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    Joined: Dec 2009
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    Isn't it quite lock step? No acceleration? Someone here mentioned it once.

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    I looked it up and you can start your kid early. And they can accelerate. It seems more fluid but then they have a small population. I went to Helsinki and you can do the city tour in half a day, which includes a church built into a rock.

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    I haven't read all the responses yet. I'll go back and do that in a minute. I do live somewhere where red-shirting is the norm. My son with an April birthday (so 5 months before the Sept.1 cutoff) was the only child I knew born that month who was sent to school on time. Boys are routinely enrolled a year later here. It's pretty common for kindergartners to be turning 7 by the end of the year.

    I eventually, not only sent my son on time, but he ended up skipping 1st grade. It means that his acceleration was a bit more radical then we planned on it being as he's a whole 2 years younger than many of his classmates. It's been interesting, but nothing that would convince me we made a poor decision.

    I'm not a proponent of red-shirting. When I did my research on early entrance, grade skipping, ect. I encountered a lot of research about late entrance and retention of students. Most of the research shows no advantage to holding kids back. There can be some early advantages in early grades, but those in large part disappear by 3rd grade. There are even studies that show poor outcomes for students who are older in high school, including higher drop out rates.

    So over all I think the practice has very little good going for it despite the dozens of anecdotal evidence everyone in my town regurgitates. However, I do see the appeal. Red-shirting is so common here. So the kids get to kindergarten a year older and are ready for more advanced school work. The teacher finds herself teaching more advanced concepts in kindergarten and soon kindergarten is much more academic. Next thing you know it's too academic and a poor fit for a child sent on time. When you see what's being taught and can't imagine your child being ready, of course you hold them back.

    I think the answer is to hold our schools accountable, to move able and ready students forward, and to ensure that our teachers are prepared for our sent on time kids.

    As a parent who has made unconventional educational decisions for my own child I cannot in good conciseness say that another parent shouldn't do the same. If waiting a year is what feels right to to that parent for that particular child then I support them in doing what they need to do.

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    Maybe that's what it all evens out by third grade really means...



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by knute974
    The ones who puzzle me are the kids who have been held back, tested into the gifted program and then the parents complain that their kids could be doing more. Why not start by putting them in the correct grade?!


    I would say that this describes at least 1/2 the kids in my oldest child's full time gifted program. It could be why the full time gifted program was such an awful fit for my kid.

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    What's really crazy to me is that not only is red-shirting the norm here. But preschool starting at age 3 or even earlier is also the norm. So many kids entering kindergarten are not only older, but also have 3 years of school under their belt.

    So I remember trying to explain to someone that we needed to look at ways to better engage my son who was reading at a 4th grade level in K. They looked at me and said, well most our students start K already reading.

    Well duh. They've had 3 years of school. Mine had had none.

    Last edited by JollyGG; 08/23/13 05:45 PM. Reason: miswrote kindergarten for preschool
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    I do not understand the starting K at 3 and having 3 years of school at k. They just repeat K for 3 years? What is the point then?

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    I suppose if most the kids started K at 6 plus after 2 or 3 years academic pre-K then they would be reading to some extent. Here kindergarten (3 to 5) is very non-academic and nearly all kids start school on their 5thbirthday or day after and very few kids start school reading.

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    Opps. Meant to say 3 years of academic pre-school.

    Need to proofread before hitting submit.

    Last edited by JollyGG; 08/23/13 05:44 PM.
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    Val Offline
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    Originally Posted by JollyGG
    They looked at me and said, well most our students start K already reading.

    Well duh. They've had 3 years of school. Mine had had none.

    Hmm. In a situation like this, one needs to probe them for a definition of reading. I suspect that their definition is something like, "Can sound out one-syllable words like cat and sat and stop and recognizes a few sight words," as opposed to "stopped sounding out words long ago and reads books alone."

    Last edited by Val; 08/23/13 05:56 PM. Reason: typo
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