daughter (not in the PS, obviously), and a SN child who will receive services through the school. The other 7 kids, who are all perfectly bright and social kids, are being redshirted. One can even already read. And I've had frank conversations with these people, and the answer really just is "because everyone else is doing it."

 

This worries me a bit because I feel I'll have no sympathy if I run into any difficulties. I can deal with that, but I could see it getting a bit lonely.

 

My gut tells me that if we do the first grade well (including afterschooling), the "age advantage" (if any) will be insignificant in 2nd grade. I hope so, anyway.

 

Honestly, if my eldest were my only, I might have started her later (she has an October birthday), but her younger sister needed to be accelerated, so here we are. For whatever it's worth!

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I didn't but I wish I did and we're thinking of slowing my son down as he switches schools (admittedly, to a school that's quite hard and perhaps a year ahead in curriculum).

 

My younger son has a May birthday. Despite the official September cut-off in public school, unknown to me most people with summer birthday boys redshirt them, so he's been the youngest one in his class. Right now he's in a school with a May 1 cutoff so he's definitely the youngest, but that's a different situation.

 

He's very bright, but with some ADD tendencies (inattention). He was a very late bloomer in reading and writing. Since my older son started public school, there's been a huge shift in how much seatwork and reading and writing is required in K and 1. I really saw a huge difference while volunteering. My younger son grew to believe he wasn't good at school, it wasn't something he liked, etc. I thought he was going to be my "normal" kid (and maybe he is) and would do fine in PS, but we had to get him out of there.

 

Anyway, this is probably TMI, but I wanted to respond to why some folks might do it even with really bright kids. He is doing much better in a Waldorf type environment now.

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Red shirting is getting crazy. I have boys born in September and October, and I am glad they will be somewhat older than their grade mates. My kids born in March and April are some of the youngest in their classes.

 

I was the youngest in my grade (and graduated valedictorian), but I can see why parents would want their kids to be the older kids in the class. My March b-day 10yo is clearly not as physically mature as her grade mates - mostly b/c a lot of them are nearly a year older than her. I am sure it is coincidence, but the nasty/bully girls in her grade are the oldest girls in her grade. Quite honestly, I am not liking having kids on the younger side, purely due to maturity and physical development. Some days I wish I had red-shirted my March and April kids. Not b/c of academics but b/c of physical development/maturity.

Edited by 2squared
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I redshirted my son in K. The school cut off was Sept 1 and he was a late August baby. He could easily have been born in Sept had he been born a little late rather than a little early. He was a very bright preschooler who could have been fine academically had he started K when he was 4/5. I kept him back for a couple of reasons. The most important reason was that DS desperately did not want to go to Kindergarten that year and begged me to let him have another year to just play. I saw no harm in it and it seemed unusual to me that he was so upset about starting K. He started K at PS the next year happily. He was also very immature socially and smaller than his peers. Now, at 11, he is fully capable of 6th grade work, but he's still socially immature and still the smallest in 5th grade. I don't regret it.

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I had a friend who redshirted her normal son and then told me that he was doing so well in school that he's considered gifted.

:confused:

 

And there you have it.

 

Everybody needs their kid to be gifted. So many kids are in gifted classes now that "gifted" no longer means anything.

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DD (October) and DS (December) are right smack dab in the middle of the year so I have never had to give this much thought. It blows my mind though that someone would think a child is gifted when he/she is merely performing on par with their age mates. Gifted is not the same as bright or even advanced. :001_huh:

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DS was born in November (we used to have a Dec 2 cutoff; its progressively going back to 9/1). We held him back b/c his motor skills weren't ready--he could hardly draw a square much less write his name. Right about his 5th birthday the motor skills clicked and he started to be able to make somewhat legible letters. Our kindergarten is very writing intensive; kids start journaling the second day. We were also working on sensory issues and attention issues (he's one of those kids who does better if he can move around and sits on a sensory cushion). Between the fine motor and sensory issues starting him at 4 3/4 would have been a disaster. Academically he was ready but his body wasn't.

 

He's now a happy first grader who struggles with penmanship but excels at reading and is bored with math (The hardest part for him is not writing the 3s backwards).

 

We did what was best for our own kid. I expect everyone else to do the same.

 

Christine

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Why do people red shirt? Because the expectations have gotten out of hand. Kindergarten is the new first grade. Unbeknownst to me, most of the children in DD's PS-K class were already 6 or turned 6 that fall. So, unless you're prepared for your child to compete (and no, I don't use that word lightly) with true first graders (6/7 year olds) s/he has no business being in most kindergartens. She'll be developmentally (possibly academically) behind in K, and be at risk for being "behind" her entire K-12.

 

Also, learning comes in spurts for some kids. My young K DD (Sept b-day) was reading cvc words when she started public K, but slowed down the next year (we were homeschooling at that point). Then she sped up again over the last 6 mo. It's maddening :tongue_smilie: Her uneven academic development would have been a much bigger deal if she'd remained in a b&m school.

 

The biggest deal, though, is that the expectations for K have gotten out of control. Her first week of school the teacher sent home a note to parents stating that if their child couldn't write their name properly) and didn't know their ABCs they were officially behind and the parents should remediate at home. Seriously. How is a kid BEHIND after 1 week of K?

 

K is supposed to be the propaganda year (School is FUN!) combined with learning to function in a classroom, and learning ABCs, and 1-2-3s, but it's turned into 1st grade. It's totally ridiculous. If I had it to do all over again (and had decided to send her to PS again) I'd absolutely red shirt her. No question. Our local PS doesn't give a rat's behind about how developmentally appropriate (or not) their K program is.

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I wanted to add another thought here. I wonder if this redshirting is partially due to the more rigorous standards for Kindergarten today, as opposed to in the past. I know there was a thread here recently where people questioned this, but I know when I was in K, in the 60s, K was still for play, and not for learning. I think that boys, in particular, have a hard time sitting down and doing book learnin' in Kindergarten. So maybe redshirting is just a normal progression. Everything changes but is really the same.

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Kindergarten is the new first grade.

 

The biggest deal, though, is that the expectations for K have gotten out of control. Her first week of school the teacher sent home a note to parents stating that if their child couldn't write their name properly) and didn't know their ABCs they were officially behind and the parents should remediate at home. Seriously. How is a kid BEHIND after 1 week of K?

 

K is supposed to be the propaganda year (School is FUN!) combined with learning to function in a classroom, and learning ABCs, and 1-2-3s, but it's turned into 1st grade. It's totally ridiculous. If I had it to do all over again (and had decided to send her to PS again) I'd absolutely red shirt her. No question. Our local PS doesn't give a rat's behind about how developmentally appropriate (or not) their K program is.

 

I agree with everything you've written here. I just posted the same thing, but you said it so much better.

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And there you have it.

 

Everybody needs their kid to be gifted. So many kids are in gifted classes now that "gifted" no longer means anything.

 

:iagree: I have one that is above average but not gifted and one who is gifted. Both are advanced but the difference in learning style and speed is like night and day. IMHO, bright students don't need 'gifted programs' they just need to be met where they are and allowed to keep going. Gifted kids need something altogether different. It's a shame that the only way to gain access to accelerated content anymore is to seek the GT label. Redshirting allows a lot more kids to appear ahead.

Edited by Sneezyone
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It blows my mind though that someone would think a child is gifted when he/she is merely performing on par with their age mates. Gifted is not the same as bright or even advanced. :001_huh:

 

Schools' definition of gifted is not necessarily the same as the real definition. A kid can be considered gifted if he is at the 90th percentile in some districts. That would be fairly easy to do in the middle elementary years if the kid were at the ~75th percentile as compared to age mates (corresponds to the ~95th percentile in the 3rd/4th grade range).

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A kid can be considered gifted if he is at the 90th percentile in some districts.

 

At a school around here, one of my friend's kids got promoted to the gifted class in English after scoring in the 85th percentile on the end-of-grade test. This was after 4 or 5 years of being in the normal class, and then all-of-a-sudden this kid was promoted to the gifted class, where he promptly needed accommodations to do well. It boggles my mind.

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I wanted to add another thought here. I wonder if this redshirting is partially due to the more rigorous standards for Kindergarten today, as opposed to in the past. I know there was a thread here recently where people questioned this, but I know when I was in K, in the 60s, K was still for play, and not for learning. I think that boys, in particular, have a hard time sitting down and doing book learnin' in Kindergarten. So maybe redshirting is just a normal progression. Everything changes but is really the same.

As a former first grade teacher, I wonder if K is now 1 because of the earlier cut off dates and all the redshirting. More kids are "ready" for first grade work because more kids "are" first grade age. Seriously, if May kids are being held back then 2/3rds of the K class is the age my first graders were (the cut off date was December 31st.)

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I was shocked when i moved where I am (i like to call it the great white soulless suburbs) - fairly high income area and redshirting is the norm. I previously lived in a very depressed small town, and those kids were in the free daycare ASAP!

 

My youngest has a sept birthday, but he's obviously bright so we sent him in. He was always in trouble, and while he's advanced in math, he's right around grade level in LA and was upset that many of his classmates were reading chapter books already.

 

I did eventually hear that part of the reason is that the curriculum which was 1st grade 30 years ago is now used in kindergarten - school has really changed.

 

However. . . I have a neighbor who's son also has a sept b-day, almost exactly a year younger than my son. He is incredibly bright, incredibly well-behaved, gets along with everyone, very athletic - the kind of boy we all look at and wonder what we did wrong, kwim?

 

But . . he's short. So she uses that as her excuse. She says that she was afraid that he would get hurt playing football if the other kids were bigger, so she wanted him to have another year to grow. and she said that, in high school, it would be really cool to be the first one to be able to drive in his grade.

 

She has even brought up several times that I should put my son back in to public school, but drop him back a grade, so our sons are only 1 year apart instead of two :glare:

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As a former first grade teacher, I wonder if K is now 1 because of the earlier cut off dates and all the redshirting. More kids are "ready" for first grade work because more kids "are" first grade age. Seriously, if May kids are being held back then 2/3rds of the K class is the age my first graders were (the cut off date was December 31st.)

:iagree:

 

One of the all-boys private schools in my area has a firm cut-off date the end of March, and some of the public school districts in my state have moved their cut-offs from September to June. K is now 1 in my area.

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As a former first grade teacher, I wonder if K is now 1 because of the earlier cut off dates and all the redshirting. More kids are "ready" for first grade work because more kids "are" first grade age. Seriously, if May kids are being held back then 2/3rds of the K class is the age my first graders were (the cut off date was December 31st.)

 

I think it has to do with testing requirements, getting them ready for the almighty standardized testing. In CA it starts in grade 2, so they can't "waste" the K year anymore.

 

California is moving the cut-off age from "5 by Dec. 1" to "5 by Sept. 1" I think. They're also introducing transitional K (IOW, traditional K). This is a GOOD thing.

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Here in Texas, it's sports. period.

 

Every boy with a summer/late spring birthday is red-shirted.

 

Most of the boys I know that were red-shirted this school year would do quite well in school, but to have the competitive edge in sports (which is king in Texas), then you keep your boys out.

 

Girls? Send them...no questions asked.

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I had a friend who redshirted her normal son and then told me that he was doing so well in school that he's considered gifted.

:confused:

 

I've seen this a lot too. I guess we all want to be proud of our kids, but to me it's more important that my kids' brains get a workout.

 

This brings up another thing. Do "good moms" consider their kids failures if they don't get everything right the first time? Does a B or C grade mean the child started school too young? When I was in school, a C grade meant the work was challenging to the child, which was not a bad thing. Of course I hope my kids get As more often than not, but if they have to work for a B or C, I still won't consider that a failure. Am I weird?

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I've seen this a lot too. I guess we all want to be proud of our kids, but to me it's more important that my kids' brains get a workout.

 

This brings up another thing. Do "good moms" consider their kids failures if they don't get everything right the first time? Does a B or C grade mean the child started school too young? When I was in school, a C grade meant the work was challenging to the child, which was not a bad thing. Of course I hope my kids get As more often than not, but if they have to work for a B or C, I still won't consider that a failure. Am I weird?

 

LOL, now there's a whole 'nother animal. We're talking about neurotypical kids, right? I have a friend with a DD (one of three) who's the same age as mine, a couple months apart, similar personalities, learning preferences, etc. Her DD does B/C type work. Mine doesn't. Who knows what the difference is. I only know that 70-80% is soooooo not OK around here. If grades like that are coming home, one of three things is happening a)the work is not developmentally appropriate for my kiddo, b) the lesson is not being explained in a way my child can access or c) my child is not putting in sufficient effort. All three of those can be addressed. I don't consider those results a failure so much as an opportunity to make change.;)

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LOL, now there's a whole 'nother animal. We're talking about neurotypical kids, right? I have a friend with a DD (one of three) who's the same age as mine, a couple months apart, similar personalities, learning preferences, etc. Her DD does B/C type work. Mine doesn't. Who knows what the difference is. I only know that 70-80% is soooooo not OK around here. If grades like that are coming home, one of three things is happening a)the work is not developmentally appropriate for my kiddo, b) the lesson is not being explained in a way my child can access or c) my child is not putting in sufficient effort. All three of those can be addressed. I don't consider those results a failure so much as an opportunity to make change.;)

 

One of my kids has some learning issues. She's on track, but it takes her longer to learn some things. I'm OK with that, as long as she learns it before moving on to the next cumulative thing. So if she comes home with a C, we're going to sit together and solidify that skill, not retreat. Of course ideally we've perfected it before it's graded, but that might not always happen.

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We were going to hold our youngest son back a year because we did not think he was developmentally ready for Kindergarten the way it is here in the US. He had major sensory, speech and psychological issues and we were pretty much told that either we put him in or there would be no therapies or support whatsoever. We did put him in and while the therapies helped in areas that needed to be dealt with, it was detrimental for him in other ways. We finally pulled him out of PS in March at the end of 5th grade. Since then his bedwetting has stopped, his level of aggression went way down and he has altogether become a much happier and more positive person. Developmentally he still is a year behind his age but it doesn't matter anymore. For us it was never about the academics or sports but about the constant message he was a failure because he was not acting like his "grade" peers but more like the kids a grade or two below him. We also held our oldest back in 4th grade though the reasons were somewhat different but again it was for developmental issues. It has made a huge difference for him. In contrast, our middle son has a very early birthday (two days after the cut off) and is usually the oldest kid in his class, the only of our boys who did fine from 1st grade.

Our daughter has a late birthday and never had any of the problems her brothers had.

In my humble opinion the current system is doing boys a great disservice.

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One of my kids has some learning issues. She's on track, but it takes her longer to learn some things. I'm OK with that, as long as she learns it before moving on to the next cumulative thing. So if she comes home with a C, we're going to sit together and solidify that skill, not retreat. Of course ideally we've perfected it before it's graded, but that might not always happen.

 

That makes sense. I think there's a difference between a unit test (sometimes it takes DD longer to latch on to something) and a whole class grade or an end of the semester/year test. If a kiddo is working at their challenge level they won't always get As but...but...we do what *I think* you do, which is to say that that score represents a weakness that needs to be addressed. Not, Oh, that's OK. You did your best now pass the cookies...KWIM?

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I used to teach first grade in California where the cut-off was you had to turn 5 by Dec. 2 (the cut-off in CA is changing so this year the cut off is Nov. 1, in 2014 a child has to turn 5 by Sept. 1 to enter K). My school was on a year round schedule that started July 1, so the youngest kids were 5 the first few months of first grade. I used to look at my roster the day before school to see how many boys were born in the fall (this was at a very low income school where no one was redshirted). It was hard for the younger students to sustain their attention and complete work.

 

My son just entered PS kinder at a high performing school where most of the parents are college educated and middle to upper middle class. He just missed the cut off for being able to attend but I am 100% certain I would have red shirted him even though he could read at age 4. He has matured tremendously in the past year. He also had another year to play and explore at his non academic, play-based preschool. I just had a conversation with his teacher about the ages of the kids in his class. Out of 23 kids, five kids are already 6 years old, and only 2 kids are four and she wished they had been held back.

 

There was a large Canadian study that found kids who were youngest in their grade were much more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. The researchers thought perhaps because they are being compared to older, more mature students. Other studies have shown the youngest students are behind the older kids academically when they all enter k. Depending on the study this achievement gap disappears in third grade, eighth grade, or never.

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The KG I went to in 1970 taught reading and math, similar to the private KG my kids just graduated from (if not more rigorous). There was only one kid in my class who really couldn't handle the material (he repeated KG and was fine after that). So I don't really buy the idea that academic KG is really 1st grade.

 

But I think the fact that the average age in KG is getting older, coupled with full-day vs part-time KG, is making it a more difficult social/emotional environment for younger kids. Honestly, I don't think it's fair to allow the class to be manipulated in this way for the benefit of overly ambitious parents. It's not fair to the families who, for financial or other reasons, need to put their normal kids in school at the normal time.

 

I also feel that to some extent, teachers push for later entry because it makes their job easier. Why be patient with age-appropriate behavior if you don't have to? Again, I don't think that's fair. Either change the official cut-off dates or provide age-appropriate work for the stated normal age range.

 

It also makes me uncomfortable to think that this trend means kids will be so much older when they finish high school. The trend of keeping kids artificially "young" does not seem healthy to me.

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I was halfway through the thread before I remembered that we redshirted our oldest. :lol:

 

He has an October birthday. In June of the year he was four, we moved from a state with a Sept 1 cut-off to a December 31 cut-off. I only figured that out when I was looking for a part-time preschool for him. I thought Dec 31 was a ridiculous cut-off. Besides, in the last 7 months the poor kid had to deal with going from the only child to the older sibling of twins, moving to a new state, and leaving a loving extended family. I decided dropping him into kindergarten with only a month's notice would not be kind.

 

By second grade, we had moved to a state with a Sep 1 cut-off. In his elementary school class here, 5 of the 6 boys had Sep, Oct, or Nov birthdays, so he fits right in here. By redshirting him in RI, I put him in the correct class in VT.

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Bah. :glare:

 

It makes me laugh:001_smile:

My younger boy has end of Sept. birthday so he started K at 4. There are kids 1.5 years older than him in the classroom. Everybody told us to hold him back. This kid could read fluently at 4 and despite his obvious immaturity is more than able to handle academics. He is now in the first grade. So, yes, I think holding kids back in the absence of legitimate concerns is a bit nuts.

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7 out of 10 kids identified for gifted education last year in our school were redshirted. :D

 

Gifted testing is scored by AGE not grade (as are all intelligence tests) so students are being compared to their same aged peers, not same grade peers. It might be that older students are referred more often for gifted testing because they seem more advanced. If all students in a grade are tested then there is no advantage of being older; in fact an older student would have to get a higher raw score than a younger student to have the same IQ score.

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By second grade, we had moved to a state with a Sep 1 cut-off. In his elementary school class here, 5 of the 6 boys had Sep, Oct, or Nov birthdays, so he fits right in here. By redshirting him in RI, I put him in the correct class in VT.

 

Now this makes sense to me. I don't understand why states have such different cut-offs, knowing that kids move around and end up going to out-of-state colleges. I wonder why CA considered December to be a better cutoff than September.

 

I wouldn't mind it if states made a new cutoff date and then built the curriculum and environment based on the "normal" age range. I don't think it's right for them to cater more to the older kids and make it unreasonably hard for neurotypical younger kids born before the cutoff.

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Gifted testing is scored by AGE not grade (as are all intelligence tests) so students are being compared to their same aged peers, not same grade peers. It might be that older students are referred more often for gifted testing because they seem more advanced. If all students in a grade are tested then there is no advantage of being older; in fact an older student would have to get a higher raw score than a younger student to have the same IQ score.

 

CA STAR test results are a big factor how our school places kids in GATEs in addition to one more test (I don't know which one we use here). Yes they test everybody here.

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Gifted testing is scored by AGE not grade (as are all intelligence tests) so students are being compared to their same aged peers, not same grade peers. It might be that older students are referred more often for gifted testing because they seem more advanced. If all students in a grade are tested then there is no advantage of being older; in fact an older student would have to get a higher raw score than a younger student to have the same IQ score.

 

Not all schools use 'intelligence' tests. In our old district, the initial screening tool was NWEA/MAP achievement test scores.

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We red shirted our oldest. I never realized people had such hostility toward another family's choice about what is best for their own child. :001_huh: It certainly wasn't about making him "gifted" or giving him some "edge" over someone else's priceless snowflake. :glare: It ended up not mattering one whit as we switched to homeschooling pretty early on and never looked back. (We were extremely low income at the time and he qualified for a 2/3 scholarship to a local private Christian school. As it turned out, we couldn't take advantage of the scholarship because for that particular "academy," boys had to be a minimum of 5 yrs 8 mos to start K. He was was 5 yrs 2 mos and academically on par but socially/emotionally a twit! :tongue_smilie: )

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So here comes the absurd. Those kids that were redshirted are often ahead academically and even if they place in GATE, their needs won't be met, because GATE is once a week pullout centered on Lego robotics (fun, but hardly an academic challenge). Those kids would have been better off stretching their brains in higher grades. Maybe it's all about sports and I am missing the point.

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It makes me laugh:001_smile:

My younger boy has end of Sept. birthday so he started K at 4. There are kids 1.5 years older than him in the classroom. Everybody told us to hold him back. This kid could read fluently at 4 and despite his obvious immaturity is more than able to handle academics. He is now in the first grade. So, yes, I think holding kids back in the absence of legitimate concerns is a bit nuts.

 

My younger brother was a Sept 30 boy (the state cutoff date then). He was bright - not reading in preschool, but he'd taught himself to play the piano by ear, among other things. Just really sharp. He did great in KG and 1st. Without checking with parents, they put him in an advanced 2nd grade where they were doing 3rd grade work. The teacher had no patience with his large, slow handwriting and recommended putting him back in 1st grade! "He's young, all boys should be older when they start." My mom said no, so the teacher gave him hell until he transferred to a more "normal" 2nd grade. It ruined his elementary school experience.

 

Anyhoo.

 

My kids are 5 in 1st grade. They go into the classroom, sit down, and get to work just like all the other kids (better than some). Their handwriting isn't the greatest, but that's not a problem for anyone else, is it? It's not slowing the class down. I hope I won't need to fight for fairness for my girls, but I will if I have to.

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So here comes the absurd. Those kids that were redshirted are often ahead academically and even if they place in GATE, their needs won't be met, because GATE is once a week pullout centered on Lego robotics (fun, but hardly an academic challenge). Those kids would have been better off stretching their brains in higher grades. Maybe it's all about sports and I am missing the point.

 

:iagree:This.

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The school told me he was too tall (!) and would stick out too much. His motor skills were delayed and I was afraid that he wouldn't be able to cope with the writing requirements. I was right and we finally pulled him out.

 

Fast forward ten years and he is in school in the year group that the school recommended. His motor skills delays have largely resolved themselves - they are manageable with a keyboard and some extra time on exams. He is well placed academically and socially, and doesn't care about sports.

 

So was I right or wrong to want to hold him back a year?

 

Laura

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So here comes the absurd. Those kids that were redshirted are often ahead academically . . . .

 

See, this is the thing that gets me. The schools have made it so even bright kids who can read before age 5, but just have normal age-appropriate wiggliness, struggle with the structure of school. It doesn't need to be this way. They could do like my KG teacher and let kids get up and go play in between academic work. They could give more time for writing those dang letters and numbers, let them write bigger and use more age-appropriate media etc. What is the harm in that?

 

I am sorry if anything I said came across as hostility toward parents. I think the schools are wrong to cater to older kids at the expense of younger kids. If schools were catering to all the kids in the "normal" age range, then most parents of normally bright and normally mature kids would not see an advantage to holding their kids back. But I totally understand if a parent has decided her individual kid needs more time to be able to perform in school.

 

It's the same as on the other end - if you think your kid is ready a little younger, that should be honored as well. But it isn't. Assuming a cutoff of September 1, it's a lot easier to get a kid age 6.1 into KG than a kid aged 4.9. It should be the same IMO.

Edited by SKL
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Honestly, I don't think it's fair to allow the class to be manipulated in this way for the benefit of overly ambitious parents. It's not fair to the families who, for financial or other reasons, need to put their normal kids in school at the normal time.

 

 

This is really a personal decision made based on the characteristics of an individual child. When you see "overly ambitious" parents, I see parents who are looking at what is best for their child at that time. Should parents send their socially immature, developmentally delayed, free spirited and wiggly, or otherwise not ready children into an environment that they know their children will struggle in and suffer because other parents want their children to have someone to be better than? I think it is presumptuous to assume that the parents did not have legitimate concerns about their child just because they did not share those concerns with you. The schools allow a range for each grade because they recognize this. We aren't talking about people enrolling 8yr olds because they want them to dominate the 5yr olds!

 

As for gifted testing, my DS was tested for gifted and he was absolutely compared to age mates, not by grade in school. It actually made it harder for him, IMO, because he was expected to know things he had not been taught yet. (they included things like math concepts and spelling on the test). As I said in the previous post, I kept my son back because he was not ready for the classroom environment, not because of academics. But, I didn't tutor him and prep him to be ahead in his time off. His K teacher still called me all the time complaining about his wiggling and his handwriting and about how he didn't want to play her games. Even now, in 5th grade, he still fits in better with kids about a grade or 2 below him. He's not neurotypical but it's not obvious to anyone except his family and his psychiatrist. We sent our youngest late birthday child to school on time even though she's the smallest by far because she does fine in classroom environments and gets along easily with other kids. I'm already sort of regretting it, however, because she was still napping before she started school. Now, she comes home every day a cranky beast, goes to bed earlier, and we have no more pleasant time at home with her. I think if I had held her back a year, then she would have quit needing a nap and we all would have had a better year. It has nothing to do with sports. It has nothing to do with wanting to be better than anyone.

Edited by Paige
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This is really a personal decision made based on the characteristics of an individual child. When you see "overly ambitious" parents, I see parents who are looking at what is best for their child at that time. Should parents send their socially immature, developmentally delayed, free spirited and wiggly, or otherwise not ready children into an environment that they know their children will struggle in and suffer because other parents want their children to have someone to be better than? I think it is presumptuous to assume that the parents did not have legitimate concerns about their child just because they did not share those concerns with you.

 

All fair statements, but when I see this being the decision made for a majority of kids (girls and boys) in a certain age range, I feel there's something else going on in many cases.

 

I wish more parents would refuse to buy into the argument that older is always better, as this would force schools to deal with normal kids' normal needs rather than adjusting. The schools' adjusting is making it harder and harder for kids who are just plain normal.

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On my kids' KG graduation day, a parent asked me what my kids were doing next year, and told me they were putting their kid back in KG next year because he was "little." If this were just an isolated incident, it wouldn't bother me, but it isn't. And it seems to happen most with well-educated parents. Meaning that this year's KG contains very bright 6yos alongside average and below-average 5yos.

 

There are three ways to look at this:

 

(a) Wonderful - diversity is great - the older kids can encourage the youngers etc.

 

(b) Oh no, let's get those young 5s out of there so the teachers don't have to work so hard.

 

© Maybe 1st grade should be more accommodating to young 6s so they can keep learning and KG can be focused on KG-age kids.

 

The popular response nowadays is (b).

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I wish more parents would refuse to buy into the argument that older is always better, as this would force schools to deal with normal kids' normal needs rather than adjusting. The schools' adjusting is making it harder and harder for kids who are just plain normal.

 

This requires sacrificing your child while the school adjusts. It is easier to just hold the kid back until he can handle the expectations and he won't have to endure what happens when the school decides he is a problem. Once the schools tell kids that something is wrong with them (whether it is true or not) it is terribly hard to heal that hurt.

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