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PreK or Kindergarten?

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I'm trying to decide whether my youngest should be considered PreK or Kindergarten this coming fall. But, I keep second guessing myself!

 

He'll be 5 October 16. In Georgia, cutoff is Sept 1 for Kindergarten and first. No mention of cutoffs above that.

 

We homeschool, so grade level only matters for church and scouts and if he goes to public school one day. Scouts starts in Kindergarten. We've been members since my oldest was 6, and I am trying to decide if ds4 can start this year.

 

DS is my 4th child and the most mature Preschooler I have ever had. He's definitely gifted, but untested. He's the only one I have that isn't 2e. Academically he isn't as advanced as some on this board, but I'm waiting for him to take off. (Dh has a pretty high IQ, and he's just like his dad). He reads and does math on about a first grade level and can play games on the computer by himself. He loves logic games. His best friend is 6. At church he is in the PK3 room. He's the oldest and doesn't associate with the younger kids, but will play with older kids at scouts

 

Thoughts? I usually am in the "call them grade by age" camp.

 

I'm really stressing this more than I should!

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Since it sounds like your family is already involved with church and scouts, would it be possible for him to do a couple trials to see how he would fit in? 

 

At church is there a PK4 room he could try out for a couple weeks?  If he fits in well with that cohort, then he will probably do well with them next year in K.

 

At scouts could he sit in with the group a few times to see how he does?

 

Wendy

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We say whatever grade is most relevant for each activity. So my six-year-old is currently registered for kindergarten by the Department of Education and I state, but does a lot of activities with first graders. Similarly my eight-year-old is registered as a second grader, but his activities range from second grade to fourth grade, just depending on what’s the best fit . I say if he misses the cut off by just a few weeks, and you think he’s mature enough to handle the situation, and put them in the kindergarten situation.

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Since it sounds like your family is already involved with church and scouts, would it be possible for him to do a couple trials to see how he would fit in?

 

At church is there a PK4 room he could try out for a couple weeks? If he fits in well with that cohort, then he will probably do well with them next year in K.

 

At scouts could he sit in with the group a few times to see how he does?

 

Wendy

I'm just going to have to go for it. I teach the 3 yr old room right now and last time I tried to put him with the PreK, the teacher of that room said "would you rather go with me or your mom?" Well, if you're going to put it that way! It's frustrating because so many people bump their kids up to the 3's room from the 2's, that it gets even younger in there. Sigh. I don't really want to be THAT mom.

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We say whatever grade is most relevant for each activity. So my six-year-old is currently registered for kindergarten by the Department of Education and I state, but does a lot of activities with first graders. Similarly my eight-year-old is registered as a second grader, but his activities range from second grade to fourth grade, just depending on what’s the best fit . I say if he misses the cut off by just a few weeks, and you think he’s mature enough to handle the situation, and put them in the kindergarten situation.

Not a bad idea if I can get away with it here! It's a pretty small area where everyone knows almost everyone. But, I need to start advocating for them more. I usually downplay what they can do.

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In the fall my DD5 will qualify for kindergarten, per state law.

 

We are homeschooling her. Currently she is PreK but doing kindergarten/first grade level work.

 

In church, her Sunday School class is Prek/Kindergarten combo. She still qualifies for nursery. (It's 2-PreK) for the service time.

 

Her extra curricular activities she is mixed with kids of different ages and does fine except she doesn't have the focus the older ones do. Her teacher doesn't mind and handles her well. She was a preschool teacher prior.

Edited by Mommyof1

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In the fall my DD5 will qualify for kindergarten, per state law.

 

We are homeschooling her. Currently she is PreK but doing kindergarten/first grade level work.

 

In church, her Sunday School class is Prek/Kindergarten combo. She still qualifies for nursery. (It's 2-PreK) for the service time.

 

Her extra curricular activities she is mixed with kids of different ages and does fine except she doesn't have the focus the older ones do. Her teacher doesn't mind and handles her well. She was a preschool teacher prior.

I think part of what is getting me is that if we were in another state he would qualify for K by cutoff or early testing, it's just that my state will not budge on that.

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I know. That's annoying. The states don't have the same start age and cutoffs.

 

I spoke to private schools and they wouldn't even consider her for early entry because they want the kids to be with their age mates. They even told me when she would qualify that she wouldnt be allowed to do accelerated work or be advanced till 3rd grade.

 

I thank God I am able to homeschool her. I can make sure she is being taught at her level, not her age.

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Thinking of my own kids (in b&m school), I would accelerate, but since you are homeschooling, I would lean toward his actual age grade.

 

Does your scout group cut-off at age or grade?  AHG has an age cutoff as well as a grade cut-off.  Because of this, my kid will be the only 7th grader in the Explorers (mainly grades 4-6) next year.  There have been a few other times that age inconveniently trumped grade for my kids.

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Thinking of my own kids (in b&m school), I would accelerate, but since you are homeschooling, I would lean toward his actual age grade.

 

Does your scout group cut-off at age or grade?  AHG has an age cutoff as well as a grade cut-off.  Because of this, my kid will be the only 7th grader in the Explorers (mainly grades 4-6) next year.  There have been a few other times that age inconveniently trumped grade for my kids.

 

No, scouts is primarily by grade until they cross to boy scouts, then they have to be 11 or 6th grade or 10.5 and completed cub scouts. Well, the kindergartener requirements say 5 by Sept 1 and in kindergarten, but they will have to be flexible on that due to the states that have a later cut-off. 

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No, scouts is primarily by grade until they cross to boy scouts, then they have to be 11 or 6th grade or 10.5 and completed cub scouts. Well, the kindergartener requirements say 5 by Sept 1 and in kindergarten, but they will have to be flexible on that due to the states that have a later cut-off. 

 

Sounds rational, but it doesn't work with AHG.  Their cut-off is Nov 15 or something like that, despite the fact that some states have a later cut-off.  (You can tell this is a pet peeve of mine!)

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I was right at the cut off with my son. I kept him as the oldest in his grade than the youngest in his grade. That's because a lot of boys are red-shirted, it matter for sports and extra-curricular activities as he is not tall for his age. It's hard to watch him have to play basketball and guard players that are a foot or more taller. Girls are extremely socially aggressive now, and frankly, boys mature slower socially as it is, so I gave him the gift of time since with homeschooling it isn't a problem to accelerate. If I was  moving him to PS, I always have the option to grade skip. If I continue to homeschool, I always have the option to graduate early. It's much harder to hold back later.

That being said, I do have him in things that are above his stated grade level. It has not been a problem for us to do that.

Edited by calbear
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Sounds rational, but it doesn't work with AHG.  Their cut-off is Nov 15 or something like that, despite the fact that some states have a later cut-off.  (You can tell this is a pet peeve of mine!)

 

That is frustrating! 

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I was right at the cut off with my son. I kept him as the oldest in his grade than the youngest in his grade. That's because a lot of boys are red-shirted, it matter for sports and extra-curricular activities as he is not tall for his age. It's hard to watch him have to play basketball and guard players that are a foot or more taller. Girls are extremely socially aggressive now, and frankly, boys mature slower socially as it is, so I gave him the gift of time since with homeschooling it isn't a problem to accelerate. If I was in moving him to PS, I always have the option to grade skip. If I continue to homeschool, I always have the option to graduate early. It's much harder to hold back later.

 

That being said, I do have him in things that are above his stated grade level. It has not been a problem for us to do that.

 

So, another thing I have pondered - what about when he is a senior and is 18 almost the entire year? I know it sounds paranoid, but an 18 year old male can get in a lot of trouble as an "adult" dating or even commenting the wrong way to minors AKA classmates. I am about to register my oldest for high school next year so I am probably WAY overhinking everything right now!

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So, another thing I have pondered - what about when he is a senior and is 18 almost the entire year? I know it sounds paranoid, but an 18 year old male can get in a lot of trouble as an "adult" dating or even commenting the wrong way to minors AKA classmates. I am about to register my oldest for high school next year so I am probably WAY overhinking everything right now!

Making the decision for PreK or K isn’t at all the same as making the decision for high school. Many people elect to adjust official grade level in middle school/around entry to high school. They have a better idea of that child’s needs and how the age and maturity level will fit for the timing of graduation.

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I would say kindergarten :).  Locally our our kindergarten cutoff states that you must turn 5 by December 1st so there are plenty of 4 year olds, just turned 5 year olds, and almost 6 year olds in each kindergarten class :).

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So, I'm leaning towards just winging it and not having an official grade level until I have to. It goes against my nature to be so loose with it, and the thought of adjusting grade level later is giving me a slight panicky feeling. But, for this child, it may be best! That way, we can pick activities based on ability not "grade." I have to quit trying to plan so fast ahead :)

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So, another thing I have pondered - what about when he is a senior and is 18 almost the entire year? I know it sounds paranoid, but an 18 year old male can get in a lot of trouble as an "adult" dating or even commenting the wrong way to minors AKA classmates. I am about to register my oldest for high school next year so I am probably WAY overhinking everything right now!

That is what freaks me out with my son who is old for year in NZ. An adult, voting and legally able to drink male should not depend another 3/4 year in high school. One term seems fine but not 3 terms.

 

Eta. Of course you can adjust if homeschooling but not so easy in B&M settings.

Edited by kiwik

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Go by age (so preK) is my BTDT advice. Acceleration rarely gets them what they need and can cause problems when some things have Birthday cutoffs (not grade level cutoffs). Plus there’s always the chance it can put them into contexts they are not ready for maturity wise, all for little advantage gained through acceleration.

Edited by Targhee

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