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    #180638 - 01/26/14 11:08 PM Transition from K to 1st grade mid-year?
    Selina Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/26/14
    Posts: 3
    Hi. My daughter started reading at age three and entered K reading at the 3rd-4th grade level. (She recently finished "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" by Grace Lin.) Math and science are not particularly difficult either. While she seems content, my gut is telling me she could be happier and more engaged in the classroom. She is also mature and focused for her age. I'm considering moving her to 1st mid-year. Has anyone out there ever considered or done this? Thanks so much for any wisdom you can share.

    #180696 - 01/27/14 05:40 PM Re: Transition from K to 1st grade mid-year? [Re: Selina]
    mnmom23 Offline

    Registered: 09/11/09
    Posts: 701
    Well, it sounds like it could be something to look into, and now would be a good time to start a conversation with her teacher because any move is likely, in my experience, to take months. So what you may more realistically be looking at is a better fit in the fall.

    I would start the conversation, like I said, with the current teacher. What has the teacher noticed about your daughter and the educational fit? Sometimes the teacher will see that a child is way ahead and will work to provide her with challenges, sometimes the teacher will notice a child is way ahead and will simply think, "that's great" but make no move to adjust the work, and other times the teacher will simply have no idea how far ahead your child is. If you have any stories or evidence that show what you are seeing, share that with the teacher. If the teacher is skeptical or wanting more evidence of you DD's advanced abilities, ask for testing, like MAP testing, end-of-year testing for the current grade and for the next grade up (and so on to try to show your DD's actual level), and abilitity testing (IQ). That way you will have factual information from which to work. The principal and school psychologist will probably get involved at this point, and possibly the Gifted program coordinator if necessary. If the teacher completely dismisses you, you will have to go to the principal as your next step.

    It is always good to go in with the attitude of gratefulness for what they have done so far and a spirit of cooperation to figure out the best situation for you DD. Do no go in demanding anything, and try to keep things pleasant. Help them to see what you see and keep an open mind about what they say they see. What you are looking for is to begin the process. Nothing will get resolved in one meeting.

    It would be worth considering, IMO, why your DD seems content and whether she actually is. It is fairly common for girls, in particular, to hide their academic abilities because fitting in is so important to them. Not saying that your DD is doing this, but it is worth considering. Of course, if she truly is content, that is important information to consider as well.
    She thought she could, so she did.

    #180697 - 01/27/14 06:01 PM Re: Transition from K to 1st grade mid-year? [Re: Selina]
    apm221 Offline

    Registered: 11/23/13
    Posts: 249
    My daughter was accelerated from kindergarten to first grade mid-year. It waan't ideal because she didn't have a chance to prepare, but t has worked very well. She is in fourth grade now.

    If your daughter is happy, it may be better to negotiate for next year so you can prepare her. Schools are often very resistant, so it helps to have testing (some will test, but many don't offer anything u tip third grade). It may help to get private testing. I arranged my daughter's skip by moving her to a private school, then the wanted to have her repeat a year even though she was doing well academically. Private testing helped convince them to let her stay in the higher grade.

    You can always try it and then move her back.

    #180727 - 01/28/14 08:08 AM Re: Transition from K to 1st grade mid-year? [Re: Selina]
    SFrog Offline

    Registered: 10/07/11
    Posts: 156
    Loc: IA, USA
    My daughter's grade skips were both at the end of the year (skipped 2nd and 6th), so I can't help with mid-year skip experiences.

    However, what I have learned from dealing with public schools (two different districts) and grade skips is that this is not a quick process. It might be better to begin the process now, but with the understanding that you may end up with an end of year skip instead of a mid-year skip. Unless you have a very flexible and cooperative district, getting the testing and assessments done can take a couple of months.

    Please note, I am not trying to be discouraging. I cannot imagine how bored my daughter would be had she not skipped. I'm just trying to caution you on how slow the acceleration process can be.

    Best of luck,
    For gifted children, doing nothing is the wrong choice.

    #180729 - 01/28/14 09:17 AM Re: Transition from K to 1st grade mid-year? [Re: Selina]
    blackcat Offline

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    My DD moved from K to 1st around Thanksgiving time a couple years ago. Best decision we ever made. It turned out she has ADHD and struggled with focus, but she still has done just fine and is at the top of the higher level class. So now we have the dilemma of the work still being too easy, even with a grade skip. My advice, do it now, because the longer you wait the more resistance you will get, with them claiming that there are too many gaps in learning, too much work to catch up on, too big of a social adjustment, etc. The only thing she really struggled with after being moved was writing, because I never really taught her at home. So she didn't know how to put spaces between words, capitalize, puncuate, etc. The new teacher had to work with her a bit to get her up to speed. This is something you can also work on at home if you haven't already.
    At the time I thought the process was ridiculous, with so many assessments needed and hoops to jump through, but now that we are talking about accelerating our younger child, I realize we had it easy and they could have made it much more difficult with DD. We had a principal at the time with a "whatever" attitude and she didn't really care about the hoops.

    #180731 - 01/28/14 09:30 AM Re: Transition from K to 1st grade mid-year? [Re: Selina]
    ultramarina Offline

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    My DS is in K but is spending about a third of his day in a first-grade classroom. We made the change in early December. He had a bit of a rough start, but things are going smoothly now. In contrast to what others have said, this was very easy to do, but it is not an actual skip but a subject acceleration of sorts. Our biggest issues were 1) a few social bumps (this was addressed by giving him a "buddy" and making sure he knew that the teacher should hear about it if anyone was unkind) and 2) a little bit of distress in his part at the increase in writing expectations and "boring" phonics work. The teacher has helped him not have to do the phonics stuff and he has adjusted to the writing demands.

    #180735 - 01/28/14 09:40 AM Re: Transition from K to 1st grade mid-year? [Re: Selina]
    ashley Offline

    Registered: 03/26/12
    Posts: 639
    My DS moved to a mixed 1st grade/K class around Halloween of his K year. He was with the Kers for art, craft etc but attended the 1st grade class for math and LA and science. He did not have a problem transitioning or making friends. He did have a problem with his old "K friends" labeling his acceleration as "unfair" - he felt sorry that they did not get to do 1st grade stuff with him as well (and felt guilty for having the acceleration). We had to have a lot of talks about how different people have different learning needs and learning paths with him.
    If your child is mature, social and adventurous, then there will be no problems in the transition. As others said, the writing requirements were a lot more and the homework load was high too.
    DS actually started to complain after a few months that 1st grade seemed like more of the same old stuff. At which point we moved on to private school because the PS had already done what they could for my DS and it was not working.

    #180736 - 01/28/14 09:43 AM Re: Transition from K to 1st grade mid-year? [Re: Selina]
    ultramarina Offline

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Oh, yes--we have a bit of a problem with DS's K friends being jealous as well.

    #180834 - 01/28/14 10:23 PM Re: Transition from K to 1st grade mid-year? [Re: Selina]
    Selina Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/26/14
    Posts: 3
    Thank you for the responses! When I originally spoke to the principal about my concerns, she was incredibly responsive and eager to take action. She was the one who first mentioned making the move to first.

    While I'm concerned that K is moving too slowly in some respect, I was also worried that missing four months of first grade would put her behind the class which would be discouraging. She is perfectionistic and can sometimes give up easily if she thinks something is hard. And I don't want to squash her love of learning!

    After speaking with the teachers and the learning specialist, they will do some standard and informal assessments before making a decision about how to proceed. This feels reasonable. I will let you know what we decide. Thanks again!

    #192003 - 05/22/14 09:35 AM Re: Transition from K to 1st grade mid-year? [Re: Selina]
    Selina Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/26/14
    Posts: 3
    I wanted to follow up and let you know that my daughter moved to first grade at the end of February. She was eager to change classrooms even though she said she was nervous that she wouldn't know as much as the other first graders. It has been a seamless transition. She made friends quickly, has jumped right into the learning and is thriving. A parent volunteer with kids in her K class and first grade class commented that my daughter was like a different person once she moved into first grade and seems so engaged and is thriving. It was a great decision for us. Thanks everyone for your support!

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