#MicroblogMondays: school age

Microblog_MondaysA long one today…

I probably won’t actually write about the insanity that is entering Kindergarten in the NYC public school system. But just know we are in the middle of it and I’m trying very hard to not get crazy, because it’s Kindergarten.

I came across this article over the weekend, and it articulates some feelings I’ve had better than I’ve been able to. Namely, that if you are able to hold your kid back, they will still likely enter Kindergarten with a bunch of kids who were not held back.

I want to take that a little further though. In conducting my dissertation research in two places, New York City and Indiana, the issue of cut-off dates for entering school has come up. Here school entry is by calendar year, meaning kids are 4.5 – 5.5 entering Kinder. And it isn’t the easiest thing to hold your kid back with the public school. In Indiana, cut off dates are much earlier – in June. So my friends son was born July 2010 and Simon July 2011 and they are both entering Kinder this year with no holding back. So there is already an 18 month difference in Kinder entry nationwide! This could get wider with “redshirting” (although realistically by only a few months).

For Kindergarten at the local level at least the whole pool is in it together. But I’m working with middle school kids, so my kids in Indiana are older than their comparison sample. Which gets me thinking about how Simon and my friends son could be college roommates. There are huge leaps in executive function that happen in late adolescence and early adulthood. And I can’t stop thinking of the potential trouble that comes from one friend turning 21 more than a year before the other. (And yes, this happens anyway in college, but I wonder/worry that the potential for trouble could be greater for reasons I can’t coherently put words to.)

But in the short term, I’m just trying to get into Kindergarten.

3 thoughts on “#MicroblogMondays: school age

  • February 9, 2016 at 2:33 pm
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    Yikes! I can see why this whole thing could be crazy making. I wish I could offer some advice, but we homeschooled our three kidlets. In fact, we’re still homeschooling the 15 year old, but the others are 18 and 21, and don’t need me anymore. *sniffle*

    I hope the Kindergarten transition is as smooth as possible!

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  • February 10, 2016 at 3:51 am
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    I read that article when you posted it on facebook and it’s really interesting. I don’t really understand the whole redshirt thing, honestly. There is always going to be a youngest anyway, and I understand, kind of, not wanting it to be yours, but still… I almost feel like people are setting themselves up for disappointment by expecting big things out of their older kindergartners. No?

    Here things are done on a calendar year basis, so Andy is to be one of the oldest and Sofia right in the middle. Sofia’s best friend has a little brother who was born December 29, 2014, so he will go to school with Andy and be almost a year younger. We joke about it sometimes but never would it occur to anyone here to hold their kids back (barring an actual, demostrable learning need).

    All of that is really to say that I’m a bit cynical about the whole deal. I was always the very youngest in my class, born September 1 when the cutoff for kindergarten was September 1. I had a close friend growing up who moved from Pittsburgh and her birthday was August 16, over a year older than me. And, yeah, I didn’t hit legal age until my senior year of college and I graduated at 21. And everything worked out just fine. 😉

    I firmly, firmly believe that the vast majority of children will do absolutely fine in the vast majority of educational environments. People are quite obsessive about finding the most amazing, perfect educational experience for their children and it’s all a bunch of hype in my opinion. Amazing and perfect isn’t real life.

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  • February 10, 2016 at 2:56 pm
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    I don’t know anyone who has held their kids back or pushed them ahead who were doing it to create an advantage. Usually it’s because they’ve gotten feedback that their kid isn’t ready for kindy or is ready for kindy.

    Though I will say that having a neighbourhood school that you’re automatically enrolled in is a huge weight off my shoulders vs. friends who live in the city. Sending good thoughts for the process.

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