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My4arrows

WWYD? Grade label?

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My oldest has a birthday that falls a couple of weeks after the states cut off. So when he was going to turn five, we decided to call it K, even though he wouldn't have gone to K until the year after. We were eager to start, all our friends were going to K, so we did it too. So we've always labeled grade levels.

 

Fast forward to today. He's in "4th" grade and I feel is less mature than his peers and since so many have chosen to red shirt vs start on time or early it's more apparent. Academically we have always worked at his level so at home it's not a concern, but rather in group settings like co-op, church and classes. Academically, he probably is more at a 3rd grade level with some areas. I'm beginning to regret starting early and calling it K and am thinking about having him do 4th grade again next year for social reasons vs academic.

 

Is changing things now going to harm him? Should I just continue along with the path we've started?

We've moved recently and are beginning a new co-op, so renaming a grade level now won't be known to a social group, just him and old friends.

Edited by My4arrows

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I did it with my oldest at that same age--September birthday. We did two years of third grade.

 

I just told her we were adjusting our grade level designations to match the state cut offs. Didn't worry her at all--it's not as if we were throwing out the last year's work and making her do it all over again.

 

It gave us some breathing room when we needed it.

 

She's 13 now and talking about going to college early--I'm happy to support her in any self-driven goal. We're still calling this year 7th grade but she's studying for a trial SAT and pushing to get through Algebra.

 

Honestly this feels ideal to me--no external presure to meet a grade level that may be a stretch but personally driven acceleration is always possible.

 

My boys are all summer birthdays and so far I have chosen to red shirt each of them.

Edited by maize
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My oldest has a birthday that falls a couple of weeks after the states cut off. So when he was going to turn five, we decided to call it K, even though he wouldn't have gone to K until the year after. We were eager to start, all our friends were going to K, so we did it too. So we've always labeled grade levels.

 

Fast forward to today. He's in "4th" grade and I feel is less mature than his peers and since so many have chosen to red shirt vs start on time or early it's more apparent. Academically we have always worked at his level so at home it's not a concern, but rather in group settings like co-op, church and classes. Academically, he probably is more at a 3rd grade level with some areas. I'm beginning to regret starting early and calling it K and am thinking about having him do 4th grade again next year for social reasons vs academic.

 

Is changing things now going to harm him? Should I just continue along with the path we've started?

We've moved recently and are beginning a new co-op, so renaming a grade level now won't be known to a social group, just him and old friends.

 

I would not change things at all. It will all work out eventually. I promise that among children who entered school at the "right" time some are more immature than their age peers, some are more mature. It will all work out.

 

This is one reason that I always recommend that when people need to put a grade level label on their children, they use the one according to their states' cut-off date and their children's date of birth. Grade level has no real meaning for homeschooled children, and it's just easier to use the one that the schools would use.

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I would do it. We've added in a transition year after 8th for our three oldest boys, and it was absolutely the right thing to do for many reasons, and they've been on board.

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I would not change things at all. It will all work out eventually. I promise that among children who entered school at the "right" time some are more immature than their age peers, some are more mature. It will all work out.

 

This is one reason that I always recommend that when people need to put a grade level label on their children, they use the one according to their states' cut-off date and their children's date of birth. Grade level has no real meaning for homeschooled children, and it's just easier to use the one that the schools would use.

 

Yes, we were eager with the first and excited to be starting "real" school.  I now give the same advice and my others who are also close to the cut off did not get labeled early.  Here we do need grade levels in a way since that is how they are split at church, co-op and other classes.  

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Does he notice any of the social differences? Or any academic differences in the co-op?

 

If he notices and is uncomfortable, I would seriously consider changing it. If he's generally happy where he is, I'd leave it be. The range of abilities, socially and academically, is quite large.

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I'll also add that there is a good chance you'll be thankful for that year as he approaches high school. My guys struggled so much with focus/working as they hit 12/13/14ish. All their ability was going into turning into young men, and schooling was h.a.r.d. .

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I have kids with Summer birthdays and I wish I had waited with them. I would do it now and just explain to him that since you are starting a new academic situation you need to align with the state standard and it won't change or repeat his school work in any way.

 

Seems like a good time to take care of it. accelerating later is always an option if needed.

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Like many homeschooled kids, mine work at their ability levels, not grade levels.

 

But officially-- for all outside classes and activities, testing, and for purposes of submitting our information to the school district-- I've put them at the grade they'd be in based upon the recommendations of every single experienced homeschooler I ever asked.

 

I think at this point, I would indeed rename for all outside purposes. I totally understand that feeling of excitement followed by the "Wait, what am I rushing, anyway?" I think many of us do.

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I would do it. Give him the time, esp since you have a new start. He can be whever he needs for homeschool. Ime, homeschooled kids are used to some variation between the levels of their schoolwork and where they are assigned for extra curriculars, sunday school etc.

 

My Ds has a summer bday, is immature for his age and we readshirted him. No regrets. He is tall and plays sports as a 4th or even 5th grader, but is 3rd at church and scouts and most schoolwork.

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I did something very similar for my oldest, he missed our state's cut-off for K by just a couple days. I called it K that year and started homeschooling him just to give him something to do and stop him from brawling with his then-3 year old sister. I don't regret starting that early, but I do regret not using the grade level that aligned with the state. Now he's 12 and in 7th grade, but I think doing an extra year before he officially starts high school would be helpful.

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I tend to agree that your move has created an opportunity.  You could say that in this new place his age places him in 3rd grade, so that's that.  The other boys his age are also in 3rd grade.  Since you work at his level academically regardless, and he doesn't have an established friend group there, it should be fine.

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I just told her we were adjusting our grade level designations to match the state cut offs. Didn't worry her at all--it's not as if we were throwing out the last year's work and making her do it all over again.

 I would do this.

 

You're not having him do any work over, and he gets an extra year of education out of it.

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My son is in public school, April birthday with September cut-off (so not a summer birthday), and he is not really mature enough to go to youth group at church. So he goes on Sunday but not to other events yet.

 

But I think this is very temporary.

 

I wonder if you can adjust your son up and down in specific activities, by talking to the teacher or director.

 

I needed to when he was younger sometimes, and have always been able to.

 

What I see -- yes, there is a younger immature cohort at school.

 

But is there at church? Is there at soccer? Maybe NOT.

 

And then it can be hard to be the only young immature kid.

 

I think if you see he is one of a couple of kids, but there is a cohort, then that is fine.

 

If he does not have a cohort, and would fit in younger, I would move him down for that class.

 

You might be in things where that is harder to do, but I think has worked for the kinds of activities we do. And, it is flexible for us.

 

Thinking about it -- it might depend on your co-op whether he will have a cohort or not.

 

It might appeal to moms of more mature kids (maybe less mature kids are more likely to do something else?) or maybe red shirting was more common.

 

I would try to look at the kids.

 

So being one of the immature kids is different than being that annoying kid who is less mature than everybody else.

Edited by Lecka

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I have a borderline birthday kid too.

 

I've always labels her the grade she would be according to the state cut off, so she's the oldest of her grade.

 

Honestly it has set her up to win in many settings. I know some homeschoolers push their kids into the next grade level for activities, church, etc. And the truth is that you can often tell who isn't really old enough.

 

Best wishes!

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I'd need to know the kid to know the answer to WWYD, but it sounds like I would consider it, given that the kid is 3rd grade level in some subjects (which?) while declared as 4th grade and born a few days after the cut-off. I've got a kid born less than 2 weeks _before_ the Dec 1st cut-off, and if he were behind compared to his declared grade level (and it didn't seem like a temporary blip), I would definitely consider changing his grade level on paper when moving (fun fact - when I sent in my letter of intent, I didn't put down his grade level, and the school district sent me paperwork listing him as entering K, even though by *their* cut-off, he was entering 1st (for anyone confused by my signature, I did list him as entering 1st when I sent in the IHIP)).

Edited by luuknam
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My boys have a Sept birthday in a not-a-state with an end of September cutoff. I put them in the "correct" grade, but they're by far the youngest for that, especially since the neighbor states have Sept 1st cutoffs instead of the end.

 

I wouldn't personally rename unless you were planning to go to school, in which case I might do a "gap" year and call it that. Most co-ops I know have classes that cover a range of grades and most activities like sports around here are by age cut off (which is why ds is in the level he's in for ballet, for example). So those things wouldn't be a concern to me.

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I think it's also important to consider the personalities of your children. For example, my September-birthday daughter has always been mature and precocious, which has made us think she should be pushed ahead, but she does not do well when she is the youngest in a group. She thrives on being older and being able to care for younger children and set examples, and so we keep her down more often than we'd expected.. You could easily have a child who operates in the opposite manner, so that he prefers to be one of the younger ones in a group. 

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With my kids it wouldn't matter. They usually don't even remember what grade they are in. I would just talk to them about the situation and ask their thoughts on it. 

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Move him back down. I went back and forth about doing that with one of my boys, and in the end, did not move him down a grade level. I wish I had. He's a senior this year, and really could have used another year to mature.

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I would do it. Two out of three of my boys have late birthdays. I held both back for social reasons at different times. It worked for the best. Boys, in general, tend to mature slower, so you really can't go wrong here. I would keep it low key.

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This is good to read. My son turned 5 in November. We started a K year this year and he's done well and caught on quickly (we are already in Level 2 of AAR, and moving along with right start even though we only spend 30-45 min a day on school).

 

My family asks what grade he is in and I didn't know what to say. I think I'll do what was recommended here - work at his level a call him a "kindergartner" for outside things and family who asks so that he is with same age peers and we

Don't have to "go back" later.

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I just told her we were adjusting our grade level designations to match the state cut offs. Didn't worry her at all--it's not as if we were throwing out the last year's work and making her do it all over again.

 

I like this approach, where it puts the reason on the system and not on the student.

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This is good to read. My son turned 5 in November. We started a K year this year and he's done well and caught on quickly (we are already in Level 2 of AAR, and moving along with right start even though we only spend 30-45 min a day on school).

 

My family asks what grade he is in and I didn't know what to say. I think I'll do what was recommended here - work at his level a call him a "kindergartner" for outside things and family who asks so that he is with same age peers and we

Don't have to "go back" later.

 

If you have a November 5yo in K, then you *do* have a young-for-grade kid, unless your school year doesn't run Sept-June (though even if your school year starts in January or something, the kid still wouldn't be old-for-grade). Now, obviously, for some kids it's good to be young-for-grade (I have a November 6yo in 1st grade this year, so I'm certainly not a huge proponent of red-shirting), but if you wanted to "play things safe" or something, calling him Pre-K this year would make sense.

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I was in the same boat. He made the cutoff by 5 days. I keep him older in his year. He's more sensitive and less mature in his interests than other kids so it works out better. He's also smaller for his age which makes a difference for sports for us. He's playing in a 1st-2nd basketball league, and there are kids who are 6 inches taller than him guarding him! I also am thinking ahead to when he leaves for college as boys are less socially mature than girls anyways. I have heard a lot of horror stories of how aggressive girls have become with respect to pursuing boys. So the extra year is welcome for us. I'm not worried about keeping him challenged as there are so many ways to offer challenge these days that didn't exist 10, 20 years ago.

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We accelerated DS in 2nd grade.  Academically, right move for him and still is.  Fast forward to middle, and I am surprised by how many people have chosen to red-shirt their kids.  I can understand for some reasons (not for traditional reasons like sporting advantages :eyeroll:), but the net effect is that their DC are two years older than mine.  That is a huge difference in middle and high school (adolescence).  That amount of age difference isn't something I figured would be an issue when we accelerated him. 

 

Cut-offs vary a good bit and ours is Aug 1st.  I would take the opportunity to adjust since it is a new community and no social stigma.  Easy. 

Edited by Reader411

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My oldest has a November birthday and we "renamed" her grade in 3rd.  (Love the word "renamed."  It is so hard to explain to non-homeschoolers that there is no "repeating" of a grade.)  Anyways, none of our friends/family even noticed and my kiddo didn't care and doesn't even remember.  It didn't change a thing in our day-to-day schooling, of course, but it has made a huge difference in outside activities.  I don't regret it at all and would consider doing the same for another kiddo if needed.  *If* she had suddenly excelled, that would have been fine too, we would have just left the adjusted grade and praised her for being advanced.  :) 

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Oh gosh. It really, really depends on the kid. I have an example going both ways in my house and one in the middle, and it was absolutely the right decision for each of these kids. The feeling I get from your post, I'd probably let him roll back and keep in mind it can be reversed if there's ever a need for it.

 

Those three kids:

My oldest started early in a state where early was okay and not terribly uncommon. We moved to an area where red-shirting was more prevalent and he was always the youngest. Academically he held his own and socially he started to decline until junior high. Then he really started struggling to stay on top and we spread 6th and 7th out for 3 years, essentially holding him back. There was a move that made it seemless so he was never embarrassed by friends noticing. Now he's a 12th grader and we don't regret it at all. It was absolutely the right thing to do and we wish we'd held him back a bit sooner.

 

Little brother's birthday is 10 days after the above mentioned brother. At nearly 5 he could do the math himself to know brother started then so he should too. So we started him early in the redshirt area. He's the middle of the road story. He's dutifully plugged along at this level and been fine. I really don't see any problems arising from it. (8th grade now)

 

Then we had our 4th DC start in an area with a very strict September 1st cut off. Her birthday is September 20. She read fluently at 3 years old and was already well above grade level. We started her anyway. She bloomed wherever she was planted. Until 5th/6th age. Her distance ahead was making it ridiculous to keep her fed with same age peers. We let her "skip" another grade (nothing changed in her school work) and she blossomed immediately. She's more comfortable in her own skin now and still blooms everywhere she's planted.

 

One blanket answer for all three of them wouldn't have worked.

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My younger two made the December age cut-off in our town by weeks... however, in surrounding towns and every other place we've ever lived, they would have missed the more common September cut-off by a few months. So, what to do? 

 

Well, for ds, I call him 5th grade. In most places in the US, he'd be in 5th grade by age. In our town, he'd just squeak by and be in 6th. Academically, he's quite a bit advanced, and so 6th grade would come a little closer to meeting those needs. However, I believe we're working with dysgraphia, which could put a real kink in 6th grade writing expectations (amount of output). He's tall for his age, but he's really sweet-natured and innocent, so although he'd fit into 6th grade *physically*, I'd rather keep him socially innocent just one more year. I am thinking about putting him in high school when the time comes and I think he'd benefit (socially and emotionally) from one more year of homeschooling, so 5th grade it is.

 

For dd, for now, I call her 1st grade. She *extremely* tall for her age and fits in better, physically, with 8 year-olds. She's a little bit quick, academically (working easily in Singapore Math 1B, learning cursive, beginning to read chapter books), but I don't want to assume she'll continue at the same rate.  She may taper off or plateau, y'know? Last year when I called her a Kindergartner I wanted to "play it safe" and give her that extra year. In our town she'd be a 2nd grader, but for now I'm calling her 1st. I figure we can always "skip" a grade a few years from now with no negative self-esteem issues.

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I wouldn't personally rename unless you were planning to go to school, in which case I might do a "gap" year and call it that. 

My oldest has a spring birthday, so in our American school year he's smack in the middle -- no cut-off dates to worry about.  Still, we put him in school the year he was ten and grade-skipped him. He was in 6th grade. The next year it was back to homeschooling and I did a "grade correct" by telling him that the grade-skip was just for that school for a good academic fit. A few years later he went off to high school and I was SO glad I did that "grade correct" and brought him back to his age-grade.  He was still several years academically advanced, but high school is so much more than academics and that extra year of social-emotional development was priceless (especially for ds who entered puberty on the later side). Additionally, his STEM high school is an early college model school with dual enrollment offered starting freshman year, if applicable to that particular student, so his academic needs were met even without continuing the grade skip.  So lucky that all turned out so well!  (I didn't plan it, just flew by the seat of my pants.) Ds is now a senior, applying to colleges, and once again I am so happy we had that "extra" year of time with him. (Can you tell I'm not exactly eager to see him fledge? I will miss him...)

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And one more --

My oldest dd has a spring birthday (no cut-off dates to consider). She will go off to college early (her decision) and right now we are looking at one year early.  (So, that's like a "grade skip.")  She's homeschooling her freshman year in high school right now, so that would be like being a sophomore I guess. Her music school does a lot of things based on grade but we still have her listed as a freshman.  I will talk to her teachers there and get their input before I "grade skip" on paper. No rush... after all, she may change her mind.  I don't want to lock her into her decision quite yet. (And not eager to think about "losing" her a year early, either.)

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We did this with Ds. It never really mattered. He is ahead academically, but right on par socially. For events which his age mattered (youth group, camp, etc) he is grouped by 6th grade. For events which are academic (piano tests, outsourced classes, etc) he is grouped by 7th grade.

 

Recently, he has decided he wants to try and attend high end boarding school for high school. This changes the scenerio a bit. If this holds as a long term goal, we will formally adjust him back to 6th grade. This way his age can allign with the very signficant resume he is going to need to get in and he can have the necessary legal status to be able to handle many issues which you need to be 16+ to take care of since he will be on the other side of the country.

 

Long story short, grades are fluid and really do not matter. Pick which works best for the situation and just go with it. If needed, re-evaluate later.

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I have kids with Summer birthdays and I wish I had waited with them. I would do it now and just explain to him that since you are starting a new academic situation you need to align with the state standard and it won't change or repeat his school work in any way.

 

Seems like a good time to take care of it. accelerating later is always an option if needed.

 

This.  Trust your gut. 

 

 

 

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I'd do it, since it will be easy now.  I'd be concerned with the possibility that puberty would be later and so he'd be less able with some of the academic and social expectations he might meet. And if he has to enter ps at some point it will be better.  If he is working ahead later, I can't see any disadvantages.

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