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Help! How to "repeat 7th grade"


RHmama
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I don't see how on earth the middle school would socially promote him to 9th grade - he would then be a year behind academically. My husband is an early fall birthday and he skipped a grade because he was "ready" - and he and his parents regret it. He was 16 when he graduated, and had a late growth spurt and was unable to play the sports he was interested in. So he may be hypersensitive to my son's situation and trying to prevent him from the way he felt in high school, being so young in his school year.

 

If your ds is 9th grade age-wise, it is likely that he will be placed there. IOW, when he has his 14th bday in the summer, he'll be in 9th grade in the fall.

 

Mr. RHmama's experience is not your ds's. Your ds has a summer birthday, not a fall birthday, and he hasn't been skipped a grade as Mr. RHmama was. He is in an age-appropriate grade. There will always be children who are younger than some in their grade level and children who are older. It all works out. Mr. RHmama's problem was not that he had an early fall birthday; it was that he was then skipped a grade.

 

Making your ds repeat 7th grade would put him a year or more behind his peers. *I* would not do that to my dc.

 

As I implied above, Mr. Ellie's birthday is September 7. He was 5yo when he started first grade (no kindergarten back in the day), and had his 6th birthday at school. He graduated in June and wasn't 18 until September. He's very happy that his parents and the school did not make him wait a year to start school.

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As I implied above, Mr. Ellie's birthday is September 7. He was 5yo when he started first grade (no kindergarten back in the day), and had his 6th birthday at school. He graduated in June and wasn't 18 until September. He's very happy that his parents and the school did not make him wait a year to start school.

See we put a fall child in school at age 4. He could read and do first grade math, yet he was very young for his age and immature. More than half his class was a year older than him. He had so many social issues in first grade that we brought him home. Academic strength isn't everything. If other people didn't held their children back, my son would have had other summer and fall babies in the classroom. There were none. It seemed like every kid born after May was held back. Really annoying.

I sympathize with OP.

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Academic strength isn't everything. If other people didn't held their children back, my son would have had other summer and fall babies in the classroom. There were none. It seemed like every kid born after May was held back. Really annoying.

Too bad you couldn't put your son into my district's public school. Plenty of fall babies. The oldest in his K class was born in Jan 2004. My DS10 is just before cutoff entering K at 4yrs 8mths. Most kids seems interested in soccer which goes by age and not grade so maybe that's why people send kids to school on time for "daycare".

 

The thing though is I had seen older kids behaving badly too so being redshirted doesn't eliminate the misbehavior issue unfortunately. The worse is in middle school years. Only one middle school is supposedly decent and there was a recent case of parent harassing his kid's classmates, teachers and the school principal.

 

My local high schools API are below the passing score/point. Social promotion is the norm. We are looking at private.

 

So far nothing has changed after common core implementation.

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I don't see how on earth the middle school would socially promote him to 9th grade - he would then be a year behind academically. My husband is an early fall birthday and he skipped a grade because he was "ready" - and he and his parents regret it. He was 16 when he graduated, and had a late growth spurt and was unable to play the sports he was interested in. So he may be hypersensitive to my son's situation and trying to prevent him from the way he felt in high school, being so young in his school year.[/quote

 

He could probably pass eigth grade now, pretty much any kid doing gate could skip to the next year. Even with a year doing nothing he wouldn't be the worst in ninth would he? Like others have said he may just end up in ninth with lower level classes so you need to be sure.

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See we put a fall child in school at age 4. He could read and do first grade math, yet he was very young for his age and immature. More than half his class was a year older than him. He had so many social issues in first grade that we brought him home. Academic strength isn't everything. If other people didn't held their children back, my son would have had other summer and fall babies in the classroom. There were none. It seemed like every kid born after May was held back. Really annoying.

I sympathize with OP.

 

I think cut-off dates should be no later than September 1, which would still leave summer birthdays eligible to enter first grade after their 6th birthdays. The OP's dc has a summer birthday, not a fall birthday. I have a summer birthday. How thankful I am that no one thought a summer birthday was "late."

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I think cut-off dates should be no later than September 1, which would still leave summer birthdays eligible to enter first grade after their 6th birthdays. The OP's dc has a summer birthday, not a fall birthday. I have a summer birthday. How thankful I am that no one thought a summer birthday was "late."

 

Cut-off dates in my area are Dec. 31.  It makes it simple to keep track of who's what grade, you just look at birth year.

 

I honestly don't think it matters WHAT the cut-off date is, as long as you factor child development into your expectations of grade.  So here we have 4.5 year olds entering kindergarten all the time.  But the teachers *expect* them to be 4.5, so it works out okay.  I mean, aside from the whole question of "should a 4.5 year old be in school all day anyway," which is a separate discussion.

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My kids' birthday is three days shy of the cutoff. I sympathize with not realizing what you're getting into back in kindy. Since there was no way to redshirt for homeschoolers and the age of compulsory schooling here was 4.5, I just registered my kids as the grade they were officially in. Now that they're headed into middle school, yeah, I can see that another year might have helped if they were actually going to school. I'm glad I don't have to make a decision about that. And all the sports opportunities here are by age cut offs... often not the same one as the school, interestingly, so my kids are the oldest - they play a grade down. But they're still some of the lesser players. Being the oldest on the team doesn't always help.

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I know the OP said its not all about sports, but that's what's coming up more than anything else. DS plays various sports for our local middle school, and it's entirely possible that 11year olds compete against 14 year olds because so many people redshirt. It might feel frustating, but the younger kids know they'll get their chance to earn points when their muscles and height catch up. As it is, it just makes them work harder, which is a pretty fantastic life lesson IMO. Non school teams generally go by birth year, so it's also not uncommon to have different competitors in ones age grouping in summer sports vs school sports.

 

I don't see the benefits of holding anyone back who is holding their own academically. If anything, I wonder how it will feel for the redshirted kids to graduate high school at 19 or nearly 20 when most of their peers have a solid year of university under their belts.

 

But like others have said, you can speculate all day but in the end it comes down to your district's policies.

 

Good luck with your decision.

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I'm not "failing" him for sports. Remember at the beginning of this thread when I asked for no judgement?? And how I said sports were only part of the equation?!

There was no judgment by me in my post, but how the school district is going to judge your kid when he goes back. My warning is because some parents "fail" their kids to get a +1 year at elementary sports, you are going to red flag your son. With excellent grades recorded on his permanent record, and you failing him, it will appear you were letting him grow bigger to be more competitive in sports (which in fact you mention in your post). If enough or the "right" parents complain, your kid might get banned for his 8th grade year, if they even allow you to place him in 8th. I think there might still be issues if sports weren't involved, but sports participation makes it incredibly tricky. Keeping him home a year could essentially end his athletic career in the school system, considering the "lower teams feeding the higher teams" concept. You could possibly be pulling him out of sports for two entire years before high school tryouts, killing his chances. Even if you get it in writing, the school can still back out under political pressure. If sports are important to your son, I wouldn't take the chance. If you think this is the only way he can ever have a shot at competitive sports, I guess you have to weigh to risks. However, if your district is that competitive, you are painting a target on your son.

 

Sports are cut-throat in my area, particularly the sports mentioned. If it is lower key in yours, then maybe no one will bat an eye.

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Our middle school doesn't have sports. The only competitive edge he would get is once he enters high school. And we are under no illusion that he is going to be a professional ball player. The thought is that high school will be more fun for him if he is playing the sports he loves. Sports are very competitive where we live too. But the school cutoff date, whether it is September or December, doesn't seem to matter -- a significant number of my son's friends are already a year older because they have birthdays May-August, but their parents waited until they were 6 to start them in kindergarten. So they turned 7 at the end of kindergarten and they are now 14 entering 8th grade, as opposed to my son who recently turned 13. So on their "7th grade" team, my son was one of the youngest. I'm addressing the sports issues here because that's what everyone keeps mentioning. Thanks again for all your input. I will contact my district as well as some private schools, and research our homeschool options as well.

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I think it's the issue people keep mentioning because it's the only one you've mentioned. You've already ruled out academics, which I think most people here would be on board with. But yeah, it's hard to understand holding an able kid back just because he happens to be on the younger side. A lot of kids are, or they are of smaller stature, or they don't hit puberty until high school or whatever and that makes it feel unfair in the world of competetive sports. But honestly, if he deserves to make the team/score the points/whatever, he will. Continuing the trend of holding back for the advantage won't win points, as a pp mentioned, could target your kid in a very real way.

 

None of this is judgemental. My DS is involved in a lot of sports from cross country and track to hockey to skiing to competing in triathlons. We see a lot questionable situations but it's all just character building. If he runs against kids 3 years older, he knows his chances. But he's also gracious and accepting when younger kids (you know, the ones barely at the cutoff) beat his time. Everyone is in the same position, and that just goes with the territory. Kind of like in real life. ;)

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It seems like everyone here, including myself, are baffled as to why you would want to hold back a child that is not only doing fine academically but doing well.

I sympathize with your husband, but he skipped a grade. That is not really relevant here because your son did not skip a grade.

 

If you go to the middle school or high school in your town and walk into a random class and have everyone announce their birthdays there will be kids older and younger. Some almost a year older than others. That happens everywhere. Your son isn't going to be the only kid with a summer birthday. There will be plenty.

 

I also have a summer birthday, which means I turned 18 after I graduated. I was also one of the smallest kids in my grade at 4'11" and 90lbs. I have literally been this same height and weight since I hit puberty in 7th grade. (Well except for when I was pregnant of course) It never mattered, no one ever treated me like a baby because we were all the same grade. No one but my closer friends knew when my birthday was anyway.

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I was literally the youngest for years because of moving from a  district with a Dec. 31st cutoff to a district with Sept 1st cutoff.  The only serious negative was missing the car portion of driver's ed. because the schedule was prioritized by age during the expected grade, and it didn't really fit in my schedule the following year after I finally had my birthday.  But, I could have petitioned to take it during summer school, or taken it privately....all it really meant was that I never got called out of study hall  for my turn behind the wheel. Other than that, I had friends in my grade, and in the grades above and below, especially on teams and mixed-grade classes such as band, chorus, art, yearbook, etc.  I don't think it's always as bad as your dh's experience, even when there is literally no one that age in his class.

 

ETA:  Being academically advanced, though....that seems to make some classmates insecure.  We didn't have anyone in our school who had advanced a year like that, because one of our guidance counselors pushed against it, but the top students always had a hard time no matter what age they were.  Being nearly two years younger would have definitely put a target on your dh's back in that sense, but I think if your son is more average for an honors student, or good enough in sports to earn respect that way, it shouldn't be as bad.
 

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Public schools don't really care what homeschoolers do or what private schools do. It's by age. You can call what you do at home any year you like, but to the school he will be the right age for a 9th grader and that is where they will put him. Frankly you don't get to decide because it isn't your system. Especially if your son is ahead academically, there would be no reason for the public school to deny him entrance into high school. Kids show up with all different skill levels and move into states with all different kinds of education, the public school (and most of the private ones) just sort them by age. The system is used to that and knows how to deal with it.

 

And in 8th grade, my son went from always being in the 5th percentage in height  to the 70th. A friend that always towered over him is now shorter than him. Puberty is a wild ride and you don't know how it will go.  But if your son is already operating at a higher intellectual level than his peers, I can't imagine that spending the rest of his school career with kids a whole year younger will do him much good. In 2 years some of the 'big' kids will on the short side, some of the short kids will be tall and most of them will be about the same size.

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I haven't read through all of the replies and I am not in your state, but it is similar here in our state.  It is typical for boys to be 6 turning 7 in kindergarten.  My 7th grade (next year) son is 12 and has not hit puberty and we are looking at 2 more years til puberty gets going well.  All the kids in the sports leagues are by grades mainly, so it isn't by b-day so they are 1/2 a year to 1 1/2 years older than him and he doesn't have an early b-day.  His is in Dec. so we never thought that he would have this issue.  Most of the boys he has come up with even in the homeschool groups are 13 in 7th grade.  Their voices have changed, they are topping over 5 ft tall, their interests have shifted.  It is about so much more than whether he can guard them at basketball.  They have a full on foot of height over him and have shifted so much that they are in a different dimension than him in so many ways.  I feel bad when I keep telling him to act his age or how would so and so act.  I did this probably starting in 5th and continuing in 6th until I realized these boys I am referring to that I thought were so much more mature than my son at the same age turned out to be 1-2 years older than him.  A set of twins in his peer group and PE class were actually the same age as my 8th grade daughter this year.  We did contemplate repeating 6th grade.  We use a state charter and were going to try and switch charters b/c they do a different scope and sequence and would be new material for son.  It didn't work out.  We got told since he passed 6th grade and testing that he would move to 7th grade.  If we pull and put him back in even if he didn't do 7th grade this year, he would go into 8th the next year automatically b/c of his b-day.  Basically they aren't looking for a transcript or report card saying they took the next grade level's courses.  They place them off of testing and if they pass that they are put in based on age for grade level.  The only time you can really get by with this is to put into kindergarten late as most states have 7 yrs old as mandatory attendance and going into 9th grade as a freshman as those 4 years of high school stand alone as your high school transcript.

I get why you want to do it even though your son is ready academically for 8th grade.  My son is ready for 7th but as far as peer wise, he is just floundering and we see it and he sees it.  The only thing I can say is that eventually they will get the growth spurt, go through puberty, and all be on the same page.  It is hard to watch your kid struggle for any reason...I wish I knew an answer to this b/c we are in the same boat.

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 In 2 years some of the 'big' kids will on the short side, some of the short kids will be tall and most of them will be about the same size.

 

This is a really good point. My oldest son has an early summer birthday. He graduated at 17. When he was 14, he towered over his friends by 6-8 inches. By 16, several of the friends were taller than him. Puberty is really all over the place for boys. Some sprout up early, and some later. 

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This is a really good point. My oldest son has an early summer birthday. He graduated at 17. When he was 14, he towered over his friends by 6-8 inches. By 16, several of the friends were taller than him. Puberty is really all over the place for boys. Some sprout up early, and some later. 

 

And in all fairness, some of the short kids will stay short and some of the big kids will stay big. I was psyched to hit an even 5' by 9th grade, I was always very petite and that is why we assumed ds1 would also be fairly short. I should add that DH is 5' 10" so not so tall.  However, I swear that last week I saw them walking away and I think maybe ds1 is as tall if not taller than dh. 

 

And we have a friend who is well over 6', he is in professional basketball player territory, and his son is very tall and has always been so.

 

But not everyone is at such ends of the spectrum as me and my friend.  It is pretty funny to see us together. I hardly come up to his waist!

 

To the OP, you are not the first parent I have seen having a panic attack at the idea of their tween heading off to high school or middle school due to size and/or immaturity. I am the mom of 2 boys so I have a lot of friends with boys and this is a very common concern. I know that sick feeling in your gut.  But, as someone whose son is just a little bit older than yours...they grow up. They find their feet and they grow up. It isn't easy, it isn't as easy as elementary school, you can't do as much for them, but they grow up and they figure it out. If he needs therapy for social pressures etc then by all means PLEASE get it for him, he will not be the only one that is a certainty. But if he is academically able to do the work, if he is actually ahead of his grade, then why deny him that challenge? Do you think the other kids at school won't know he used to be in their grade and is now behind them? What do you think they will say to him? Even if it is a different school, word gets around. There is a reason that school districts bend over backwards not to hold kids back.

 

Look, I had a friend who pulled her son out of middle school last year for his 8th grade year. The reasons why were long and boring so I won't go into them, but her kid is immature, I suspect not neuro-typical, and prob working right at grade level, not ahead academically. The plan was to keep him home only last school year and then reenroll him this autumn.

 

Homeschooling him was sort of a mess. I am not saying it would be that way for you, but it was for them. Homeschooling is a skill and it takes time to learn. It usually takes a couple years to find your groove with your kid. He spend a year all over the place academically, and didn't get what I personally would call a full education. It seemed to be a string of started and dropped projects that they didn't know how to implement. However, he liked it and spend the year doing a lot of reading so that is fine. He mostly did kahn academy for math, so who knows how that went.  He is headed back to school this year, as was the plan, and the district is putting him right into 9th grade. They know exactly what he did last year, we live in a high regulation state so everything had to be reported. They aren't worried. And they certainly didn't give him the option of repeating 8th grade, because they don't care about what he did at home. What he did at home doesn't figure into the system. He is literate, he can do enough math that they will put him in Algebra, he is good to go. Honestly, I doubt he will stand out among his peers in any way.

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You know, the more I think about this the more insulting I think it is. RedSquirrel, you make an excellent point about homeschooling taking time to get down. It's not a holding cell for a time being, it's a legitimate way to educate our children. Most of us take that very, very seriously and the last thing we aim to do is keep our kids back in any way. Not only that, but the OP is dealing with 8th grade. Most if not all of us who are homeschooling that long are worrying ourselves sick with the pending high school years. We know that 8th grade is a big transition time, and we are making the stay at home vs public/private high school decision. There are real and big consequences in how we handle the year, depending what path is decided upon for high school. It's certainly not grade 2 which wouldn't matter so much one way or the other in the long run (no offense to the little ones, of course, it just feels like a different game with different rules at this age).

 

I feel bad because I don't think the OP got the response she was looking for, but something isn't setting right here. Especially for a group of people who you know, take pride in education over most anything else.

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OP, I think you are   making more out of this than it is.  My DH was always small and young for his grade, and some of the parents had held back kids, so he had kids a year older than him, and he was one of the absolute youngest (July b-day), but he still did very well.  He didn't wish he was in a different grade.  IN Middle School he was one of the smaller kids, but then I think around 10th grade he grew 6" in a summer, and gained 30lbs- in ONE summer.  He went back to school the same size or bigger than a lot of the kids that had always been bigger than him.  This age isn't fun, it's full of hormones and it's hard to navigate them both as a parent and a kid, but I don't think your DS should be held back.  If you want to stop some drama, or focus on some subjects he's interested in instead of what the school is doing, by all means- homeschool!  If you are just looking for a holding place, I don't think you are doing him justice.  He doesn't need to be held back, he's smart and ready to do the next level's work!  Let him, encourage him.  Size and puberty really do not matter, but how you and your DH support him will make a world of difference. 

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See we put a fall child in school at age 4. He could read and do first grade math, yet he was very young for his age and immature. More than half his class was a year older than him. He had so many social issues in first grade that we brought him home. Academic strength isn't everything. If other people didn't held their children back, my son would have had other summer and fall babies in the classroom. There were none. It seemed like every kid born after May was held back. Really annoying.

I sympathize with OP.

 

So, the school allowed you to enroll your 4yo child in *first grade*? That was a mistake.

 

FTR, both of my dc's bdays are in May. Older dd would easily have passed from first to second grade if we had not withdrawn her to begin homeschooling. Younger dd would also have had no problems. And with my July birthday, I easily passed from one grade to the next. In fact, I don't remember any of my classmates being retained.

 

But the OP's dc's bday is in the summer, not the fall, and he hasn't been skipped a grade, nor did he start earlier than he should have.

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As a bright former-child who was held back for similar reasons, I really don't think it's a great idea. This is not a harmless decision - it may have long term impact on his self-confidence and attitude towards academics, even if there are benefits. Even when there are benefits such as height, academic achievement, or sports performance, they may feel "unearned". 

 

If he's struggling socially (or even if he isn't currently, but the comments about emotional maturity make me think that this may be the case), going back to the same school (or the high school it feeds into) a grade behind his former classmates is very unlikely to help. Kids don't take a nuanced view of being held back - it'll be assumed that he couldn't hack it academically, regardless of any evidence to the contrary. 

 

I really don't understand holding kids back over sports unless there is real reason to believe that they are borderline for having a real a future in it - eg. realistic professional aspirations, the realistic possibility of a sports scholarship that outweighs other scholarship opportunities. Not that I don't think high school sports are beneficial - I just can't see making academic decisions based on them except in very rare cases.

 

If you do end up doing this, do not simply repeat subjects, especially subjects where he's already doing well. Repeating material that he already knows is not the best way to keep him in practice. It may keep him from losing ground in the subject, but it's not going to keep him in practice with addressing challenges, which is more important. If you don't feel he should go forward to algebra II, go broader - look at logic, real-world applications, and things like that which will keep him in practice and help solidify his existing skills without being simply a repeat of the same material. If you do want to repeat, at least find a curriculum that addresses the subject in more depth or with a different approach than his previous studies. Even if he was struggling the material, repeating it again with the same approach is unlikely to help much.

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Not to beat a head horse, but year may not even make much difference in terms of size/weight for sports purposes.  I've seen a lot of pictures of my DH when he was in high school.  He was seriously puny.  (It did make him a decent cross country runner though!).  He got a bit taller, but was still seriously skinny.  When he was 18-19 and a freshman in college, he finally grew a few more inches and gained more of his adult mass. While I am not sure that's the "norm", I'm sure he is not the the only late bloomer that grew a lot even past high school.

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Not to beat a head horse, but year may not even make much difference in terms of size/weight for sports purposes.  I've seen a lot of pictures of my DH when he was in high school.  He was seriously puny.  (It did make him a decent cross country runner though!).  He got a bit taller, but was still seriously skinny.  When he was 18-19 and a freshman in college, he finally grew a few more inches and gained more of his adult mass. While I am not sure that's the "norm", I'm sure he is not the the only late bloomer that grew a lot even past high school.

 

This is true. One of my brothers is just 5'9". He played football in high school, and did pretty well because he was scrappy. :-) Each year he'd tell the coach that he was sure he'd catch up in size, but no. He was offered football scholarships, which he declined because he knew those college guys would pound him into the mud. He became a preacher instead of a football star. :D

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So, the school allowed you to enroll your 4yo child in *first grade*? That was a mistake.

.

No, they allowed my four year old into K, because cutoff at the time was December 1st. We expected to see other fall babies in the classroom, but ended up being the only ones with a fall baby enrolled on time. Because all other families chose to keep their summer/fall kids back a year, my child was a year younger than many others and had major social problems in the classroom.

Now the cutoffs have changed, so if he were beginning K today, he wouldn't qualify. That doesn't help us at all though.

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Now the cutoffs have changed, so if he were beginning K today, he wouldn't qualify. That doesn't help us at all though.

 

The public school admin when we did the registration has a page listing the cutoffs per grade level. Something like

 

12-2-2002 8th

12-2-2003 7th

12-2-2004 6th

12-2-2005 5th

12-2-2006 4th

11-1-2007 3rd

10-1-2008 2nd

9-1-2009 1st

9-1-2010 K

 

After the parent filled out the forms, the admin just wrote the grade level in big letters on top of the form and faxed to the district office.

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No, they allowed my four year old into K, because cutoff at the time was December 1st. We expected to see other fall babies in the classroom, but ended up being the only ones with a fall baby enrolled on time. Because all other families chose to keep their summer/fall kids back a year, my child was a year younger than many others and had major social problems in the classroom.

Now the cutoffs have changed, so if he were beginning K today, he wouldn't qualify. That doesn't help us at all though.

 

December is way too late a cut-off. :-(

 

I'm not in favor of mandatory kindergarten at all, and I'd be in favor of an August 1 cut-off for children entering first grade in September.

 

Which, again, doesn't affect the OP's child, since his is a summer bday.

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December is way too late a cut-off. :-(

 

I'm not in favor of mandatory kindergarten at all, and I'd be in favor of an August 1 cut-off for children entering first grade in September.

 

Which, again, doesn't affect the OP's child, since his is a summer bday.

 

But it was December in nearly half the states as recently as a decade or two ago. Like with Roadrunner's ds, it was also changed in our district in my ds's lifetime. And I don't know about for her, but for us, kindy is mandatory, so the age of compulsory schooling was, indeed, basically 4.5 yo (and technically still may be - I know that the board neglected to move it when they changed the kindergarten cut off).

 

I mean, I agree - the deadline should be September when school starts so all the kids are 5 as they start, even if they're very recently 5 yo. But in places where it wasn't or still isn't, it's forcing parents to redshirt.

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Ok, thank you everyone. For the people who found my post "insulting," or insinuating that I am not taking my son's education seriously - that is not the case. I am simply EXPLORING options IF we decide to move forward in this way because I promised my husband that I would do so. Because I am not totally on board with not promoting a straight-A student. But it is done a LOT in our area so I said I would look into it. I already know all the reasons NOT to do it. I came here looking for resources. My husband and I were both fall babies and were young for our grade. But times have changed and it seems to be the norm for kids to start their kids later, regardless of the cutoff date. Everyone here who is telling me their experiences when they were in school - it is really different now. People with boys born May-August are simply not sending their kids to kinder at age 5. But I can see that subject has been beaten to death and this thread has gotten off track. For the record, for those who think all we care about are sports, let me be very clear. We take our son's education VERY seriously. Getting good grades is paramount - it is his JOB. If his grades aren't up, he doesn't even get to play sports. He is rewarded by us for his academic achievements, not his athletic achievements. But playing sports is fun for him; it's where he works off the pressure he has academically. We just want him to be happy and balanced. If he is not totally on board, and he has vacillated back and forth about it, we will not move forward.

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Some of us have been talking about our own children's experiences.  I talked directly about my May-born son in school.  It's not all ancient history.  To give another data point: my older son was born in late December, with the end of the year being the cut-off.  He is tall but not a natural sportsman.  He finished school before he turned eighteen.  He is a bright kid and it was the right year for him.

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OP, I think you could make this work if you're willing to homeschool for 2 years and then put him in high school. He will almost certainly be placed as a 9th grader because he won't have any high school credits. CA is particularly picky about accreditation and A-G courses. If you can do that, I think your plan will work. It will also give you the chance to explore his areas of interest, use a challenging math curriculum, get a head start on a foreign language or take an unusual one, etc.

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If he's struggling socially (or even if he isn't currently, but the comments about emotional maturity make me think that this may be the case), going back to the same school (or the high school it feeds into) a grade behind his former classmates is very unlikely to help. Kids don't take a nuanced view of being held back - it'll be assumed that he couldn't hack it academically, regardless of any evidence to the contrary. 

 

 

 

The more I think about it, as a bright but young student, if I'd been held back for size and immaturity, I'd be *trying* to convince the other kids that it was just academics to save face. (And would fail miserably at being convincing, as an honors student.)  Seriously, if he's already having social issues from being young, having to come back to re-enroll in the same district after being held back for being small and immature...even as an athlete, that will paint a sign on his back that says "Bully me" when word gets out.  And his age-peers in the new grade (if allowed to be in 8th) will resent him for still getting good grades, like his age is an unfair advantage (even if he technically ISN'T older due to their late start), and ditto for any athletic achievements made with more years of experience then they have.

 

When I pressed for IEP testing for one of mine with a summer birthday, our guidance counselor harped on this issue quite a bit...that he believed many kids could benefit from a late start, especially boys, and especially (in our case) any child with ADHD or even the social immaturity that sometimes comes with giftedness.  Well, nice theory. Wish someone had told us that in preschool.  But within the public school system, there really is no good way to fix it further down the road.  It's not fair, but that ship has sailed.  If you have a surprise pregnancy, feel free to wait six years to enroll your next child in kindergarten.  But, I think that even though a few parents in your area have found a loophole via that Christian part-time homeschool academy, I think that it's a very risky undertaking compared to letting your son continue on his current path, developing the strength of character that comes from being the underdog, rather than the sense of shame that comes from going backward. 

 

Especially since you are looking for a secular option than may mean doing everything on your own, learning to homeschool when it isn't a deep conviction or long-term plan might be setting yourselves up for a rough year ahead.  I mean, we only started out intending to homeschool for a few months, but there was a deep, deep conviction that we needed to get our child out of her classroom asap...so that had an effect on her willingness to cooperate, and my attitude of striving to do the right thing.  That dire necessity gave us the strength to push through the bumps in the road, and here we are years later glad that we did.  However, I think the poster above has a point about the quality of your year if you're both just doing this as a holding pattern....it's a hard task to undertake well, and takes time to adjust, and I wouldn't do it half-heartedly just based on your husband's "what-ifs," not without feeling 100% convinced that it was absolutely necessary and best.  All homeschooling parents have doubts, days when you question whether you've chosen the right path...I applaud you for being open-minded enough to explore this at your husband's request.  But the bulk of the burden will be on your shoulders, and I don't think "holding pattern" is going to be enough to sustain you.  If there is some personal reason you don't feel comfortable sharing...such as your son falling in with a bad crowd and desperately needing to be separated before he goes too far down the wrong path...then maybe it might be worth it.  But even then, I'd look into keeping him on track academically, maybe even going back to work to fund private school, or moving to a new district, but probably not holding him back a year.

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Hello, I'm new to this website. My son recently finished 7th grade and did very well academically, in advanced classes. However, he has an early summer birthday and is younger, physically smaller, and emotionally not as developed as his classmates, especially those on his basketball and football teams. We are considering having him "repeat" 7th grade via home school or online, and have him re-enter public school as an 8th grader in 2016. Looking back, of course, we would have started him in kindergarten later, but now here we are. Because his grades have been As, I'm having a hard time finding a school that will enroll him as a 7th grader. I only want him to repeat a couple of classes to keep his brain fresh (ie, Algebra 1), so that he stays on track when he eventually goes back to PS. I'd like him to take art, writing courses, etc. How do I do this?! Thank you!!!

 

 

If he is doing well academically then I would not hold him back or have him repeat a grade.  Let him keep moving ahead.  I don't recommend online schools at all.

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OP, I think you could make this work if you're willing to homeschool for 2 years and then put him in high school. He will almost certainly be placed as a 9th grader because he won't have any high school credits. CA is particularly picky about accreditation and A-G courses. If you can do that, I think your plan will work. It will also give you the chance to explore his areas of interest, use a challenging math curriculum, get a head start on a foreign language or take an unusual one, etc.

 

Not sure what you mean about CA being "particularly picky about accreditation and A-G courses." Do you mean for entering 9th grade?  :confused1:

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Ok, thank you everyone. For the people who found my post "insulting," or insinuating that I am not taking my son's education seriously - that is not the case. I am simply EXPLORING options IF we decide to move forward in this way because I promised my husband that I would do so. Because I am not totally on board with not promoting a straight-A student. But it is done a LOT in our area so I said I would look into it. I already know all the reasons NOT to do it. I came here looking for resources. My husband and I were both fall babies and were young for our grade. But times have changed and it seems to be the norm for kids to start their kids later, regardless of the cutoff date. Everyone here who is telling me their experiences when they were in school - it is really different now. People with boys born May-August are simply not sending their kids to kinder at age 5. But I can see that subject has been beaten to death and this thread has gotten off track. For the record, for those who think all we care about are sports, let me be very clear. We take our son's education VERY seriously. Getting good grades is paramount - it is his JOB. If his grades aren't up, he doesn't even get to play sports. He is rewarded by us for his academic achievements, not his athletic achievements. But playing sports is fun for him; it's where he works off the pressure he has academically. We just want him to be happy and balanced. If he is not totally on board, and he has vacillated back and forth about it, we will not move forward.

 

It really must be a local thing and I don't see the benefit at all. And as for telling us 'it is different now, lol, we are parents of school aged children. We are pretty familiar with what things are like for 'kids these days'.  I have one in public high school and one still at home. I know what 'it is like these days'.  I am not a grandmother.  But I also don't find your question insulting, I just am not sure you will get what you want. I also totally understand that you aren't doing this for any sports advantage. You have been very clear about that. I do find the notion that we are somehow disconnected from the current educational culture to be a little funny, but I will assume that you say that from a position of being unfamiliar with just how involved in these issues homeschoolers often are. So, if I take your word that this has nothing to do with sports and you are asking this from a spirit of wanting only the best for your child (which I can see is true) will you believe that we are actually clued into 'what things are like'?

 

My son is a May baby and has gone to high school with his peers. Kids his age locally, even those who homeschooled for their entire school career are not a grade behind. It just isn't done unless the student has failed academically in a fairly spectacular fashion. The school would offer summer school and academic support etc first before they allowed a student to be held back. The district does not want a bunch of 19 year old seniors. They want them out when they are supposed to graduate. When I enrolled my son last year, as a 9th grader at age 14, there was no question from the school district about where he would be placed. That part was not a discussion. The only questions was honours or non-honours.

 

Now I do have a friend who is worried about her son's academic engagement and if he doesn't get into the alternative high school she is going to homeschool him for 9th grade and then try once more to get him into the alternative school. It has a lottery for entrance. However she knows he won't get to enter as a freshman. His birthday is in August,btw. He will enter as a sophomore with his peer group.

 

you might want to do some research on red shirting, as it is called, because there don't seem to be a lot of benefits in the long term. However I think most of it is based on red shirting at kindergarten, not 8th grade.

 

And have you considered the possibility of a gap year after high school?  That is what I am hoping my son will take. I want him to take a year off between high school and college to work and learn on his own. A year spend working for minimum wage in the service industry does wonders for one's desire to work hard in college.

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If he is doing well academically then I would not hold him back or have him repeat a grade.  Let him keep moving ahead.  I don't recommend online schools at all.

 

Online schools won't let you hold back a grade if you have passed it in another state school.  We asked this year for our ds when we were going to transfer to another online charter.  They go by whether he was promoted/retained at his last state school.  So unless you pay for the online school (and I don't know if they would let you even then), you can't hold back for non-academic reasons past kindergarten.  It seems kindergarten is the only time you can use immaturity as a reason to hold back even if the child passes.

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Not sure what you mean about CA being "particularly picky about accreditation and A-G courses." Do you mean for entering 9th grade?  :confused1:

 

I think what she meant was that many (if not most) CA school districts do not recognize high school level course work done at a non accredited school (which very few private schools are accredited, at least in my area, and the dept of education here is not the accrediting agency anyway). So even if someone home schooled 9th-10th and then had to put their child in public school for some unforeseen reason, most districts will put them back in 9th grade and give no credit for work done. I heard some districts would let them get credit by exam for some classes, but that is not guaranteed. Students transferring from out of state often have to repeat some coursework depending on their district and how it lines up with CA's A-G courses. I know one family that let their oldest stay in another state (with close friends) to finish high school otherwise she would have had to delay graduating here by 2 semesters (they tried to get a waiver, exemption something, but no go).

 

Most parents here make the decision at the end of 8th grade to either use a charter (PS at home, so accredited course work), public B&M or commit to a full 4 years at home (although CC is free here except books once they hit 16, so that makes it a bit easier).

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It absolutely is a local thing, and I feel like we go round and round about it on this board, but yes, there are locations where it is FAR out of the norm for children born May-August to enter K on time. We can bemoan it all we like, but it doesn't change the reality that this is a big issue for many of us parents somewhere in the K-12 years no matter which side of the cutoff we choose.

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I think what she meant was that many (if not most) CA school districts do not recognize high school level course work done at a non accredited school (which very few private schools are accredited, at least in my area, and the dept of education here is not the accrediting agency anyway). So even if someone home schooled 9th-10th and then had to put their child in public school for some unforeseen reason, most districts will put them back in 9th grade and give no credit for work done. I heard some districts would let them get credit by exam for some classes, but that is not guaranteed. Students transferring from out of state often have to repeat some coursework depending on their district and how it lines up with CA's A-G courses. I know one family that let their oldest stay in another state (with close friends) to finish high school otherwise she would have had to delay graduating here by 2 semesters (they tried to get a waiver, exemption something, but no go).

 

 

 

 California high school's A-G requirements are for admission to a CSU or UC school, not for high school graduation. California public high schools are very careful about making sure college bound students have their A-G requirements completed, so they will be able to apply to a CSU or UC college. Although they will not make you "make them up" if you do not have them, you simply need to have the minimum classes to graduate.

 

 

http://165.74.253.64/ci/gs/hs/hsgrtable.asp

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I think what she meant was that many (if not most) CA school districts do not recognize high school level course work done at a non accredited school (which very few private schools are accredited, at least in my area, and the dept of education here is not the accrediting agency anyway). So even if someone home schooled 9th-10th and then had to put their child in public school for some unforeseen reason, most districts will put them back in 9th grade and give no credit for work done. I heard some districts would let them get credit by exam for some classes, but that is not guaranteed. Students transferring from out of state often have to repeat some coursework depending on their district and how it lines up with CA's A-G courses. I know one family that let their oldest stay in another state (with close friends) to finish high school otherwise she would have had to delay graduating here by 2 semesters (they tried to get a waiver, exemption something, but no go).

 

Most parents here make the decision at the end of 8th grade to either use a charter (PS at home, so accredited course work), public B&M or commit to a full 4 years at home (although CC is free here except books once they hit 16, so that makes it a bit easier).

 

I began homeschooling in CA in 1982, so I'm very much aware of CA stuff. I just wanted to clarify what she meant. :-)

 

CA public schools are not required to accept high school credits from any private school, accredited or otherwise. However, I owned/administered a PSP for 16 years, and none of my students who transferred into public schools had any problems with their credits being accepted. It tends to be only folks who filed their own affidavits who have problems. A friend in Monterey was told by a public school principal that he never accepted credits from *any* private school.

 

The course work in a charter school would count because it is a public school, not because it's accredited--which it might or might not be, because not all public schools are accredited, BTW, and neither are private schools. I think you're putting too much emphasis on high school accreditation; it might be important in some states, but not in California.

 

Both of my dds began taking classes at the community college when they were 14, so we didn't personally have to worry about that stuff. :-)

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Hi RH, an issue that you may have not considered is how DS's younger classmates will view him as a classmate who is older and obviously very bright and also academically successful (those two don't always go together!). As other posters have said, they will assume that DS has been held back a grade for academic reasons. They will likely resent DS for being older AND so far ahead academically. If he has already had a year of algebra and possibly geometry depending on what you decide to do at home, he will be far ahead of his classmates, many of whom will not see any algebra for another year.

 

I am sympathetic to your difficulty with the age cutoffs. But If I were you, I wouldn't poke the skunk. Sometimes, over manipulating situations ends up causing unintended issues.

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Well, this family was moving from the midwest, I think Nebraska, and the local district here made a stink. And as we all know some school districts like to make their own set of requirements and not follow the state regs and I think they were concerned their daughter would be targeted. I think it had to do with the fact she took some courses out of order or pre-reqs or the like.I just know she would have had to graduate in Dec after taking a summer course and a couple of courses in the fall when she would graduate in June of that year if she stayed where she was.

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Not sure what you mean about CA being "particularly picky about accreditation and A-G courses." Do you mean for entering 9th grade?  :confused1:

Yes, I doubt many public high schools will accept home school credits toward high school graduation unless you enroll in an accredited course which are usually labeled as acceptable for A-G credit. Even in TX, very few high schools will accept home school courses. Since OP's son would be 10th grade by age but have no acceptable credits, it's very likely the public school would enroll him as a 9th grader. This policy is usually seen as a "punishment" for homeschoolers, but in OP's case it would achieve her goals. Of course, she may have the one weird school district that does accept home school credits, so she should check her local situation.

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December is way too late a cut-off. :-(

 

I'm not in favor of mandatory kindergarten at all, and I'd be in favor of an August 1 cut-off for children entering first grade in September.

 

Which, again, doesn't affect the OP's child, since his is a summer bday.

I agree completely. All 4 of mine range from the end of October to mid December. Because we have junior kindergarten here my older kids started when they were only 3!

 

With speech delays, it was a nightmare for my son.

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Yes, I doubt many public high schools will accept home school credits toward high school graduation unless you enroll in an accredited course which are usually labeled as acceptable for A-G credit. Even in TX, very few high schools will accept home school courses. Since OP's son would be 10th grade by age but have no acceptable credits, it's very likely the public school would enroll him as a 9th grader. This policy is usually seen as a "punishment" for homeschoolers, but in OP's case it would achieve her goals. Of course, she may have the one weird school district that does accept home school credits, so she should check her local situation.

 

Enrolling in an accredited school will not guarantee that those credits will be accepted. It would make no difference whatsoever in California [long involved explanation on why, including CA's compulsory attendance laws and whatnot], and I suspect it would be the same in TX. Y'all are putting way too much belief in the importance of high school accreditation.

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Hello, I'm new to this website. My son recently finished 7th grade and did very well academically, in advanced classes. However, he has an early summer birthday and is younger, physically smaller, and emotionally not as developed as his classmates, especially those on his basketball and football teams.

 

I'm confused.  When is his birthday?  If he turned 5 years old in early summer (May, June?) then he would have started K at 5 years old.  Did he start K at 4 years old rather than 5 years old?  If so, didn't the school officials mention his young age?  In California, you must be 5 by August to be eligible for K. 

Is your issue actually his age or his physical stature?  Is he the same age as the other kids in his class?

 

Hot Lava Mama

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He started K at 5, as he "should" have. At the time we had no idea people held their boys back from starting K until they were 6. He is physically smallish, compared to others in his grade, particularly because many of them are 8-13 months older because they started late. We know he will be tall eventually, but it is likely he will be a late bloomer like his 6'4" dad. But I'm not looking for any more feedback on this, thank you! I was mainly looking for help in finding official resources to get the answers to my question. Which is, is it possible, and if so, how do I do it? I'm leaning towards not doing it and my husband is leaning towards doing it, and my son isn't sure. So it is my job to explore all options so we are making the most informed decision.

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