Jump to content

Menu

anyone regret waiting a year or going slow? - late birthday?


Recommended Posts

So I have a K-er... sort of.  Originally I planned on doing 1 1/2 years of K... so that he'd "school" Jan through Dec... I realize with homeschooling it's slightly unnecessary to even stick to something but I find that we need a school year to schedule ourselves into...  We have a lot on our plate most of the time and I like being able to roughly schedule curriculum, and make sure that the extras get done.  I'm kindof a cross between Charlotte Mason/Classical/Unschooler, with waldorf tendencies... so to me 1st is very different from K... and I think he might need 1 more year of K...

 

He has a very late summer birthday.  So He'll turn six late this summer... and I'm really thinking of calling this next year K also..  He is WHIP smart... but needs maturing time.  

 

I figure we can always proceed through material quicker when he's older...  and with his personality I think it would be better for him to "graduate" slightly late, rather than slightly early anyhoo.... 

 

Just feeling a bit insecure and thought there might be some thoughts in here?

 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mentally call it whatever you like. Just move at the pace of your child and adjust as needed. If he needs an extra year of what you consider kinder than do that.

 

DD had a bday right before the cutoff. She was not ready to move on so she repeated a grade. Best decision ever and she says the same. Do what feels right for you and your child.

 

Think of it this way, what would feel better to both of you? Would moving ahead but feeling behind or slowing down and feeling on track or a bit ahead feel better?

 

And FWIW, colleges dont care if your child is 17, 18, 19 or whatever. They want someone who is prepared to handle college level classes.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am doing K with my DS5 who has a November birthday. The cut off here is December 31. I would not have sent him to school this year as there is no way he'd be able to handle full day, academic K, but he's fine with homeschool. I plan to just keep advancing his "grade" each year regardless of what level school work he is doing. If we get to high school and it becomes clear that he is not ready for high school level work, then we will add in a "high school prep" year after 8th grade. This is our plan for all our DC if they aren't quite ready for what we expect for high school. It makes more sense to us than doing 2 years of any one grade in the younger years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I regret not waiting with my November birthday boy. (dec cut off where we lived). He is very bright and had already started reading . His delayed fine motor didn't matter in homeschool. However, now that he is in ninth grade, I wish he had that extra year of maturity to bring to his studies .

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have 2 and I started them at different times.  One was ready very early and the other much later. 

 

Cut offs vary wildly.  I actually didn't start reporting my first until he was 6 1/2 because of his birthday and the weird cut offs here (reporting for homeschool regulation purposes).  The other was reported much sooner because, again, the way his birthday falls and the weird cut offs. 

 

Either way, I did not follow the cut offs in terms of what I actually started off with.  I worked wherever they were at when they were ready. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a soon to be 8 year old who is in first grade. She has a late May birthday. I started k when she was a solid 6 years old. Her maturity is running about a year younger. She reads at a 3rd grade level and is doing 2nd grade math but there are other skills she is solidly 1st only because of maturity. I just wanted to give her extra time in the high school years if she needed it. I just figured if she was going to the public school, I would have never enrolled her in K at age 5. At it stands, it's just a number and I can always graduate her early. She works at her own pace.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the others...work at whatever level he is mature enough for.  Not capable of..mature enough.  Eldest DS is capable of working several grade levels higher than I have him at right now.  But...his maturity is not where his ability is.  He's not immature, per se...its just that...he's an 8 yr old boy, with an 8 yr old boy's maturity.  Doesn't matter that he "could" work at a higher grade level.  

 

For reporting purposes, I report him as the grade level he'd be in, if he were enrolled.  This gives me more flexibility with the school district.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My twins birthday is sept 30th (3 right right now). Our cut off is right before their birthday. My plan is to do kinder when they are 4 turning 5 but I will officially have them in k the following year by the state cutoff. That way I can go at my own pace and have wiggle room to repeat a year or subject if needed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My oldest has a November birthday and, in hind sight, we should have waited to register her for grade 1 until the following year.  We ended up "repeating" a grade in order to allow her to mature.  Doing so changed absolutely nothing in our day-to-day life.  We just continued teaching at her level, but for recording purposes, she was now expected to perform at a lower grade level, as opposed to the higher one.  I don't regret making that decision at all. 

 

My youngest has a June birthday and is required to register for grade 1 this fall.  So that's what we'll do.  He's not at all ready for a full grade 1 course load.  We are treating it as a second year of K and we'll see how it goes.  I have a feeling he'll catch up quite fine.  He does things in leaps and bounds right now.  If he ends up needing an extra year, we'll do the same as we did with my oldest. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a summer birthday. I never heard anyone say that it was "late" until I came to a *homeschool* forum. :blink: I'm so thankful that it didn't occur to anyone to make me repeat kindergarten...which didn't exist, for the most part, that many years ago. Thank goodness.

 

I don't know how it's possible to forecast how mature a child will be in 12 years based on how "mature" he is now.

 

How can a homeschooled child have a "late" birthday? Is there some sort of unwritten but true law that Formal Education must begin in September?

 

 

All of which is to say that my very strong opinion is that when it's necessary to hang a grade-level label on our homeschooled children, it should be the one for the grade they would be in if they went to school, based on our states' cut-off date and our children's date of birth. If your ds would be entering first grade this fall at the local public school, then that's the "grade" he should be "in." At the same time, he can be learning whatever you think he is capable of learning, at whatever speed he is capable of learning. He should not be penalized for not being as mature as some other children his age.

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to agree that it is hard to say how "mature" our kids will be 10-15 years from now.

 

I considered my eldest "immature" a few years ago.  Now I consider her mature for her age (in most ways).  She would not be happy in the grade below where she is now.

 

In a homeschool situation I'm not sure how that plays out, but I would think their maturity at age 4/5 would be even less of a factor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have one with a late summer birthday and have decided to hold him back. He is immature, has motor and speech delays, and works hard to stay at grade level. My opinion is that it is easier to skip ahead than to hold back later. You will do no harm by calling this the younger grade for now. Of course you will continue to work with him at his level...

 

BTW, holding a child back is very common in my state. I first heard about it when I was a 7yo. :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a summer birthday. I never heard anyone say that it was "late" until I came to a *homeschool* forum. :blink: I'm so thankful that it didn't occur to anyone to make me repeat kindergarten...which didn't exist, for the most part, that many years ago. Thank goodness.

 

I don't know how it's possible to forecast how mature a child will be in 12 years based on how "mature" he is now.

 

How can a homeschooled child have a "late" birthday? Is there some sort of unwritten but true law that Formal Education must begin in September?

 

 

All of which is to say that my very strong opinion is that when it's necessary to hang a grade-level label on our homeschooled children, it should be the one for the grade they would be in if they went to school, based on our states' cut-off date and our children's date of birth. If your ds would be entering first grade this fall at the local public school, then that's the "grade" he should be "in." At the same time, he can be learning whatever you think he is capable of learning, at whatever speed he is capable of learning. He should not be penalized for not being as mature as some other children his age.

 

"late" is just in regards to the legal age at which a child begins Public School K.. With his birthday I can pick which grade he would be in as per the state.  So whether homeschooled or PSed I would still have to decide when he stared K... either this past year... or this next year.  Either one is perfectly normal and legal.  I have an education background and lots of parents chat with me about where their kids are... and in our PS area there's a growing trend toward starting late birthday boys a year later than technically the school will take them initially.  The law is usually stated that a kid can begin "no earlier than"... but not "no later than"...  and that kids need to start "by the age of 6"... SO when that 6th birthday falls in between school years it's a grey area, and up to the parent's discretion when the child starts...  I know his personality pretty well and am pretty sure I understand who he is now... and much of his personality and maturity is just who he is... which I adore and respect...  and I believe will remain the same till he's 99...  but he is the kind that could use more time, rather than less time, to move into new areas of life (whether academic, independent, or whatever)  I was planning on "formal education" beginning in January every year... but have some posibilities beginning around 2nd grade that would require us to be on a more "traditional" academic calender... So that's why I'm trying to decide now, rather than the year before 2nd grade... which year to put him in, in terms of reporting, and records.  

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ellie always presents the position of not holding back. :)

 

I held my current 3rd grader back. It was the right decision. She has cognitively matured later than my other kids, though behaviorally she is very mature. When I tried K with her, all of the precursor skills for reading were lagging (rhyming skills, being able to distinguish sounds, sequencing). I decided to wait a yr. When we started back up the following yr, she was right on target. She is solidly on grade level. If I had pushed forward, her skills would have been lagging across the board and she would have struggled with grade level workloads.

 

I find value in grade levels according to skill rather than birthdate bc I have certain expectations per grade level. I do not have any problems individualizing expectations for my kids, but when they are clearly functioning a yr behind across all subject matter, just classifying them at the lower level is easier. I have had a child more than one grade level behind in reading but several grade levels ahead in math. Keeping him at grade level was the best decision for him since his skills were swinging in both directions.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No regrets! Ds 7 (turning 8 in June) is working at a first grade level in most things, struggling a bit in math and doing fine in reading.

 

He is immature for his age and I am glad we didn't push him to keep up with age mates in schoolwork. He just wasn't ready.

It is very common to "red-shirt" summer birthday boys here so Ds has several friends who are at the same point. Homeschooling allows him to work to his ability level and the extra year of maturity has helped in his self-control, ability to change gears and settle down, take correction etc.

 

For things where he must have a grade level like church or sports, we put him where it seems best at that time and for that activity. Being a homschooler gives us some freedom there and most activities here are used to it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My older dd has an early September birthday. We waited the extra year. Well, actually, we just went very slowly in first grade and took about two years for that material, IIRC. No regrets here at all. She's an older 8th grader now, and she's doing very well. My younger dd has a late spring birthday, so she's on the slightly younger side of her grade. I can see the difference between the two of them in terms of how they've handled their school material over the years. I've learned that extra time to mature is often a very good idea.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sent my four year old to school (fall birthday). Even though he was reading and had no issues academically, too many kids were a year older than him, and socially he couldn't fit in. He was just too immature. As a homeschooler I call him a second grader (retained him) and work several grades ahead. I love that I can do it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My eldest had a birthday less than a week after the cut-off, so we registered at grade level.  My middle girl with a birthday about a month before the cut off I registered a year behind.  I also did very little K work with either of them, we mostly raid and played.

 

My son has the same birthday as my eldest daughter, and he would start this fall, but I doubt I will register him. He is really different than the girls were, not interested in academic things at all, and his speech is less developed as well.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

DS11, at 5 and late August birthday, was not at all ready for school. We did another year of FIAR and violin and he was much more ready to hold a pencil the following year. We've always worked at his pace and I never regretted it. He's in 5th doing mostly middle school level work now, and has lately been complaining that his friends are in 6th and he's in 5th, but I don't think it really matters to him :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was the youngest child in my school because of an October birthday. While I was able to keep up academically, I was a very small child and a late bloomer. When you see me in class photos, I always look three or four years younger than everyone else. It wasn't a big deal when I was little and oblivious, but was very embarrassing when puberty hit. I honestly look like I am an eight year old in a class full of thirteen year olds. This could be true in the opposite direction also. You could look thirteen in a class full of eight year olds; however, that was my experience and it was awkward for a long time. 

 

With my own kids I just teach to their level and don't worry about grade. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No regrets whatsoever. Actually, I'm thrilled I went with the lower grade possibility. Ds is now hitting the major brain fog and difficult emotions of the tween years and because he is ahead academically, I'm not super worried about slowing down or taking a review year in skill subjects like math while his body and brain mature and begin to function properly again. :)

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was a summer birthday and started right on schedule. My husband was very advanced and probably could have skipped a year from the beginning as he was the only fluent reader on day 1 of kindergarten. Other summer birthdays in our family were held back an extra year for maturity. I am seeing this increasingly with the changes in public school kindergarten Common Core standards.

 

It's possible that he may surprise you down the road, but a decision to hold back doesn't have to be final. The beauty of homeschool is that he can work at his own pace even subject to subject. Just because he is held back doesn't mean he can't "skip" a grade later. I skipped my junior year of high school because I was ready to graduate and go to college. My point is that the decision you feel is right for now doesn't have to be set in stone forever.

 

I would report whatever grade you would choose if you were putting him in school. Then you can do whatever you want at his own pace at home even if that means advancing beyond his grade or slowing down a few things.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all so much!  It's really helped me think through things today.  I have no problem letting him work ahead on stuff... or behind, for that matter.  It's just picking a grade to call him that's confusing.  As a kid I was a pretty straight forward kid and student...  but he's (gets a lot from my DH) is more complicated... He's miles ahead already on stuff that frankly a Kindie kid doesn't really even need to be doing... but is reluctant on typical "K" goals...  I think I'm going to go back to my original 1 1/2 years of K... then just take 1 1/2 for 1st also... Then we'll be lined up according to the "school" calendar.  Thank you all tons! Truly!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have 2 early fall birthdays here with girls who could (and do in some things) work a year or more "ahead." What a hassle! I still call them the grade they would technically be in ps. I figure I can always accelerate a grade later in high school if that's somehow beneficial to them, but it just doesn't matter right now and pushes things socially (like earlier youth group at church, eg) which I'd just as soon avoid.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My oldest son has a late Oct birthday. We kept him in the lower grade. While his workload is actually above first grade across the board (even with the subjects he struggles with), his maturity is right on with his grade level. And his ability to do frustrating things is right on grade level. So he does most things ahead of grade level, but only a small amount consistently because he does not have the school stamina to do more.

 

My third child has a very late July birthday. If she was in public school, I would have held her back a year because she is still goofy and easily distracted. Her writing ability is way behind what my older two's were at 4, let alone 5. (My 3yo forms letters as well as she does.). BUT, being a homeschooler means I can work with her at her level. So we called her kindergarten this year and I'm assuming the things that are largely developmental will even out by 3rd grade or so. Until then, we focus a lot on the 3Rs and will let other things slide if necessary.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a summer birthday. I never heard anyone say that it was "late" until I came to a *homeschool* forum. :blink: I'm so thankful that it didn't occur to anyone to make me repeat kindergarten...which didn't exist, for the most part, that many years ago. Thank goodness.

 

I don't know how it's possible to forecast how mature a child will be in 12 years based on how "mature" he is now.

 

How can a homeschooled child have a "late" birthday? Is there some sort of unwritten but true law that Formal Education must begin in September?

 

 

All of which is to say that my very strong opinion is that when it's necessary to hang a grade-level label on our homeschooled children, it should be the one for the grade they would be in if they went to school, based on our states' cut-off date and our children's date of birth. If your ds would be entering first grade this fall at the local public school, then that's the "grade" he should be "in." At the same time, he can be learning whatever you think he is capable of learning, at whatever speed he is capable of learning. He should not be penalized for not being as mature as some other children his age.

Ellie I respect you greatly but I honestly do not understand why you think any child is being "punished" if they are not rushed forward and given an arbitrary label created by the ps system, a system of labeling/categorizing that frequently does not reflect the developmental level of a child. The PS system was created to make it easier to process large numbers of children through an institution but as homeschoolers we don't always have to follow lockstep with that system, especially if it does not fit our children.  How is making the system work FOR our children instead of against them a punishment?  

 

If the child needs to and is allowed to move at a slower pace, both functionally and through that arbitrary but sometimes required labeling system, then they won't have to feel "behind" or too "immature" for the label they have been assigned.  

 

The child may find themselves functioning extremely well later on.  Great.  Hop them up a grade if necessary.  What a boost for the child to think he has now done so well he gets to leap up a grade.  And if not, then he keeps moving forward in the grade label that best fit him when he was still little and he doesn't have to carry the stigma and emotional/academic stress of being too immature or always trying to catch up.  Wouldn't it be better to let him function at the level he works best right now and since some states require that arbitrary label, not cause more confusion by labeling him something other than what fits him best at the moment?

 

Honestly, I don't see that as a punishment at all.  For some parents just going forward and if necessary adjusting in a higher grade works well for them.  Great.  Do that.  But if a parent is really struggling with this and thinks letting them slow down, repeat a grade, will work better, then I say do it.  We did and have never once regretted it.  DD doesn't either.  

 

FWIW, my dad was not given that option and he felt behind and too young and too immature his entire school career.  He didn't feel that he was finally in the right grade level until he was in college.  He would have loved to repeat kinder and had more time to mature.

 

Hugs and good luck, OP.  Best wishes to all.

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would go with what grade you think he should be in if, heaven forbid, something were to happen to you and he'd have to attend public school. It would be much easier to convince the school to put the kid in the grade you're already reporting as, than to argue about putting him a grade higher or lower than you're reporting (although lower would probably be easier to do than higher).

 

My 7.5yo has a mid-August birthday and is currently in 2nd grade in PS. We moved in the middle of K, and his new teacher, after knowing him for only a few weeks, mentioned something about holding him back. So I thought about it, researched it, etc, and then when I talked to her about it again a month later or so she was like "I didn't say anything about him repeating K. He definitely should go to 1st grade next year". Argh. Her reasoning was that he's immature in some ways (he has an ASD and a 1-1 aide), but that academically he needed 1st grade level material. He's young and short for his age at that, but his classmates just think he's adorable (not sure how long that's going to work for him, but w/e).

 

I won't yet have to report my 4yo (who'll turn 5 in November - cutoff for K is Dec 1st), but if I had to, I'd probably report him as 1st grade. He goes to daycare one day a week (for my sanity) and the preschool teachers there agree that he's academically ready for 1st grade, and when they asked me what I was planning to do and I said "homeschool" they thought that was an awesome idea for him. Because boys who are bored out of their minds in a classroom can often start acting out, even if they're normally great kids.

 

I've seen a study where it turned out that kids with IQs over 150 did better, socially, if they skipped 2+ grades. Yes, they're smaller, etc... but they won't have any peers in a classroom with same-age kids either. They have a better opportunity of practicing social skills if the other kids are more or less at the same intellectual level. Not saying that your son has an IQ of 150+. Just that if a kid is ahead academically, I wouldn't be inclined to hold them back for social reasons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW, my dad was not given that option and he felt behind and too young and too immature his entire school career.  He didn't feel that he was finally in the right grade level until he was in college.  He would have loved to repeat kinder and had more time to mature.

 

 

If a kid seems to want to repeat K I'd probably let them, after discussing the pros and cons. That said, you just don't know how things will work out. If his parents had made him repeat K, he might now be looking back annoyed that he was always the biggest and oldest kid in the class, etc. Or maybe things would have gone great. You just don't know.

 

In 3rd grade the teacher talked to my parents and the parents of one other kid about us skipping a grade. Our parents decided that we were just too young (I have a late July birthday and he had a mid-August birthday, so we were already the two youngest kids in 3rd grade). I didn't know about this until I begged my parents to let me skip 9th grade. I really wish that they would have let me skip way back in 3rd. It wouldn't even have been that obvious, since it was a mixed 3rd/4th grade class, so I could have just started doing 4th grade level work in the middle of the year and then gone to 5th the next year.

 

None of us have crystal balls, and we all bring our own biases into it. The one thing I want my own kids to learn about grade levels is that they're super arbitrary and necessitated by the school system, but that it's very common for kids to not neatly fit into one box.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, but I feel like we're comparing apples and oranges.  "skipping" a grade and "repeating" a grade are simply not going to look the same in a homeschool as they do in a public school.  In public school the child would literally remain behind their peers and repeat the exact same material.  I have never heard, nor would I ever, expect a homeschool situation to look like this.  It's simply about what grade we choose to report, on paper.  In public school if you skip a grade, you would literally skip all info covered in that grade.  This is why skipping is done so infrequently, even a very bright child can very well benefit from information covered in grade 6, for example, before moving into grade 7. On the flip side, having a child repeat the exact same material isn't typically beneficial either, which is why schools moved towards the no-fail policy.  Neither is ideal, which really brings us full circle to how much more freedom homeschooling allows to tailor learning to each child.  I can't imagine repeating material my child has already mastered, no more than I could imagine picking up a math book and saying "oh, this is grade 5, I would rather be in grade 6 so nothing in this book will be of value to me." 

 

If our homeschooled children are put into a public school situation down the line, I personally, would rather have them in a lower grade and excelling then in a higher grade and struggling.  This is what it came down to for us.  Our oldest, in grade 3 was struggling to meet requirements for the grade she was registered for.  Because of her birthday she fell into either grade 2 or grade 3 cutoffs.  We decided to register a second year as a grade 3 and give her the additional year to "catch up."  We continued to teach at her level.  Nothing changed, except the grade marking on that paper. 

 

I very much dislike the term "holding back."  She wasn't "held back" from anything.  This is a public-school term, in my opinion.  It just doesn't apply. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ellie I respect you greatly but I honestly do not understand why you think any child is being "punished" if they are not rushed forward and given an arbitrary label created by the ps system, a system of labeling/categorizing that frequently does not reflect the developmental level of a child. The PS system was created to make it easier to process large numbers of children through an institution but as homeschoolers we don't always have to follow lockstep with that system, especially if it does not fit our children.  How is making the system work FOR our children instead of against them a punishment?  

 

*snip*

 

I'm not Ellie, but I think that the "label" is the issue.

 

As homeschoolers, we are free from the lockstep of public school, so it doesn't matter if my 5-yr-old is struggling to hold a pencil and isn't ready to do any formal work yet. I don't have to put a label on him by declaring him *not yet a kindergartner* or *in the lower grade*. He is just homeschooled, and I teach him where he's at. Conversely, if I have a 5-yr-old who reads Dickens for fun and is working through Algebra, I don't have to wring my hands over what grade to place him in. He is just homeschooled, and I teach him where he's at.

 

How can I know at 5 whether my child will have the maturity or executive function to go off to college at 17 or 18 or 19? Public school parents have to make that call at 5, but as homeschoolers we can give our kids more time before we make that decision. I think the "punished" refers to a child still being in high school at 19, because they were a wiggly 5-yr-old. Now some wiggly 5-yr-olds may still be struggling with executive function at 18, but most wiggly 5-yr-olds will develop into perfectly mature 18-yr-olds who are more than ready to head to college. The solution being advocated by Ellie and others with BTDT experience is to always list your child in their proper grade level on paper while continuing to teach them where they are. Then there is neither the stigma of being held back nor the drama of being skipped forward. They are with their same age peers until they graduate, and you can graduate them whenever you feel they are ready.

 

I don't think anyone is advocating that you push kids ahead academically who aren't ready. I think some are advocating that you step away from the idea that a 5-yr-old can be "behind" at all.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My twins have a summer birthday and were born 2 months early.  They are 10 now but my son would say he's in 5th grade and my dd would say she's in 4th grade.  I'm not really sure what I'd do if I had to enroll them in school today.  My son really wants to be 5th grade because most of his ps friends are in 5th grade.  He is very into soccer and that uses an Aug 1st cut off for bdays.  He should have been born after Aug 1st but since he came early he gets bumped into the higher age group.  I don't tend to care what grade my kids call themselves but it sometimes creates confusion as to why twins would say they are in different grades.  There are times they need to have a grade level for Sunday School or certain summer camps.  I pick curriculum that is at their level and don't worry too much if it is exactly at the grade level.  My dd is dyslexic and doing mostly 2nd grade Language Arts material this year but is doing MUS Epsilon which is 5th grade.   My son is doing MUS Zeta and mostly 5th grade Language Arts.  

 

My son at 5 was very immature and had I sent him to school I likely would have kept him back at that point in time.  He was super wiggly and not at all interested in seat work.  Kindy is all full day here so doing a half day isn't an option.  Now that he is older and matured I think he's fine with being in 5th grade.  He also really wants to be in 5th grade and academically he is at that level.   If I'd redshirted him he'd be in 4th grade.  I do think if he had gone to school he'd likely be fine with that too because he'd have friends in that grade.  My cousin has a son born a week after my son and he's in 4th grade at school this year.  He is very strong academically but because he started Kindy at 6 he's moved along with his classmates and is just fine being one of the older kids in his class.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not Ellie, but I think that the "label" is the issue.

 

As homeschoolers, we are free from the lockstep of public school, so it doesn't matter if my 5-yr-old is struggling to hold a pencil and isn't ready to do any formal work yet. I don't have to put a label on him by declaring him *not yet a kindergartner* or *in the lower grade*. He is just homeschooled, and I teach him where he's at. Conversely, if I have a 5-yr-old who reads Dickens for fun and is working through Algebra, I don't have to wring my hands over what grade to place him in. He is just homeschooled, and I teach him where he's at.

 

How can I know at 5 whether my child will have the maturity or executive function to go off to college at 17 or 18 or 19? Public school parents have to make that call at 5, but as homeschoolers we can give our kids more time before we make that decision. I think the "punished" refers to a child still being in high school at 19, because they were a wiggly 5-yr-old. Now some wiggly 5-yr-olds may still be struggling with executive function at 18, but most wiggly 5-yr-olds will develop into perfectly mature 18-yr-olds who are more than ready to head to college. The solution being advocated by Ellie and others with BTDT experience is to always list your child in their proper grade level on paper while continuing to teach them where they are. Then there is neither the stigma of being held back nor the drama of being skipped forward. They are with their same age peers until they graduate, and you can graduate them whenever you feel they are ready.

 

I don't think anyone is advocating that you push kids ahead academically who aren't ready. I think some are advocating that you step away from the idea that a 5-yr-old can be "behind" at all.

I agree, a 5 year old is not "behind".  I just disagree with the term "punished" when they are being given more time to do what they need to do.  While it is "only on paper" that paper designation still affects things for many parents and for the student.  We don't live in a vacuum.  If a parent wants to keep their child at whatever the birth date determined grade would be for their area and adjust as needed further down the line, that';s great.  Do that.  I don't think that is a bad idea at all.  It can work well for many kids.

 

I just don't want the OP to feel she is "punishing" her child if she feels strongly that he should remain even on paper at the grade/material he is currently functioning best with.  I do not see it as a punishment  if she chooses to give him the extra time to mature, which includes what she is considering doing with the paper trail.  When he is older, if he still needs more time, it will almost certainly be harder to repeat a grade on paper because of how people react to the idea of being held back.  I just very strongly disagree with the idea that anyone is "punishing" their child by giving them extra time when they are young, even on paper.  OP doesn't need that kind of guilt and pressure.  She needs to do what her instincts are telling her would be best for her child, whatever that decision may be.

 

Ellie feels that the child should keep being advanced on paper and that is fine.  Many here do.  Many here don't, too.  People are sharing their views which is what the OP has asked for.  Using the term "punishment" was not, IMHO, helpful to the OP, even if Ellie feels this is the case.  It is hurtful and in my strong opinion not accurate.  

 

I did not "punish" my child by having her stay in the same grade level "on paper" two years in a row.  It was freeing for both of us.  There are many parents here who have done the same and been grateful for that freedom.  I seriously doubt they would consider what they did a punishment.

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is absolutely nothing wrong with what you are doing.

 

We moved from NY to FL which have different birthday cut-off dates, and basically meant that DS1 had to do another year of Kindy.  It didn't hurt him one bit.  He's super smart, but needed an extra year before the stress of having to do more "real" school.  We went at his pace.  Some stuff we went deeper into, but a lot of it was just more playing, role playing, reading/listening to stories, playing "math" with RightStart, etc.  Don't regret it one bit.  Still don't.  He's in fifth grade now. :)

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have several summer birthday children, and have chosen to go with the lower grade level as their official level. If they want to accelerate through their secondary work and graduate younger than that designation would have them do that will be fine, and if not they don't have to struggle under the pressure of expectations they are not quite ready for.


 


I didn't start out with this plan, my oldest ended up being officially third grade two years in a row because that was the year I decided to readjust grade levels. Of course she didn't repeat anything, that is one of the benefits of home school--we kept moving forward, but with a sense of less pressure. 


 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would not hold a child back on paper if I intended for them to catch up later, unless I was 100% sure that the school district would allow them to skip back to their original grade in the future.

 

I would work with a child at their level, but I would not tell a child that they were doing another year of kindergarten, or present it that way to other people. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read all the replies - but from way over the other side (my kids will be 8th and a Freshman next fall), my advice would be this: You can ALWAYS skip a grade later, but if you need to gap a year it's a much more fragile process with young egos. I would, for all purposes until they hit at least 7/8th grade, call them the grade that most easily assimilates with local school grades or favor the lower grade if you think the child needs more time to develop.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read all the replies - but from way over the other side (my kids will be 8th and a Freshman next fall), my advice would be this: You can ALWAYS skip a grade later, but if you need to gap a year it's a much more fragile process with young egos. I would, for all purposes until they hit at least 7/8th grade, call them the grade that most easily assimilates with local school grades or favor the lower grade if you think the child needs more time to develop.

 

I was held back as a child, and I agree with you about going back a year being a fragile process. However, this is true even in early grades (I was held back in first), and it is not always easy (or possible at all) to skip a grade later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, a 5 year old is not "behind".  I just disagree with the term "punished" when they are being given more time to do what they need to do.  While it is "only on paper" that paper designation still affects things for many parents and for the student.  We don't live in a vacuum.  If a parent wants to keep their child at whatever the birth date determined grade would be for their area and adjust as needed further down the line, that';s great.  Do that.  I don't think that is a bad idea at all.  It can work well for many kids.

 

I just don't want the OP to feel she is "punishing" her child if she feels strongly that he should remain even on paper at the grade/material he is currently functioning best with.  I do not see it as a punishment  if she chooses to give him the extra time to mature, which includes what she is considering doing with the paper trail.  When he is older, if he still needs more time, it will almost certainly be harder to repeat a grade on paper because of how people react to the idea of being held back.  I just very strongly disagree with the idea that anyone is "punishing" their child by giving them extra time when they are young, even on paper.  OP doesn't need that kind of guilt and pressure.  She needs to do what her instincts are telling her would be best for her child, whatever that decision may be.

 

Ellie feels that the child should keep being advanced on paper and that is fine.  Many here do.  Many here don't, too.  People are sharing their views which is what the OP has asked for.  Using the term "punishment" was not, IMHO, helpful to the OP, even if Ellie feels this is the case.  It is hurtful and in my strong opinion not accurate.  

 

I did not "punish" my child by having her stay in the same grade level "on paper" two years in a row.  It was freeing for both of us.  There are many parents here who have done the same and been grateful for that freedom.  I seriously doubt they would consider what they did a punishment.

 

I agree. I can't imagine any parent would intend it to be punitive (quite the opposite), and "punishment" is not the word I would personally use.

 

I do think there is the possibility that a child will feel unhappy at the decision down the line, just as they may feel unhappy with any decision their parents may have made while raising them. I had several peers who were *placed in the lower grade* for a variety of reasons who were very resentful about graduating at 19. One friend was very angry, and he would definitely have used the word "punish" to describe his own situation. I don't think most kids feel that way, especially as being *placed in the lower grade* becomes more common, but I think that viewpoint is worth considering.

 

 

There is something to be said for formally keeping a child in the grade they might be in in PS, though PS kids are indeed also sometimes advanced or held back. There is also something to be said for allowing the forma grade to reflect where the child is at. I guess it depends on where you live. Doing K twice or simply "redshirting" and only reporting the second K year as K may just be easier or look better on paper than repeating eighth grade or something like that.

 

This is what makes these conversations so difficult. The homeschool requirements and the culture of "red-shirting" (for lack of a better term) vary so much in different parts of the States, that it is nearly impossible to get advice on a forum like this. People can share their personal experiences, but at the end of the day only you know your child, your state's homeschool laws, your local "red-shirting" culture, and how easy/difficult it will be to correct a grade placement later on in your local school district.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had my daughter "repeat" 4th again, with her blessing. She just was not where she was supposed to be in any area academically. I wouldn't call it holding back, more like "stretching out.' We just continued where she was in the curriculum and moved forward. By the 7th grade, she was very self-conscience of how much older she was than her cohort (she is in dance, and goes every day). Since she had a September birthday, she was already on the older side of her grade level. Stretching out 4th made her almost 2 years older than her friends. it was a real issue for her (although socially, she got along better with them). By the end of 7th (done at a dual-language charter), after having talked to middle and high school teachers and having an IEP in hand, it was decided to put her back in her age grade, so she started 9th at a performing arts school. She gets everything and is doing well (except algebra, but that's in her IEP).

 

We really couldn't tell where she would be at this age. It was a right decision to stretch out 4th, and it was also the right decision to start her in high school this year. I would not have foreseen what an issue it would be for her socially to be held back. (It was actually a really big deal for her.)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read all the replies - but from way over the other side (my kids will be 8th and a Freshman next fall), my advice would be this: You can ALWAYS skip a grade later, but if you need to gap a year it's a much more fragile process with young egos. I would, for all purposes until they hit at least 7/8th grade, call them the grade that most easily assimilates with local school grades or favor the lower grade if you think the child needs more time to develop.

 

I agree with what you are saying about favoring the lower grade, but I think taking a gap year is easier than skipping a year...Most people, I would think, take gap years at the end of high school...It is easier to stay home an extra year than to skip a year's worth of work...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

if you need to gap a year it's a much more fragile process with young egos

 

My oldest (7.5yo, ASD, 2nd grade in ps) was very quick to be confused when one of his classmates was a year older than him last year. You know, "you're 7 (at the start of the year) so you should be in 2rd grade" kind of thinking. I don't know how much he said about it at school (I hope nothing, but given how he was talking about it at home, I can only imagine what happened at school - poor older kid). It just doesn't take a genius to realize that a kid who is a full year older must have repeated a grade or been red-shirted (but it does take some social intelligence to not point it out to said kid).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am strongly opposed to "holding back" an elementary age child. I think it is very damaging socially and of questionable benefit academically.

 

However, deciding where to initially place a child whose birthday is close to the cut off is a different thing altogether. My middle dd has an Aug 1st birthday, which is very close to the cut off for TN. She can either be the youngest or the oldest in her class. There is no ideal placement where she falls in the middle of the group age-wise. It makes sense to consider the personality of your child as to whether you think being the oldest or being the youngest would be a better fit for that child. With a birthday in August, she would graduate before turning 19 either way. Also, if you live in a state with a later cut off, like December, and move, your child could wind up much younger than her grade-matched peers. 

 

I debated what to do for my dd, but decided to start her K according to TN guidelines when she started reading to me at age 4. Even now, I see the effects of her age in her ability to handle the developmental expectations of academically appropriate material. However, a lower grade level wouldn't be a better fit, because in either possible grade she is at the extremes. Her sisters have mid-school-year birthdays and therefore fit more easily in their expected grade.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My oldest (7.5yo, ASD, 2nd grade in ps) was very quick to be confused when one of his classmates was a year older than him last year. You know, "you're 7 (at the start of the year) so you should be in 2rd grade" kind of thinking. I don't know how much he said about it at school (I hope nothing, but given how he was talking about it at home, I can only imagine what happened at school - poor older kid). It just doesn't take a genius to realize that a kid who is a full year older must have repeated a grade or been red-shirted (but it does take some social intelligence to not point it out to said kid).

Those are not the only possible explanations. Live in a state with a Sept 1 cut-off and move to a state with with an Oct 1 cut-off and suddenly a child with an early Sept birthday is a yr behind? No, you moved and the cut-offs were different.

 

Thankfully when you homeschool, It really doesn't matter.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll echo that it really depends on the child.

 

I am not usually in favor of red-shirting unless there is a reason.  My DH and I are July and August birthdays.  We were always the youngest, but we both excelled academically and were mature for our ages.  It didn't hamper us at all.

 

On the other hand, my DD has a July birthday, we started her at age 5, and have been battling her grade level each year.  She has some learning disabilities and is, in general, more socially immature.  In hindsight, I would have started her later.  As it is now, we do plan to take an extra year.  We'll call it 6th grade part 2 though.  It isn't a repeat of 6th grade work, but really an extra year to catch up and get ahead.

 

I would be hesitant to red-shirt for maturity reasons only though (JMO).  Maturity comes in spurts and your child may well catch up.  If they can handle the academic work, I would move ahead.

 

I don't know the homeschool law in your state, but here in CO we don't even have to report any schooling until age 7.  This allows you to have a year or 2 of homeschooling under your belt and allow you to place your child accordingly.  You might want to see if that is an option where you are.

 

My nephew (June birthday), is finishing up his first year of K.  He has struggled a bit but their school has the option of "pre-first".  It's a way to basically have another year of schooling before moving on to 1st grade.

 

Again, you know your child best and what they are capable of.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a son with a late summer birthday.  I will, of course, always teach him at the level he is at, however if I were in a state where I had to "declare" his grade, there are several reasons I might decide to wait to call him K until he is a new 6 rather than a new 5.

 

1. What is the local de facto cutoff date?  Around here, so many parents red-shirt summer birthdays that it is highly unusual for kids to start K before they are several months over 5 (even though the actual cut off is Oct. 1).  Calling a home schooled child K right before or right after their 5th birthday would actually make them quite a bit younger than most of their grade level peers in sports and scouts.

 

2. If something were to happen to me, what grade would be the easiest transition for them into public school?  In the event of a catastrophe, I doubt DH will have the wherewithal in that stressful time to negotiate with the school system to move the children into any grades other than what they are currently called.  If I have a child who is academically working at an average K level, then that is what I want them called...even if they are 6 years old.

 

3. If I lived in a state with mandatory testing in certain grades, it would seem highly beneficial to "be" those grades when you are at the correct academic level (or above).  If I had a young 7 year old who was struggling with reading and math, then I would much rather he be declared 1st grade rather than 2nd grade (with mandatory testing) knowing he does not yet have the skills that will be tested.

 

Wendy

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's another consideration....testing requirements.

 

NY requires testing every other year beginning in 4th (which means you can use 4th as your skip year and test in 5th).  Because of DDs LDs, I opted to "hold her back" in 1st grade.  To her...whenever it comes up as to what grade she is, we call her 3rd grade.  But on paper, on her reports and her IHIP, she is 2nd grade.  

 

This buys me an extra year before I have to test her.  She will need that extra year.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are not the only possible explanations. Live in a state with a Sept 1 cut-off and move to a state with with an Oct 1 cut-off and suddenly a child with an early Sept birthday is a yr behind? No, you moved and the cut-offs were different.

 

Yes, but he has an August birthday, and there aren't many (any?) places that have cut-offs before September. Regardless, it doesn't matter - the point was that other kids will realize when a kid is older, and not all kids will be tactful about it for w/e reason. For some kids that wouldn't matter, but a kid who is already feeling self-conscious and awkward about being the biggest and oldest it could be a problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...