charlie in school

[twitter]Charlie turned 3 in January, and became eligible for preschool. In Alberta, kids can be born on or before March 1 to enter the grade. So Charlie’s preschool class is supposed to be a group of kids born from March 2009 – Feb 2010.

Since Charlie had to wait until he turned 3 before the school would accept him, he has found himself a little behind in catching on to the routine. The other kids have been going for 6 months, The Chooch has only been there for 6 weeks, so it’s understandable.

The other reason Charlie is dragging a little? He’s the youngest in the class – by far. Most kids are 6 – 7 months older than my son (something I expected), but there is one kid that is more than a year older than Charlie.

In a classroom designed for March 2009 – Feb 2010 kids, there is a child born in November of 2008.

We chose to send our kids to a private French Immersion program to start their scholastic careers because they could start early, and get more classroom time.

They start in a preschool program for a few days a week, then move to a 5 day a week Junior Kindergarten program, before entering full day Kindergarten. Most children in the public system will get some preschooling / daycare before entering a half day Kindergarten. I’m thrilled with the head start my kids can get, when it’s done properly.

Going by the application rules for Alberta, that December 2008 kid would be in the middle of eligibility for the Junior Kindergarten, but the parents have held her back.

Instead of having another child close to his age, he has someone miles ahead of him in size.

I have written much on redshirting and how I am opposed to it. School should be about challenging your kids instead of making it easier for them. You should want to cultivate a desire for learning, not one of slack laziness. Still, some alpha parents redshirt and it ripples through the whole system. Despite being exactly where he should be, my son is getting steamrolled by others in class. How can one expect a kid who is 37 months old to keep up with one that is 52 months old?

Cmon, redshirters, you’re not doing anyone any favors. You’re screwing the system – and my kid.

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  1. BL March 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I don’t know why all these parents are holding their kids back from school when they can attend. They may struggle a bit at first, but they will adapt.

    My 2 cousins and I were february children that started school when we were supposed to, and we never had any difficulties.

    My daughter and son are both born in february as well. My daughter is now in kindergarten and doing fine, my son will be going to preschool as soon as he turns 3 in Jan 2014.

  2. Mil December 6, 2014 at 2:55 am

    This attitude very arrogant. The real world doesn’t consist of socializing with only people who are your own birth year. The tone of resentment towards another parent redshirting is unhealthy. It doesn’t appear that the writer has much of a personal relationship with the parents of that child. It is one thing to have an opinion against red-shirting in general, but he is clearly bitter that the girl that was red-shirted won’t make his little boy stand out, and several statements made in the article point to this. If he did what he felt was right putting his son in at a time many children are still wearing diapers, then he doesn’t need to worry about what other parents are doing with their child unless they are overlooking blatant, intentional and damaging behaviors inflicted upon his child from their own. It is also hypocritical to have a child in a classroom so many months younger than his peers when he is a new three and yet refer to other parents as “alpha” parents. Really? Maybe you can be viewed the same way as somebody who pushed his child way too soon so he can brag to others about how precocious his son is-another form of being a “tiger Mom”. Great that poor little girl is going to have to go through years of secret scrutiny (and hating)by a grown man because little Charlie may possibly not stand out like a superstar next to her. Um, maybe you ought to look inward and work on that bitterness, better for your parenting.

  3. buzz December 6, 2014 at 8:44 am

    @Mil I’m all for legitimately doing what is right for your children. The issue, in this case, is parents have misguidedly jumped on to a trend. Holding your kid back should be an outlier, not the norm. So I will rail against it when it puts social roadblocks in the development of my child that is abiding by registration rules. My son is excelling in school, he has many friends, but too many around him are being redshirted for no reason other than parental vanity, and that practice must be shamed.

  4. Ceelly September 11, 2015 at 2:09 am

    I held my son back he is autistic it was the best things I could have done. He was 3 months premie and born at the end of the intake cut off. If you son is having problems may you should just face up to them rather than blame other parents. Do you through your kid to the wolves or do you hold them back? Not rocket science.

  5. buzz September 11, 2015 at 5:34 am

    There are always exceptions to the rule. My issue is with the legitimacy of those exceptions. How many really and truly have need vs how many are doing it for arbitrary vanity reasons? Just look at the gluten free trend: the legit number of celiacs is near 1%, yet far more than that falsely claim to have the disease. The number of kids who need to be held back should be a handful per community, not a handful per grade per school.

  6. Kaila Burke January 9, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    You are kidding me right? My kids are both November babies and yes I did have them do an extra year of Preschool. Why? Because they were not ready to attend Kindergarten. Plain and Simple.

    Yes they are among the oldest in their class but have never had an issue socially and academically they are both right on target. I can not imagine how it would fell if I pushed them through before they were ready and they would be forced to struggle because as you may or may now know school do not “hold back” kids like they used to.

    Did I do this to SCREW YOUR KID? Heck no. I did it because I am a good parent who knew what my kids needed.

  7. buzz January 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    No, I’m not kidding. And when you say “not ready” is that from a professional opinion, or your own? I put my son into kindergarten when he was eligible, and checked with educators and professionals through his first 3 years to make sure he was able to keep up. He did. He’s leading.

    The entire time, btw, teachers were rolling their eyes at the parents of kids who “weren’t ready” because, in fact, they were more than ready and were disrupting the class dynamic by, in some cases, being 14 months older than their peers.

    If there is not a legitimate reason as determined by professionals then, yes, you’re screwing my kid (and others) when you do this.

    See also (from the NY Times, no less)

  8. R Mac March 29, 2016 at 11:48 am

    As a former Gr.1 teacher I can tell you, from my experience, that most of the children who were on the borderline of the age cut-off would have been better off kept back a year. While many children are able to cope academically, sometimes the social aspect, or even physiological needs of the child are quite obvious (especially when children are sent to school when they really could benefit from an afternoon nap, still.) Being allowed to play is so important to their development, so why rush them through that? I THANK the kindergarten teacher who keeps kids an extra year when they are truly not ready.

    Another thought: the last thing any of these kids needs is to be compared to their classmates. Why not simply celebrate his growth over time rather than compare where he is right now on his path to someone else’s journey. Personally, I am looking into enrolling my children into a program that is multi-age. The first class they will be in will have children Kindergarten age to Grade 2! They will not be expected to be doing the same things. They will be given the opportunity to take on new roles as leaders within the classroom as they grow to be the older children in the class. And it is never about who can do this, and who can’t do that. Everyone has their own strengths and they will all be celebrated within a supportive community environment.

  9. buzz March 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    I agree their are legitimate outliers who need to be held back. When it becomes a trend, the classroom age balance tips, causing more people to hold back, and more people, and .. see what we end up with? A system out of step with where it should be. Suddenly we have 19 yr olds in Grade 12.

    If your child has serious, legitimate reasons to start late, fine. That should be 1 or 2 kids a class, not 6, or 8, or more. See where this is headed?

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