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Old 12-29-2013, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
320 posts, read 387,009 times
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We moved here July 2013 with 2 kids for husbands job relo. One son is in Leander ISD 2nd grade and the other in Pre-k.

Dilemma is the younger sons Bday is 9/4. He misses the school cut off by 4 days and will have to repeat PreK again. Leander ISD says no exceptions to entry date. We are renting for now b/c we didn't want to land somewhere unfamiliar and buy something and regret it. I'm not totally impressed with the older sons school and wouldn't be opposed to changing school districts if the entry date was flexible in RoundRock, Dripping Springs, Lake Travis ISD as other options. Anyone know if different districts have different rules or is it a firm TX rule?

His teachers say he would be ready academically for Kindergarten. He's on the small side, so not the end of the world if he has to wait a year, although the $600/mo for preschool would be great to put towards a house ...

If he has to repeat PreK I am trying to think of other options, like maybe 2-3 days preK and add on other enrichment activities. Or get into a home school network. But all I have found for home school is elementary and above. I work from home, so having him out of the house from 9-2 everyday is helpful. Chauffeuring here and there and an erratic schedule will cut into work time, so not ideal. Any suggestions or just do PreK again?

Private Kindergarten seems to be very expensive from the few places I checked. And I have heard conflicting advice about being able to enter 1st grade after that. Someone at LISD said I would also have to do private 1st b/c of his birth date??

This is just one of several dilemmas of moving here. Other is finding housing that we can afford in desired school districts. Basically there is nothing under $350k for what we want. And mostly tract cookie cutter housing. We love Austin, but I'm secretly hoping for another job transfer or a winning lottery ticket
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:31 AM
 
5,411 posts, read 6,668,320 times
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As a teacher myself, I strongly urge you to not start Kindergarten early. No matter how smart or mature your child is. Truth is that so many people are holding their kids back from Kinder for a year, that he will probably be the only 4 year old on the first day of school in a room where there are a half dozen kids who are already 6. That is a huge difference. And honestly, I have never seen a child who could benefit from entering kindergarten early, and I've seen plenty of gifted, mature youngsters.

It doesn't get better as he gets older. When he is 9 years old, he will be in a class with a lot of 11 year olds. He will see and hear things you don't want him, and he's not ready, to see or hear.

Leave him on schedule. If he is truly should be in first grade, then Leander (and other districts) will advance him. But that is very rare. They also have advanced programs for kids who are truly gifted starting in first grade.

Many preschools offer Bridge classes that are designed for children who are in the same situation as your son. Riverbend Christian School is one. You can also check with your local elementary school for recommendations on other programs.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Austin
7,192 posts, read 17,789,830 times
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9/1 is a hard Texas date, not district specific. Primrose Kinder might be an option. My daughter is a November birthday, and instead of repeating Pre-K, I put her in Primrose's Kinder. I'm in Lake Travis, and they don't acknowledge Primrose Kinder because they still have to go by the 9/1 dates, however, they do have a testing process. My daughter passed the testing no problem, but then her Dad did "too much" research and didn't like the stats with her starting high school at age 13, so he inevitably put a stop to her going into 1st. She is quite bored in Kinder, but making a lot of friends.

If you do Private Kinder, you don't necessarily need to do Private 1st unless you absolutely don't want him repeating Kinder. Most people think the 9/1 cut off is 5 years old for Kinder, but it's really a 6 year old cut off for 1st grade as Kinder is still not "required", but retros to Kinder as most people do put their kids in Kinder. If you did Private 1st, then he would be old enough to be into 2nd grade in public school... but talk about not saving money if you did 2 years of private school... plus you said he is small, so why do it?
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:28 PM
 
Location: The People's Republic of Austin
5,184 posts, read 5,740,258 times
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I also would urge you to not have your son start kindergarten "early". We have a well documented academic performance gap between boys and girls that extends on into college. Several studies have pointed to the changes in content - especially language - that academic testing have forced down from first grade into kindergarten. The problem is, again, according to these studies, is that boy's and girl's brains develop differently, and that most boys are not ready for the academic demands of today's kindergarten.

So take some time. Do some research, and make a well informed decision for your son. Were I in your shoes, there is no doubt what I would do.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:47 PM
 
5,411 posts, read 6,668,320 times
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To be honest, most of what kids get from kindergarten is social. They learn very little academically that they wouldn't have learned anyway. But they learn to follow rules in a room full of 20 other kindergartners (and one teacher), eat in the cafeteria (in a short period of time), be self-sufficient, take turns, walk to and use the bathroom down the hall by themselves, etc. Yes, they learn a lot of this in preschool (which is why a good preschool program is so valuable), but it is magnified 10 fold in kinder. There's a big difference between being in a cafeteria with 150 other kids, and eating lunch in your preschool classroom with 13 other kids and two teachers. There is a big difference between putting things in your cubby at preschool, with a teacher able to help if needed, and putting all of your various folders, etc. in the proper place by yourself.

You will notice a huge difference between kinder and 1st grade, when they really get into more academics. But it's not done too much in kinder because it's just impossible. You can't teach kids effectively if they are not even ready to handle the day-to-day tasks needed before learning can take place. If he skips to first grade, he will miss all of this. The teachers are going to assume (and rightfully so) that he will know what to do when he enters the classroom. That he will know what he needs to do before lunch or dismissal. That he can and will zip his jacket himself, etc. As they should. But without the benefit of kinder, he won't have that knowledge, and teachers are not going to coddle him. He could know every sight word and all of his addition and subtraction facts, but if he does not know the other things or is not responsible enough to remember to take X, Y, and Z home, etc., then he's not ready for first grade.

The worst thing that can happen by waiting a year is that he will be the smartest kid in class.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
320 posts, read 387,009 times
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Thank you all for the excellent advice! Much appreciated. I guess I was focusing on him being a year older than what his brother was when he started Kindergarten. Brother's bday is Aug 9th. So far I haven't seen any issues academically with older son. This year in 2nd, seeing some struggles, but attributed it to the move, new school and not so great teacher. Maybe I should have waited a year for the older son too. Thank you again!
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
12,789 posts, read 28,810,418 times
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Quote:
To be honest, most of what kids get from kindergarten is social. They learn very little academically that they wouldn't have learned anyway.
This is how I remembered my K years (what little I can remember of them!), which is why I was actually quite surprised when our oldest started kindergarten (Mills elementary in AISD). They have an aggressive program of reading, writing, and math that is more in line from what I remember about 1st grade. Of course, at the end of the year, some kids had only picked up a small portion of the curriculum while others were progressed to a DRA level of 16 or more. It is VERY child dependent, and, of course, some of the kids were almost a year older than other kids in the class.

I would concur that early is not better, especially for boys, but I would hate for my kids to start 1st grade w/o having done the k program that the school district was offering. I have seen the K programs at the daycares that we have gone to, and they don't measure up to the AISD K program - both for the reasons mm lists above, and for the more rigorous curriculum.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Austin
7,192 posts, read 17,789,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usernamenottaken View Post
Thank you all for the excellent advice! Much appreciated. I guess I was focusing on him being a year older than what his brother was when he started Kindergarten. Brother's bday is Aug 9th. So far I haven't seen any issues academically with older son. This year in 2nd, seeing some struggles, but attributed it to the move, new school and not so great teacher. Maybe I should have waited a year for the older son too. Thank you again!
There is a lot of what's called "red-shirting". This is where the boys with Summer birthdays, and even up into March and April in some cases, are being held back. A family in my neighborhood waited until 5th grade to realize their son needed to be held back, as they didn't think he was ready for middle school. I think the earlier you do it, the better for their self esteem. And just know, your son probably won't be the oldest with an Aug birthday.

Texas is about football, and many want their boys to be bigger to compete "better" (and yes, this is a generalization, it's not all about football).

Last edited by FalconheadWest; 12-31-2013 at 07:49 AM..
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